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MotoGP, Risse (KTM) won't rule out an inline 4 for the 2027 engine

Regulation changes open up new possibilities, the Austrian company's tchnical director: "What I can say is that we have already decided on an engine concept, but I can't reveal what it is today."

MotoGP: Risse (KTM) won't rule out an inline 4 for the 2027 engine

When the rules of the game change in motorsport, it is always the perfect time for a gamble, to try new paths and perhaps push experimentation to even higher levels. In 2027 the rules will change in MotoGP, and engineers are obviously already hard at work at least outlining the technical issues to be addressed given the changes that will be there. With the lowering devices eliminated and aerodynamics limited, the engine will undergo a reduction in displacement from 1000 cc to 850 cc.

Currently four Manufacturers use a V4, with only Yamaha remaining tied to an inline 4, which Suzuki also fielded before retiring. But something could change because as KTM's Technical Director explained to our Speedweek colleagues, the new regulations are fertile ground for an eventual change of pace. Risse also explained how engine performance will change.

"If we use the parameters now set as a basis for calculation, the 850s will produce about 30-40 hp less," Risse explained, "It is true that from 2027 there will still be 20 liters available for a GP and 11 liters for a sprint. The issue of fuel in general is not trivial at all, also because then we will use purely non-fossil fuels. And it has not yet been tested to what extent fuel consumption will change with the new fuel specifications."

No other engine partitioning was evaluated, sticking with the 4-cylinder is the only option for designers.
"Everyone agreed to keep the current four-cylinder base used by all the Manufacturers, which still allows for differentiation. What everyone involved did not want was for it to come down to layouts that were too different."

Then he explained that KTM were open to an unprecedented layout.
"It definitely makes sense to look at other versions of the four-cylinder engine. I wouldn't rule out an inline four. What I can say is that we have already decided on an engine concept, but I cannot reveal what it is today."

It would undoubtedly be a momentous change for KTM and also an important signal regarding the future of manufacturers like Yamaha, which has always believed in the inline four even when the performance of competing V4 engines outclassed the M1 in terms of power and top speed. Perhaps these new rules will bring about more changes than initially thought.


Translated by Julian Thomas

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