The F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost will continue to push the boundaries of engine technology advancement with the evaluation of 3-cylinder EcoBoost mild-Hybrid power ahead of a possible future introduction into the highly successful series.
In a partnership between championship stakeholders RacingLine, Neil Brown Engineering, Mygale and technical guidance from Ford, the announcement marks the first time that electrification technology has featured in an FIA-certified junior single-seater championship car.
An F4 demonstrator car fitted with the multiple industry award-winning 1.0-litre, 3-cylinder EcoBoost engine and a 48v mild-hybrid system will be run through a thorough evaluation and development programme scheduled through 2020.
The addition of hybrid technology will offer exciting new opportunities for how the car is driven, including electric assist to the engine and the possibility of electric-only low speed driving.
Hybridization has enabled further downsizing of the engine without sacrificing power or driveability. At 155PS in road trim, the mild hybrid variant of the 3-cyinder 1.0L EcoBoost engine – the recipient of eleven consecutive International Engine of the Year Awards – already meets the power cap permitted by FIA regulations.
The F4 mild-hybrid demonstrator will be on display at the Ford Race Centre at this year’s season finale at Brands Hatch on 12-13 October, 2019 and updates will be provided by championship organisers RacingLine throughout 2020 as the evaluation and development activities proceed.
Ford recently committed to the introduction of 17 new hybrid and electric models in Europe, including passenger cars, commercial vehicles and Sports Utility Vehicles.
The manufacturer also announced that every new vehicle launched in the future will be offered with a mild-hybrid, hybrid, plug-in hybrid or battery-electric powertrain option.
“I’m delighted to see electrification now combined with continued development of EcoBoost technology within the F4 British Championship, with this mild hybrid project being the latest advancement,” said Gerard Quinn, Ford Performance Europe’s Senior Manager.
“Consistent with what we have done in this grassroots level of motor racing for the past 50 years, we have brought our mainstream engine technology to the race track.
“The 1.0-litre, 3 cylinder EcoBoost engine made its rally debut in the Ford Fiesta R2 as the backbone of the FIA Junior WRC Championship, but this is the first time that electrification technology has been applied to a junior single-seater championship car anywhere in the world at this level.
“The engine itself crosses the entire Ford range. Eleven International Engine of the Year Awards speaks volumes about the quality and regard in which it is held, and with the recent launch of the Transit Custom Plug-In Hybrid, the power unit can now be found powering everything from passenger cars through to commercial vehicles.
“The addition of hybrid technology to powertrains is key for Ford, with a continued commitment to deliver new, environmentally sustainable vehicles that continue to address the parallel challenges of fuel economy and air quality”.
“We look forward to the development process and I’m confident the EcoBoost Hybrid will mark an exciting new chapter in Ford’s long-standing association with the UK’s single-seater racing scene.”
Championship Promoter Sam Roach also underlined his delight at the concept, which marks an exciting new development in the relationship between the series’ stakeholders and Ford.
“It’s fantastic to see this latest development in our relationship with Ford and the EcoBoost technology,” said Roach.
“The concept fully supports our philosophy of providing the next generation of motorsport stars with a modern technology-relevant platform on which to learn their craft.
“It’s clear to see hybrid technology is entering motorsport and we want to be able to introduce drivers to it at an early stage in their careers.
“The credentials of the engine itself speak for themselves – an unprecedented eleven International Engine of the Year awards – and Ford have an incredibly strong record of bringing their most popular production car engines into motorsport over the past half-century.
“We look forward with interest to the evaluation process and hopefully the introduction of the EcoBoost Hybrid into the F4 British Championship in the not so distant future.”