Will manufacturers be interested in allowing a flat 6 engine

All that has to do with the power train, gearbox, clutch, fuels and lubricants, etc. Generally the mechanical side of Formula One.
g-force_addict
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Will manufacturers be interested in allowing a flat 6 engine

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If they are considering V-6 ones, why not go for the flat-6?
Would only Porsche and Subaru be interested? As they are the only ones making production flat-6s.

NoDivergence
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Re: Will manufacturers be interested in allowing a flat 6 en

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Flat 6 would adversely affect the packaging. Bodywork would be extremely wide, especially when considering attaching turbos. The 956 already had problems with the engine sticking out in the underbody tunnels. Now imagine that but shrink wrapped and it doesn't come close to the narrowness of a V6

wuzak
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Re: Will manufacturers be interested in allowing a flat 6 en

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Not to mention the stiffness lost in the engine - the engine being part of the chassis.

Lycoming
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Re: Will manufacturers be interested in allowing a flat 6 en

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First of all, the advantage of low center of mass cannot be realized as the rules specify a minimum center of gravity height, among many other things.

Second, a V is better structurally, which is important as the monocoque ends at the engine, and the rest of the car bolts to it or the gearbox.

wuzak
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Re: Will manufacturers be interested in allowing a flat 6 en

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Lycoming wrote:First of all, the advantage of low center of mass cannot be realized as the rules specify a minimum center of gravity height, among many other things.
Also, the cylinder banks of the flat 6 will have to be raised to give room to the exhaust between the engine and the flat floor. On the V6s the bottom of the crankcase can sit in the step and there is still room for the exhausts.

Jersey Tom
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Re: Will manufacturers be interested in allowing a flat 6 en

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If by some crazy reason the rules stipulated that you had to use a flat 6... it's not like all the current engine manufacturers would throw up their arms and yell, "Now what! We don't know what to do!" They'd go build a flat 6 and be on their way. Similarly, just because other companies build this engine topology for consumer cars, it's not like they're going to jump into F1.

I'm not much of a powertrain guy, but I feel pretty confident in saying that product engines (and control strategies) don't bear that much resemblance to their race counterparts. Completely different objectives.
Grip is a four letter word. All opinions are my own and not those of current or previous employers.

fast_ian
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Re: Will manufacturers be interested in allowing a flat 6 en

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NoDivergence wrote:Flat 6 would adversely affect the packaging.
+1

Pretty much the same issue as killed Ferrari's flat 12 in the ground effect days. :(
wuzak wrote:Not to mention the stiffness lost in the engine - the engine being part of the chassis.
Indeed. But I'm sure they could make a flat 6 as "strong" as a vee if required........
Lycoming wrote:First of all, the advantage of low center of mass cannot be realized as the rules specify a minimum center of gravity height....
Very true. But "they" (the TWG) could change that if desired. ;)
Jersey Tom wrote:If by some crazy reason the rules stipulated that you had to use a flat 6... it's not like all the current engine manufacturers would throw up their arms and yell, "Now what! We don't know what to do!" They'd go build a flat 6 and be on their way.
+1

Yep! They all B&M on occasion, big guys, little guys, pay drivers, paid drivers, they all come & go over the years.

Fortunately for us, there's still a few guys left willing to try. ;)

Cheers,
Ian

wesley123
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Re: Will manufacturers be interested in allowing a flat 6 en

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NoDivergence wrote:Flat 6 would adversely affect the packaging. Bodywork would be extremely wide, especially when considering attaching turbos. The 956 already had problems with the engine sticking out in the underbody tunnels. Now imagine that but shrink wrapped and it doesn't come close to the narrowness of a V6
If we take current floor and bodywork rules into account it wouldnt negatively packaged at all. It would be differently packaged
wuzak wrote:
Lycoming wrote:First of all, the advantage of low center of mass cannot be realized as the rules specify a minimum center of gravity height, among many other things.
Also, the cylinder banks of the flat 6 will have to be raised to give room to the exhaust between the engine and the flat floor. On the V6s the bottom of the crankcase can sit in the step and there is still room for the exhausts.
Take a look at the Audi R18, this has the exhaust mounted the opposite way(on top/inside instead of the outside of the bank). That solution cleared a lot, and I mean a lot of space on each side in the sidepod.
wuzak wrote:Not to mention the stiffness lost in the engine - the engine being part of the chassis.
That's probably the biggest problem of it all.

I wouldnt dare to say that an Flat 6 would be better or worse, but compared to a V it has it's advantages. The biggest thing we are looking at here is that packaging is different. The engine is wider, but on the other hand lower, which gives lots of space for an intercooler or other stuff, just for an example.

IF the rules allowed it, allowed a more open rule set for engines I am sure engine builders would consider a flat 6, or a larger/smaller V. Too bad that the rules do not allowed it though.
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matt21
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Re: Will manufacturers be interested in allowing a flat 6 en

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wesley123 wrote:IF the rules allowed it, allowed a more open rule set for engines I am sure engine builders would consider a flat 6, or a larger/smaller V. Too bad that the rules do not allowed it though.
If any configuration would be allowed, I would go for a 144°-V, as it provides the best CoG when considering the needed room for exhaust and intake systems.

Tommy Cookers
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Re: Will manufacturers be interested in allowing a flat 6 en

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matt21 wrote: If any configuration would be allowed, I would go for a 144°-V, as it provides the best CoG when considering the needed room for exhaust and intake systems.
a V 5 then ?

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matt21
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Re: Will manufacturers be interested in allowing a flat 6 en

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Tommy Cookers wrote:a V 5 then ?
Why a V5? I would stay with a V6.
The irregular firing order is not so important for comfort reasons.
But maybe you need individual crank throws for each cylinder n order to get a even exhaust flow distribution (pulses) for the best feed of the turbocharger. You could avoid this if we were allowed two turbos.

Porsche had 80°, Cosworth 120° turbo engines.

And not to forget the Renault RS23 with 111°

wuzak
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Re: Will manufacturers be interested in allowing a flat 6 en

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wesley123 wrote:
wuzak wrote:
Lycoming wrote:First of all, the advantage of low center of mass cannot be realized as the rules specify a minimum center of gravity height, among many other things.
Also, the cylinder banks of the flat 6 will have to be raised to give room to the exhaust between the engine and the flat floor. On the V6s the bottom of the crankcase can sit in the step and there is still room for the exhausts.
Take a look at the Audi R18, this has the exhaust mounted the opposite way(on top/inside instead of the outside of the bank). That solution cleared a lot, and I mean a lot of space on each side in the sidepod.

You have to put the intake plenums on the lower side if you put the exhausts on the top - and they take up as much room.

The Audi engine is a wide angle vee, not a flat engine.

http://www.eurocarnews.com/media/pictor ... /12379.jpg

I'm sure that given the choice, and they were not, the engine manufacturers would have liked to have the exhaust in the vee.

wuzak
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Re: Will manufacturers be interested in allowing a flat 6 en

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matt21 wrote:
wesley123 wrote:IF the rules allowed it, allowed a more open rule set for engines I am sure engine builders would consider a flat 6, or a larger/smaller V. Too bad that the rules do not allowed it though.
If any configuration would be allowed, I would go for a 144°-V, as it provides the best CoG when considering the needed room for exhaust and intake systems.
matt21 wrote:
Tommy Cookers wrote:a V 5 then ?
Why a V5? I would stay with a V6.
The irregular firing order is not so important for comfort reasons.
But maybe you need individual crank throws for each cylinder n order to get a even exhaust flow distribution (pulses) for the best feed of the turbocharger. You could avoid this if we were allowed two turbos.

Porsche had 80°, Cosworth 120° turbo engines.

And not to forget the Renault RS23 with 111°
Surely the 120° V6 would give you the desired even firing intervals?

The Ferrari 126 turbo of the 1980s was also 120°

http://s1.aecdn.com/images/news/turboch ... 8108_5.jpg

aussiegman
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Re: Will manufacturers be interested in allowing a flat 6 en

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Excluding that the regs require a V6, if you had the choice I doubt a 180 degree flat / horizontally opposed / boxer engine would be chosen over V-configurations

That said, Ferrari have experience in flat or boxer engines from way back with the Testarossa and the F512 M as well as other 512 models so its not as if they couldn't handle the engineering.

Sure, a boxer have inherently smooth operation as well as provide a lower centre of gravity due to low profile and having the head and associated valve train and head monoblocks lower in the configuration.

However boxer engines bring with them some disadvantages in complexity, lubrication, ring scuffing/wear (personal experience) and case separation and movement which can manifest in "crank walk" (again personal experience with Porsche and Subaru engines).

This would only be made worse if it were used as a stressed member of the chassis/suspension and would require substantial block reinforcement and location to keep it as a unitary member.

All those considerations aside, if you were to use one as you had a clearance issue with the intake/exhaust and the flat floor, you could alway look to an unconventional design such as the prototype Lancia Rallye “Triflux” engine designed by Claudio Lombardi who later went on to Ferrari to head the F1 engine development. As per the pics below, the design has the intake in the centre of the head and the exhaust exit on either side.

Image
Image

Modified you could have a central intake and upward facing exhaust giving you clearance.

All hypothetical of course. :)
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wuzak
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Re: Will manufacturers be interested in allowing a flat 6 en

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That's all well and good, but the aincluded angle between the valves of modern 4v heads is less than 30 years ago, so it is unlikely that the space could be found for the intakes.

Ferrari already did that, with the 1967 312 F1 car.

http://a4.ec-images.myspacecdn.com/imag ... dd95/l.jpg