DIGITAL ENGINE
MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS
ELECTRONICS INNOVATION

FROM FORMULA 1 TO
BENTLEY / ROLLS ROYCE

UNRIVALED AUTOMOTIVE HISTORY

Zytek has an unrivalled history of digital engine management development and deployment in the highest tiers of motorsport.

When Zytek was formed in 1981, the business model adopted was electronics innovation in motorsport. From the outset, Zytek looked for new opportunities to enhance the control of complex mechanical assemblies via the use of 12V electronics.

Designing the First Microprocessor-Controlled Programmable Engine Management System for Formula 1

Initially, the focus was on internal combustion engines, and Zytek were soon tasked with designing the first digital, microprocessor-controlled, programmable engine management system for Formula 1. Designated as EMS-1 and working with Hart Racing Engines, Toleman Motorsport, and Ayrton Senna, the most notable result was a second-place at 1984 Monaco Grand Prix, in the rain, the race famously being stopped early due to the weather with Senna catching Prost for the race lead. This system was also deployed with the first Tom Walkinshaw motorsport-developed Jaguar XJRs.

EMS-2 (Motorsport) – Le Mans, Formula 1, British Touring Cars and F3000

EMS-2 followed, leading to one of Zytek’s most famous race wins. In 1988, Jaguar entered the World Sports Prototype Championship, with the XJR-9 and managed to secure 6 victories including the 24 hours of Le Mans. This system was also used in other race series including Formula 1 (Williams Judd), British Touring Cars (Andy Rouse Sierra Cosworth) and the start of the F3000 activities. 

The later EMS-2 platform was exclusively a motorsport system, being used again in Formula 1 in 1993-1994, with customers including Hart Racing Engines, Yamaha and Sauber/Ilmor. All engines in this era were V10, giving some of the most iconic sounds of grand prix racing.

EMS-2 (Road) – Jaguar Sport V12 XJRS

Significantly, the EMS-2 also marked the start of road car activities with the Jaguar Sport V12 XJRS.

 

EMS-3 (Road) – Jaguar XJ220 / V12 coupes, Aston Martin’s DB7, Bentley & Rolls Royce premium V8 turbo

The next platform was exclusively a road car system, EMS 3 being used for the Jaguar XJ220 and V12 coupes, plus for the first 18 months of Aston Martin’s DB7. This was also the first time the system was adopted for Bentley and Rolls Royce for their premium V8 turbo “6 ¾” cars from 1994 onwards.

EMS-4 – All F3000 projects 

The next significant hardware update, EMS-4, was used in all the later F3000 projects (where for 9 years, Zytek also had the contract for exclusive engine supply amassing over 900 scheduled rebuilds across a fleet of 80 engines with a  total fleet mileage of over 1.5 million miles). In addition, this system was used in all of Zytek’s Le Mans racing activities with its LMP2 chassis achieving victory in 2011 with Jota Sport. Finally, this system was used in all of the A1GP “World Cup of Motorsport” events for the first 4 years, powering the Zytek 3.4litre V8 engine and running alongside the Zytek electronic gearshift system.

EMS-5 – Bentley Road Car using the V8 turbo engine

The last system design, EMS5, was a 32-bit system and was utilised for the final run of Bentley road car projects using the V8 turbo engine. 

This was the last time a Zytek engine management system update would be seen until the emergence of a brand new engine control platform which debuted in V10 sports car from America. But that is a new story…

  • First digital engine management system in Formula 1
  • First Jaguar Le Mans victory since 1957
  • First engine management system to pass 1 million miles in motorsport

RELATED INNOVATION

Electric
Vehicles

We have been deeply involved in EV innovation and development since 1994, and are proud of a number of firsts, such as the first 6 in 1 drive system to reduce EV powertrain mass and complexity.

Hybrid Motorsport

We have an unrivalled history with the development of hybrid technology in motorsport, such as the first hybrid system to win its class in IMSA endurance racing.

Hybrid Road Vehicles

We have a rich history with the development of hybrid road cars, such as the first hybrid vehicle to be developed for production outside Japan.

Vehicle Electrification

Helping you at all stages of the vehicle electrification process, from initial design and modelling, to manufacturing and assembly, to testing at our in-house facilities and track.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

No, though cars are still running using Zytek electronics

Yes, and there are many cars that have benefitted from the motorsport attitude of “constantly striving for performance advantage”. These include products from Jaguar, Aston Martin, Bentley, Rolls Royce, and Dodge

Over the years, systems were used in both forms of motorsport, hence demonstrating ultimate performance and consistency

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