WORCESTER, UK - Rover and Cosworth Technology, joint developers of the 2.0-liter and 2.5-liter KV-6 engines for the new Rover 75, have extended their working relationship. The Cosworth castings operation at Worcester, UK, is supplying the aluminum blocks for 75 production.
The facility opened in 1996 when Cosworth won a contract to supply Jaguar with aluminum cylinder heads for the V-8 engine fitted in the XK8 sports car and sedan. The project required a $42 million investment.
Cosworth has developed special aluminum casting expertise out of its high-performance work with Formula One engines.
Among other things, the Cosworth process aims at achieving accurate core positioning, reduced machining time, minimal scrap, and high repeatability.
The Cosworth process is claimed to allow weight savings of 5-10 percent compared with conventional methods. It has been licensed to Ford, which built a new plant in Windsor, Ontario, in Canada producing 800,000 castings a year.
There are other licensees in Mexico and South Africa, and further discussion is under way with major manufacturers, according to Cosworth Technology joint chief executive David Bate.
The Rover 75 contract 'demonstrates our capability to play a significant role in a major vehicle program as a proven Tier 1 supplier,' Bate said.
The contract is also proof of Cosworth's independence under its new owner Audi, said Bate's fellow joint chief executive Klaus Blickle. Audi recently bought Cosworth Technology following the shake-out of the sale by Vickers of its automotive interests.
'When Audi acquired Cosworth Technology it was made clear that the organization's independence and ability to work for other major vehicle manufacturers would be a core element of its business strategy,' Blickle said.
'The market for aluminum engines is growing rapidly. There is enormous potential for the Cosworth Technology process worldwide, as this program with Rover illustrates.
'This is only the first of a number of major new relationships involving all of the capabilities of Cosworth Technology which we expect to forge in the months ahead with world players in the motor industry.'