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  Article Image gallery (30) 43/1 Specifications  
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Country of origin:Great Britain
Produced from:1966 - 1967
Numbers built:2
Designed by:Maurice Philippe and Colin Chapman
Predecessor:Lotus 33 Climax
Successor:Lotus 49 Cosworth
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:September 25, 2013
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Click here to download printer friendly versionDue to extensive rule changes, defending Formula 1 World Champions Team Lotus started the 1966 season very much on the back foot. Over the winter the displacement limit was doubled to three litres and the team's existing engine supplier Coventry Climax had been unwilling and/or unable to develop a new engine to suit the new regulations.

While rivals Brabham and Cooper switched to Repco and Maserati engines respectively, Lotus' Colin Chapman felt his best option was to wait for the all-new BRM 16-cylinder due in the second half of 1966. This did force the team to start the year with the existing Type 33, powered by a two-litre version of the Coventry Climax V8. Meanwhile the new Type 43 was being developed to accept the highly anticipated BRM P75 engine.

BRM's engineers had found a seemingly simple solution to create the new three-litre engine; fold two existing 1.5-litre engines flat and stack them to create an H16. In theory this could result in a considerable reduction of resources and development time as components like camshafts, valves and pistons could all be carried over. Needless to say, it was not quite this easy and in fact what was actually BRM's second sixteen-cylinder engine has gone into history as one of the most complex ever built.

One of the main problems of the H16 was the sheer number of parts used to build the engine. Each of the two flat eights were complete engines with four camshafts, sixteen valves and a crankshaft. The two crankshafts were connected to a single output shaft by gears at the rear of the engine. An advantage of the design was its relatively short length, although it was wider than conventional V-shaped engines. BRM estimated the new H16 could produce around 425 bhp at over 10,000 rpm.

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  Article Image gallery (30) 43/1 Specifications