Home  »  Car Racing  »  Features  »  Videos

Video: Behind the Scenes with the Cosworth DFV

Submitted by on June 14, 2016

Jim Clark 1967 Mexican Grand Prix

Jim Clark in the Ford Cosworth DFV-powered Lotus 49 during the 1967 Mexican Grand Prix. Pole position, fastest lap and the win. Thanks to the Cahier Archive.

“Every firing stroke, of which there are 92 per cylinder per second, is a force of about seven tonnes on the piston.”

Enjoy this fascinating behind the scenes look into one of Formula 1’s most competitive, ubiquitous and enduring engine designs – the Cosworth DFV V8.

Originally developed for Team Lotus, where Colin Chapman integrated it, literally, into his ground breaking Lotus 49, the Cosworth DFV was used in Formula 1 for nearly two decades. And it was fiercely competitive for most of them. It was not until the turbo era spooled up in the early ’80s that the DFV lost its competitive edge and teams moved to forced induction.

The engine, and the Lotus 49, debuted in the 1967 Dutch Grand Prix. Graham Hill, who had some experience in the car, put it straight onto pole. However, he would leave the race just eleven laps in, leaving his teammate, a young Jim Clark, to climb through the field to win from eighth on the grid. Thus the Lotus 49 and Ford Cosworth DFV would win their first race at the hands of Jim Clark, who was driving the car for the first time!

Some ten years later came the emergence of ground effects in Formula 1, and the Cosworth DFV would be back in a big way. Its V design and narrow crankcase left plenty of space on either side of the engine for Venturi tunnels to run. Ground effects would change the course of the sport and allow the DFV to outperform the flat 12s of Ferrari and Alfa Romeo, adding a handful more drivers’ and constructors’ titles to its resume.

It’s in this era that this wonderful film picks up, going into wonderful detail of the engineering of the Cosworth DFV, its construction and use, as well as why it was so competitive. It’s great fun – hit play, and enjoy!

Don't miss out! Our best stories, direct to your inbox!


Sign up now - it's free, weekly, and spam-free.