Ford Motor Co. and Cosworth Engineering of England announce a partnership to produce a Grand Prix racing engine on Dec. 9, 1983.
“This is by no means a one-engine program,” Michael Kranefuss, Ford’s then director of motorsports, said when the partnership was announced. “We expect it to provide important long-term consumer benefits in the areas of fuel economy, engine durability and efficiency. Motorsport is an important part of the program because we feel race and rally development does improve the breed.”
It was not the first time that Cosworth and Ford had worked together.
The companies had collaborated in the early 1960s when Cosworth was consulted on camshaft and manifold design for the original Ford Cortina GT.
In 1966, one of Cosworth’s founders, Keith Duckworth, partnered with Ford to create a 3.0-liter Formula One engine, the DFV. Race cars powered by the engine went on to win 155 races in 15 years.
In 1994, when Ford invested $145 million in its Windsor, Ontario, plant to produce high-volume aluminum cylinder heads and engine blocks for lightweight V-6 and V-8 engines, the company tapped Cosworth Castings technology, Automotive News reported at the time.
Developed for racing and dubbed the “Cosworth process,” the technology featured the bottom-filling of molds and more thermally stable Zircon sand, which was 20 times as expensive as conventional sand.
The mold was rotated upside down to ensure that it was completely filled with molten metal. The process allowed for the mold to be quickly removed from the pump that fills the mold, increasing the cycle rate and improving productivity.
In 1995, Automotive News examined two engines at Ford -- the Cosworth 2.65-liter V-8 XB, which was used in IndyCar racing, and the production 4.6-liter V-8, which was featured in the Lincoln Mark VIII.
The Cosworth-designed race engine boasted more than 800 hp at 13,000 rpm while the Mark VIII’s engine pumped out 280 hp at 5,500 rpm. Despite differences in performance and purpose, the engines shared a similar architecture: all-aluminum, double-overhead camshaft V-8 with a 90-degree bank angle.
In 1988, Ford bought Cosworth and its electronics division, Pi Research, and the two companies became engine and electronics suppliers to the Stewart Grand Prix Formula One team and its successor, Jaguar Racing.
Ford owned Cosworth until 2004 when it was sold to Jerry Forsythe and Kevin Kalkhoven, co-owners of the Champ Car World Series.