The powerplant embraces the FIA's new rules that come into effect next season, which will see the cars switch from a 2.4-litre naturally aspirated V8 to a turbocharged 1.6-litre V6 supported by an electric motor in the pursuit of improved efficiency and reduced fuel consumption.
The new direct-injection 1.6-litre Renault engine, which features a single turbocharger and a single exhaust outlet, has a rev limit of 15,000rpm (3000rpm lower than the outgoing V8) and will produce around 600hp (447kW).
While that’s down roughly 100kW on the output of today’s V8s, an additional 120kW is delivered by the electric motor, officially dubbed ‘MGU-K’ (motor generator unit kinetic). It is connected to the crankshaft and accesses kinetic and thermal energy from an energy store and another MGU that is connected to the turbocharger.
Compared with the KERS of the current 2013 cars, the energy recovery system (ERS) of the 2014 power unit has twice the power and a performance effect 10 times greater.
The new rules will see cars limited to just 100kg of fuel per race, expected to reduce fuel consumption by an average of 35 per cent, while a new fuel-flow limit of 100kg/h will see a reduction of roughly 40 per cent.
The power units will also need to be more durable than their predecessors, with drivers permitted just five per year compared with eight in 2013.
Renault began designing its new power unit more than two years ago, first testing single engine cylinders before developing the ERS and this month running the complete power unit on a dyno for the first time.
The power unit will hit the track for testing in January ahead of its debut in the first round of the 2014 Formula One World Championship in March.