Cosworth is an automotive engineering company founded in London in 1958, specialising in engines for automobile racing (motorsport). It supplies a wide range of motorsport series, including the World Rally Championship and, until the end of 2006, Formula One. Cosworth is based in Northampton, England, with a North American facility in Torrance, California.
Starting from 1963, Cosworth ran a long and distinguished career in Formula 1. In 2006, two Formula 1 teams were supplied with Cosworth engines: the Williams team using Cosworth V8 engines, transmissions and associated electronics, and the Scuderia Toro Rosso team using rev-limited Cosworth V10s based on 2005 spec engines. The end of the 2006 F1 season marked the end of Cosworth's remarkable 43 year association with the series, as no team opted to use Cosworth for 2007. Cosworth left the sport as the second most successful engine manufacturer ever to race in F1, only behind Ferrari in grand prix victories.
Initially Cosworth was an independent company, then part of UEI and subsequently Vickers. Despite its long association with Ford, it was a subsidiary of Ford for only a very short time. The company was split into Technology and Racing divisions; the Racing division that retains the Cosworth name is now owned by Gerald Forsythe and Kevin Kalkhoven. The Technology division was briefly owned by Volkswagen and is now part of Mahle GmbH.
Since leaving F1, Cosworth has committed itself to its Ford inline-4 Duratec program. It has also started to supply complete high performance Subaru EJ25 engines and components for Subaru Impreza, as well as components for Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution and Nissan vehicles with the VQ35 engine.
The company has been through a number of changes of ownership. After Keith Duckworth decided he didn't want to be involved with the day-to-day business of running a growing company, he sold out to United Engineering Industries (UEI) in 1980, retaining his life presidency and day-to-day technical involvement with Cosworth, and becoming a UEI board director; UEI was a group of small to medium-sized technology companies which was taken over by Carlton Communications in 1988 - Carlton was primarily interested in some of the audio-visual companies in the UEI portfolio and Cosworth was a poor fit with these; a new buyer for the company in the engineering/automotive sector was sought and the traditional engineering company Vickers plc bought Cosworth in 1990.
In 1998 Vickers sold the company to Volkswagen Group, who remodelled Cosworth into two separate companies, Cosworth Racing and Cosworth Technology. Volkswagen then signed a deal with Ford, selling them the racing division which had long made racing engines for Ford. Cosworth Technology (also known as CT) offers powertrain development consultancy, and its patented aluminium casting process is used by several car makers, including Audi and Aston Martin. Volkswagen Group sold Cosworth Technology to the Mahle GmbH in December 2004.
In September 2004, Ford announced that it was selling Cosworth Racing, along with its Jaguar Formula One team. On 15 November 2004, the sale of Cosworth was completed, to Champ Car World Series owners Gerald Forsythe and Kevin Kalkhoven, who renamed Cosworth Racing to Cosworth.
A larger engine was designed for endurance racing in the mid 1970s, the FVC that displaced . The FVC produced only , down from the that other twin-cam four cylinders such as the Hart 420S produced but was more reliable. One was campaigned in the USA's CanAm series in 1978 in the Osprey SR-1, built and driven by Dan Hartill.
In 1966, Colin Chapman (Lotus Cars founder and principal of Team Lotus) persuaded Ford to bankroll Keith Duckworth's design for a new lightweight Formula 1 engine. Cosworth received the order along with the £100,000 that Ford felt it adequate to spend on such an objective. The contract stipulated that a four-cylinder Ford-based F2 engine would be developed as proof of concept (see the FVA above) and that a pure Cosworth V8 would be built based on this. The DFV design used a similar cylinder head to the one Duckworth had prototyped on the four-cylinder FVA units on a custom Cosworth block and crankcase, forming a single 90° V8 engine, thus creating a legend in its own right, the DFV - literally meaning "Double Four Valve". This engine, and its derivatives were used for a quarter of a century, and it was the most successful in the history of Formula 1 / Grand Prix motor racing. Winning 167 races in a career lasting over 20 years, it was the product that put Cosworth Engineering on the map. Although originally designed for Formula One, the engine has been modified to be used in a range of categories.
The DFV won on its first outing, at the 1967 Dutch Grand Prix in the hands of Jim Clark, fitted to a Lotus 49, and from 1968 was available for purchase to any F1 team that wished it. During the 1970s, it was not uncommon for almost the entire field (with the notable exception of Ferrari) to be using one of these engines - this at a time when independent wealthy individuals could buy exactly the same engine off the shelf that was also being used by McLaren et al. Most teams just built a tub around a Cosworth DFV and a Hewland gearbox. It won a record-holding 155 World Championship races, the last being Detroit in 1983, powering a Tyrrell driven by Michele Alboreto.
Although the DFV (bore: 3.373", stroke: 2.555", displacement: ) with at 9,000 rpm did not produce as much power as some of its rival 12-cylinder engines, it was lighter, resulting in a better power to weight ratio. In addition to being lighter, it was also made a structural part of the car itself, by placing load bearing arms to stress the block. These design aspects appealed tremendously to the genius of Colin Chapman who utilised them to the fullest extent.
The DFY, introduced in 1982 was a further evolution of the DFV for Formula One, with a shorter stroke and a DFL bore (bore: 3.543", stroke: 2.316", displacement ) with at 11,000 rpm, thereby producing more power, but still unable to fight against the turbocharged cars of the day. It was the advent of turbocharged engines in Formula 1 which sounded the death knell for the venerable DFV, and in 1986 Cosworth returned to the lower formulae preparing the DFV for the newly-created Formula 3000, with the installation of a compulsory 9,000 rpm rev limiter, which scaled power back from 500 to ; the DFV remained in this class until 1992. The final F3000 engines gave , almost equalling the 1983 DFV which gave at 11,200 rpm.
In Formula 1, a new DFV-based design was introduced for the new normally-aspirated rules in 1987. The DFZ was produced as an interim model, but in 1988 Cosworth created the DFV's final evolution, the DFR, which soldiered on in F1 with smaller teams until 1991, scoring its last points - including a pair of second places by Jean Alesi - with Tyrrell in 1990.
The DFV has recently been given a new lease of life thanks to the interest in Classic F1 racing, which was given a World Championship status by the FIA in 2004.
One of the most successful and longest-lived projects of Cosworth has been its CART / Champ Car engine program. In 1975, Cosworth developed the DFX, by destroking the engine to and adding a turbocharger, the DFX became the standard engine to run in IndyCar racing, ending the reign of the Offenhauser, and maintaining that position until the late 1980s. Ford backed Cosworth with creating a new interim design for IndyCar racing in the late 80s, the DFS, which merged DFR technology into the ageing DFX design, but it was eventually rendered obsolete by advancing technology.
While designed as an F1 engine, the DFV was also used as in endurance racing, although its flat-plane design led to destructive vibrations putting stress on devices surrounding the engine, especially the exhaust system. The first sports car to use a DFV, the Ford P68, failed to finish a single race because of repeated mechanical and electrical failures. Despite this handicap the DFV won the 24 hours of Le Mans twice in its original 3.0 L form for Mirage and Rondeau (although the Mirage win in 1975 was with a significantly de-tuned unit). A special endurance version, the DFL, was then developed in two versions: one with and the other with . Whilst the former version soon became known for its reliability, the latter version was a step too far and is largely remembered as a failure.
In 1970, the BDC evolution received fuel injection for the first time. Two years later, the BDA series was being used in Formula 2, first at around , until reaching a maximum of in 1973, as the developed BDG form of the engine, which also received an aluminium block.
In the 1980s, the engine saw its final incarnations, the BDR, used in the road-going version of the Caterham, and the 1.8 L BDT, which powered the never raced Escort RS1700T, and the more competitive Ford RS200, which was created for Group B rallying. A evolution model was developed by Brian Hart just as Group B was cancelled by the FIA. The BDT-E turbocharged versions gave over in Group B rallycross configuration.
The Hart 420R owes much to the BDA series, being essentially an aluminium-block derivative using similar heads.
The YB series of engines are based on the older Pinto engine block, and were introduced in the road-going Ford Sierra Cosworth in 1986 with . It was the first road going turbocharged engine that developed more than per litre, with 5,000 units built for homologation purposes in Group A, both for rallies and touring cars. Racing versions could develop about . A limited edition evolution model was introduced in 1987, the RS500, with power now exceeding in full racing trim. The RS500 came to dominate touring car racing in its heyday. Today there are many road going YB engines developing over , and there are several rallycross Sierra Cosworths utilising YB engines tuned to over . The Rev Hard drag racing team use a YB engine in their Escort Cosworth car that develops whilst still retaining the original 2 litre capacity.
Further evolutions of the YB included a reduced-emissions road version, as well as the block used in the Escort RS Cosworth (which used the Sierra floorpan). The engine stopped being used on new cars in 1997, with the Focus WRC and road-going Focus RS relying on Zetec designs.
The final DFV/DFZ/DFR replacement, the HB V8 was introduced with the Benetton team midway through 1989, winning the Japanese Grand Prix that year. This exploited a narrower vee-angle than the DFV. As the works team, Benetton maintained exclusivity with this model through the rest of 1989 and 1990. 1991 saw the introduction of customer units, two specifications behind their works equivalents. In 1991, these were supplied to the fledgling Jordan outfit, and for 1992, Lotus. 1993 saw the customer deal extended to McLaren, who won 5 Grands Prix with Ayrton Senna that year. It was not until the introduction of the new Cosworth unit, badged as a Ford Zetec-R, that Michael Schumacher won the Drivers World Championship with Benetton, in 1994. This was the last Ford powered F1 title.
A Jaguar-badged version of the HB was briefly used in sports car racing, fitted to the extremely successful Jaguar XJR-14.
Cosworth has subsequently made several V10 engines for a number of Formula One teams. The Stewart Grand Prix team effectively became the Ford works team, and used Cosworth CR-1 engines from its first season in 1997. Over the next few years Ford had increased its involvement with the Stewart team, and finally bought the team, renaming it Jaguar Racing for 2000. Jaguar pulled out of F1 at the end of 2004, but the team (renamed Red Bull Racing) continued to use Cosworth V10 engines until switching to a Ferrari V8 for 2006. Minardi also used rebadged Cosworth engines until 2005.
Williams used Cosworth V8 engines for the 2006 season, and began testing the new CA2006 2.4 L V8 in November 2005. In the same year Scuderia Toro Rosso used detuned V10 engines based on the 2005 units. For 2007, however, the company was left without a partner. Williams chose to switch to Toyota power. Scuderia Torro Rosso however made the switch to Ferrari engines, as used in 2006 by their mother team Red Bull Racing. The only option Cosworth had for 2007 was the newly-renamed Spyker-MF1 Racing (now Force India F1), but the team announced that it too will be using Ferrari engines.
With most major manufacturers currently opting to supply engines to a second F1 team, scope may be limited for Cosworth to return to the sport under its own name. However, since breaking its links with Ford it is highly likely that Cosworth may return to F1 as a specialist contractor and consultant, much as it has done in the past and as Ilmor did so successfully with Mercedes.
Cosworth designed a series of replacements for the DFS to be used in IndyCar and Champ Car racing: the X-series, beginning in 1992 with the XB. The XF was developed in 2000, and was chosen as the spec engine for the Champ Car World Series in 2003. The most recent derivative of the XF, the XFE quad-cam 90° V8 overhead camshaft, continued in that role through the 2007 season. The Champ Car World Series imposed a rev limit of 12,000 rpm. The 2004 model of the XFE had a rated power of nominal at 1054 mmHg (intake boost pressure), and a maximum power of at 1130 mmHg (during Push-to-Pass). The 2004 XFE maximum speed was 12,000 rpm (rev limited) and torque of . The Aluminium and Iron turbo housing ran a boost of 5.9 psi at sea level (= boost of 12 inches of mercury which is 41.5 inches of mercury absolute). The Methanol-fueled engine used a steel crankshaft and aluminum alloy pistons. Weight was and length was .
In 2007, the Ford name was removed from the engine pieces as the manufacturer elected not to continue sponsorship of the series. Several other engine changes were made, notably the removal of the calibrated "pop off valve" designed to limit turbo boost pressure, replaced by engine electronics. The rated life of the engine was 1,400 miles between rebuilds. Engines were sent by the race teams to Cosworth for the rebuild. In 2007, Champ Car switched to the new Panoz DP01 chassis, which was said to provide better ducting of airflow into the engine. The Champ Car World Series merged into the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series prior to the 2008 season, and Cosworth does not currently provide engines to any American open wheel racing series.
There is evidence that Cosworth was working on a pushrod V8 along the lines of the Ilmor/Mercedes 500I to exploit the peculiar loophole in the Indianapolis 500 rules permitting such engines higher turbocharger boost - this was assigned a project code (CD) but seemingly never completed.
In 2004 and 2005, Cosworth provided a Chevrolet badged engine to IRL IndyCar Series teams after the proprietary Chevrolet engine proved inadequate against rival Hondas and Toyotas during the 2003 season. While many teams left Chevrolet after the 2003 season, those that stayed saw a significant improvement in performance with the new "Chevworth" engine compared to their previous units.
Cosworth made an attempt at designing a full Formula 1 Grand Prix car in 1969. The car, designed by Robin Herd, used an original 4WD transmission designed by Keith Duckworth (different from the Ferguson used by all other 4WD F1 cars of the 1960s) and powered by a magnesium version of the DFV unit. The car was planned to drive at the 1969 British Grand Prix, but it was silently withdrawn. When Herd left to form March Engineering, the project was cancelled. The car is remembered by some as one of the ugliest F1 cars ever built. The external design of the car was a product of Herd's use of Mallite sheeting (a wood-aluminium laminate composite) for the principal structural monocoque sections, a technique he pioneered on the first McLaren single-seat cars, including the McLaren M2B of 1966.
|1963||4||I4||1.5||Stebro, Lotus, Brabham||0||Ford entered to Formula One with Cosworth's Ford 4 engine|
|1965||4||I4||1.5||Brabham, Lotus, Cooper||0|
|1968||DFV||V8||3.0||Lotus, McLaren, Matra||11|
|1969||DFV||V8||3.0||Matra, Brabham, Lotus, McLaren||11|
|1970||DFV||V8||3.0||Lotus, March, McLaren, Brabham, Surtees, Tyrrell, Bellasi, De Tomaso||8|
|1971||DFV||V8||3.0||Tyrrell, March, Lotus, McLaren, Surtees, Brabham, Bellasi||7|
|1972||DFV||V8||3.0||McLaren, Lotus, Tyrrell, Surtees, March, Brabham, Frank Williams Racing Cars, Connew||10|
|1973||DFV||V8||3.0||Lotus, Tyrrell, McLaren, Brabham, March, Shadow, Surtees, Iso Marlboro, Ensign||15|
|1974||DFV||V8||3.0||McLaren, Tyrrell, Lotus, Brabham, Hesketh, Shadow, March, Frank Williams Racing Cars, Surtees, Lola, Token, Trojan, Penske, Parnelli, Lyncar, Ensign, Amon, Maki||12|
|1975||DFV||V8||3.0||McLaren, Brabham, Hesketh, Tyrrell, Shadow, March, Lotus, Williams, Parnelli, Hill, Penske, Ensign, Fittipaldi, Lyncar, Lola, Maki, Surtees||8|
|1976||DFV||V8||3.0||Tyrrell, McLaren, Lotus, Penske, March, Shadow, Surtees, Fittipaldi, Ensign, Parnelli, Wolf-Williams, Williams, Kojima, Hesketh, Maki, Brabham, Boro||10|
|1977||DFV||V8||3.0||Lotus, McLaren, Wolf, Tyrrell, Shadow, Fittipaldi, Ensign, Surtees, Penske, Williams, Boro, LEC, McGuire, Kojima, Hesketh, March||12|
|1978||DFV||V8||3.0||Lotus, Tyrrell, Wolf, Fittipaldi, McLaren, Arrows, Williams, Shadow, Surtees, Ensign, Martini, Hesketh, ATS, Theodore, Merzario||9|
|1979||DFV||V8||3.0||Williams, Ligier, Lotus, Tyrrell, McLaren, Arrows, Shadow, ATS, Fittipaldi, Kauhsen, Wolf, Brabham, Ensign, Rebaque, Merzario||8|
|1980||DFV||V8||3.0||Williams, Ligier, Brabham, Lotus, Tyrrell, McLaren, Arrows, Fittipaldi, Shadow, ATS, Osella, Ensign||11|
|1981||DFV||V8||3.0||Williams, Brabham, McLaren, Lotus, Tyrrell, Arrows, Ensign, Theodore, ATS, Fittipaldi, Osella, March||8|
|1982||DFV||V8||3.0||McLaren, Williams, Lotus, Tyrrell, Brabham, Arrows, ATS, Osella, Fittipaldi, March, Theodore, Ensign||8|
|1983||DFY||V8||3.0||Williams, McLaren, Tyrrell||3|
|DFV||V8||3.0||Williams, McLaren, Tyrrell, Arrows, Lotus, Theodore, Osella, RAM, Ligier|
|DFZ||V8||3.5||Tyrrell, Larrousse, AGS, March, Coloni|
|DFZ||V8||3.5||Tyrrell, Rial, Minardi, Coloni, Larrousse, AGS, EuroBrun|
|DFR||V8||3.5||Tyrrell, Arrows, Dallara, Minardi, Onyx, Ligier, Rial, AGS, Osella, Coloni|
|DFR||V8||3.5||Tyrrell, Arrows, Monteverdi, Ligier, Osella, Dallara, Coloni, AGS, Minardi|
|DFR||V8||3.5||Lola, Fondmetal, Coloni, AGS, Footwork|
|1992||HB||V8||3.5||Benetton, Lotus, Fondmetal||1|
|1993||HB||V8||3.5||McLaren, Benetton, Lotus, Minardi||6|
|HB||V8||3.5||Footwork, Minardi, Larrousse, Simtek|
|ED||V8||3.0||Minardi, Forti, Simtek|
|JD Zetec-R||V10||3.0||Tyrrell, Minardi|
|2005||TJ2005||V10||3.0||Red Bull, Minardi||0|