In this paper, a comparison has been carried out between two Formula 1 engine architectures: a traditional V12 and a 12 cylinder with three banks and one crankshaft, which will be referred to from here on as W12. This comparison is made in terms of geometrical features, as well as in terms of safety coefficients, torsional stiffness, state of balance and friction losses.
The W12's crankshaft is 158 mm shorter and stiffer than the V12's. Furthermore, this crankshaft is simpler and lighter. The W12 engine front section is wider. The crankshaft of the W12 has a minimum safety factor that is 30% lower than the V12's under the same operating conditions (18000 rpm, bmep=13 bar). While the V12 is perfectly self-balanced, the secondary forces are out of balance in the W12's crankshaft. This unbalance is, however, no more critical than the one occurring in a V10 or V8. Friction losses in the W12 should be slightly lower in comparison to the V12.