I have been wondering for years now about the engine of the AMG F1 car, when the car first started racing in 2014 it had more power than any other car and was more fuel efficient as well. Which makes no sense. Anyways, a year went by and in 2015 there were rumours going around that they are using a prechamber combustion engine. I have been searching for 2 years now to see what this is with no luck. Fortunately the March issue of Car And Driver explained where the technology comes from and how it works. So I thought I put it up here in case others are interested as well. In F1 racing, the only restriction on fuel is that the car can only use 105kg per race, so there are millions of dollars invested in adding additives into the fuel to maximize the energy extracted.
Turbulent Jet Ignition
“Exactly what goes on under carbon-fiber shell of a Formula 1 car is a matter of guesswork for observers, but they should know that it’s all about saving fuel. For a while last season, rumors persisted that Mercedes AMG Petronas, among others, was using homogeneous-charge compression ignition, or, essentially, combusting gasoline as if it were diesel under certain conditions and as a spark-ignited engine the rest of the time. Then it emerged that the team was actually onto something new, called Turbulent Jet Ignition, which extracts more energy from fuel similar to Honda’s old Compound Vortex Controlled Combustion from the 1970s. For now, this is racing-only tech, since at the much lower speeds and power loads that road cars run, the combustion isn’t stable. “
MAHLE Powertrain Jet Ignition
1 TJI engines have a small prechamber above the combustion chamber where both an injector and a small spark plug are nestled together.
2 A conventional injector sprays most of the fuel during the intake stroke. The remaining 5 percent or so is sprayed into the prechamber by the secondary injector, yielding a super-rich mixture that’s easily ignited by the spark plug.
3 Burning fuel exiting the prechamber through four to eight tiny orifices initiates combustion of the main fuel-air charge. The resulting flame front spreads quickly through the combustion chamber, allowing a much leaner overall mixture and improved fuel efficiency.” March/2017 Car And Driver
The cat is out of the bag.