From Academic Kids

A Ford Cosworth DFV on a  JS11
A Ford Cosworth DFV on a Ligier JS11

Cosworth is now two companies, Cosworth Racing and Cosworth Technology; they split in 1998.

The original company was founded as a British racing engine maker, based in Northampton in 1958 by Mike Costin and Keith Duckworth.

Despite being an independent company Cosworth was supported by Ford and most of the Cosworth engines were branded Ford.

The company has been through a number of owners. United Engineering Industries (UEI) purchased the company in 1980; UEI were taken over by Carlton Communications in 1988. Vickers bought Cosworth in 1990. In 1998 Vickers sold the company to Volkswagen Group, who then signed a deal with Ford, which bought the racing division which had long always 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 sold CT to the Mahle Group in December 2004.

In September 2004, Ford announced that it was selling Cosworth Racing, along with its Jaguar Formula One team. On Nov. 15, 2004, the sale of Cosworth was completed, to Champ Car World Series owners Gerald Forsythe and Kevin Kalkhoven.



Association with Ford

Cosworth began manufacturing racing engines in 1959 by modifying the 1000 cc Ford Kent engine engine for Formula Junior. Cosworth began its associating with Lotus Cars by boring the Kent out to 1340 cc for the Lotus 7. 1.5 L and 1.6 L units were developed in 1963 for use in Formula B and sports car racing, as well as for powering the Lotus Cortina. The final evolution of the Cosworth-Kent, in 1965, was the MAE, when new rules where introduced in Formula 3 allowing 1000cc engines. The domination of this engine was absolute as long as the 1000cc regulation lasted. As Cosworth had some difficulty facing the demand, the MAE was mainly sold as a kit.

A year before, the SCA was introduced, a 1000cc engine based on a Ford Cortina 116E block that raced in Formula 2, and featured the first Cosworth design head. The Cortina engine was also the basis for the FVA, a F2 engine introduced in 1966, for the new 1.6 L engine rules. This engine dominated the category until 1971, and was also used in sports car racing in 1.8 L form as the FVC.

Cosworth also developed a 72° V10 for the Sauber Formula 1 team. It was rumored in the late 1990s that a manufacturer (Volvo Cars was the prime candidate) intended to use a road-going version of this engine in a production car.

One of the most successful and longest-lived projects of Cosworth has been its CART/Champ Car engine program. Starting in the 1970s, Cosworth developed a derivative of their DFV Formula 1 engine to fit Champ Car's 2.65 L turbocharged V8 formula. This engine, the DFX, quickly became the gold standard in Champ Car throughout the 1980s, until it was finally rendered obsolete by advancing technology. Cosworth subsequently designed a series of replacements, the X-series, beginning in 1992 with the XB. The XF, developed in 2000, was chosen as the spec engine for Champ Car in 2003, and will continue in that role at least through the 2005 season.

Cosworth was also a huge contender in the WRC Circuits. Using a 2litre turbocharged engine to power Ford Cosworth Sierras, Cosworth Escorts, and now Cosworth Focuses.

The DFV (Double Four Valve)

In 1967, Costin and Duckworth merged two four-cylinder FVA units into a single V8 engine, thus creating a legend in its own right, the DFV (Double Four Valve). It won on its first outing, at the 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, most teams just built a tub around a Cosworth DFV and a Hewland gearbox, and until 1983 won a record-holding 155 World Championship races.

Throughout the years, the DFV spawned a number of derivations. In 1968, Cosworth created a 2.5 L version for the Tasman Series, the DFW. In 1975, by destroking the engine to 2.65 L and adding two turbochargers, the DFX became the engine to run in Indycar racing, ending the reign of the Offenhauser, and maintaining that position until the late 80s. In 1981, the DFL was developed for sports car racing, in 3.3 L and 3.9 L form. Finally, the DFY was the last evolution of the DFV in F1, in 1982, with a shorter stroke and a DFL bore, thereby producing more power, but still unable to fight against the turbocharged cars of the day.

With Formula 1 going to the turbocharged route in 1986, Cosworth returned to the lower formulae preparing the DFV for the newly-created Formula 3000, with the instalation of a compulsory rev limiter, which scaled power back from 500 to 420 bhp. The DFV remained in this class until 1992. The DFV has recently been given a new lease life thanks to the interest in Classic F1 racing, which was given a World Championship status by the FIA in 2004.

In F1, a new DFV-based design was introduced for the new 3.5 L 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 won the 1989 Japanese GP with Alessandro Nannini in a Benetton, before being replaced by the new HB series. The DFR soldiered on in F1 with smaller teams until 1992. Ford also backed Cosworth with creating a new interim design for Indycar racing in the late 80s, the DFS, merging DFR technology into the aging DFX design, before creating the XB series.

Other projects

Cosworth has developed engines to be used in various GM cars, including the Chevrolet Vega, the Opel Ascona 400 and the Opel/Vauxhall Calibra V6.

Mercedes-Benz, Rolls-Royce, ARO and Audi also benefitted from Cosworth engine technology.


Cosworth F1 car

Cosworth's made an attempt at designing a full GP car in 1969. The car designed by Robin Herd used a original 4WD transmission (different from the Ferguson used by other cars and powered by a magnesium version of the DFV unit. The car was planned to drive at the 1969 British GP but it was silently withdrawn. When Herd left to form March the project was cancelled. The car is remenbered as one of the ugliest F1 car ever built

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