Japanese engine builder Honda has used the eve of its home Grand Prix to release the first image of the power unit it will use to compete in next year’s Formula 1 World Championship.

The outfit will reunite with McLaren, reviving a partnership between the carmaker and team that netted it four successive Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championship lockouts between 1988-91.

As part of this ‘sneak peek’ image, Honda will also showcase a film to the media at this weekend’s race at Suzuka, ahead of a worldwide release on the Monday after the race. The film is said to showcase the power unit under development, which will include audio of the V6 motor.

“Working toward Honda’s F1 participation starting in the 2015 season, development of the power unit is entering its prime phase at our R&D facility in Sakura [in Japan], where we transferred our automobile motor sports development earlier this year,” explained Yasuhisa Arai, Senior Managing Officer of Honda and head of its F1 project.

“In addition to conducting simulations, we have moved onto the next stage where we conduct full-fledged bench tests of the engine while connecting the turbocharger and energy recovery systems.

“In the meantime, our racing operation base in Milton Keynes, United Kingdom, has become fully operational.

“At this time, we are unveiling an image of our power unit that is under development. The whole team is concentrating on this development, getting ready for the forthcoming start of F1 participation in six months.”

Honda is yet to confirm when its power unit will get its first on-track running. McLaren has refused to rule out the prospect of running a private test session after the Abu Dhabi season finale ahead of its 2015 pre-season campaign.

Honda will supply its power units exclusively to McLaren for the 2015 season, but has admitted that it would consider offering customer units from 2016 onwards.

Image via Honda

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.