Volkswagen Almost Entered F1 in the 1980s With a VR8 Turbo Engine

Volkswagen Almost Entered F1 in the 1980s With a VR8 Turbo Engine

The Brabham BT55 at Interlagos during the 1986 Brazilian Grand Prix

The minimal-back Brabham that the Volkswagen F1 cars and trucks would have resembled.
Photo: Michael King (Getty Visuals)

Two of the biggest tales of this year’s Method 1 season have revolved new suppliers coming into the planet championship for the 2026 period. Audi announced its entry, partnering with Sauber for its factory crew. Porsche arrived shut to finalizing a deal to spouse with Pink Bull Racing prior to negotiations collapsed. Equally Volkswagen Group maker has long gone Grand Prix racing before. However, neither automaker was less than Volkswagen ownership when they final appeared on racing’s most prestigious stage.

Motor Sport has a tale about Volkswagen’s canceled 1980s F1 task in its December 2022 situation. During the enhancement of the VR6 engine, VW severely deemed upscaling the principle to 8 cylinders for a Formula 1 motor vehicle. The tale is largely recalled by Peter Hofbauer, Volkswagen’s then-head of powertrain improvement. The 1.5-liter turbocharged VR8 engine concept was shopped to Judd, as a potential technical husband or wife, and a handful of probable buyer groups. Like several tales all around secretive F1 projects, there are a good deal of discussions in paddocks, upscale restaurants and boardrooms.

Hofbauer thinks that the slim-angle vee motor conceived for a transverse software in a hatchback could have been productively used to F1.

“The output of a large-ability engine arrives from the velocity at which you can run it — and the more compact the cylinder the quicker you can operate it,” he states. “This VR8, an eight cylinder with only a person head with these stacked cylinders, would give you an enormously compact and mild device, so the ability-body weight ratio would be outstanding. The electricity density is the key selection listed here.”

A VR8 F1 engine would have had a large centre of gravity had it been mounted upright in the car or truck. Hofbauer points out that this was by no means the intention. It would have been canted above in the way that BMW did with its straight 4 in a line of Brabham Components 1 vehicles. He also hints at a extra serious arrangement that would most most likely have pre-dated Brabham’s small-line BT55 of 1986.

Sad to say, Volkswagen’s finalized VR8 F1 engine never even arrived at the dyno. The venture was scrapped due to the fact the output VR program was delayed. The VR6 would be applied in VW’s highway cars and trucks commencing in 1991 immediately after Formula 1 banned turbocharged engines. Like a large amount of opportunities in System 1, occasionally it just will come down to timing.

Be absolutely sure to study the comprehensive tale of Volkswagen’s 1st attempt to sign up for the F1 grid listed here.