Prodrive to buy Cosworth?


Prodrive is weighing up the possibility of buying F1 engine supplier (and occasional fuel pump builder) Cosworth, owner David Richards has said.

The iconic business is up for sale after its US owners failed to float the firm on the stock market. Cosworth is also facing uncertainty over its customers in Formula 1 beyond 2013. Currently it supplies HRT and Marussia.

“We've just started to take a look at Cosworth although I think they have rather over-priced themselves. Nonetheless, worth a look," Richards told the Daily Mail. It's not been revealed what the asking price is, but "senior motorsport sources" quoted by the Mail put it at £40m.

Deal could update V12 first seen in this
Deal could update V12 first seen in this
Prodrive has long harboured ambitions to return to Formula 1 following its stint running BAR early last decade. It even won a place on the 2008 grid, but subsequently didn't take it up.

It's not just F1 that could be interesting to Richards. As chairman of Aston Martin he may well be keen to make Prodrive an engine customer of the firm.

There's already a Cosworth link in that the powertrain division of Mahle, the German engineering giant that makes V12 blocks for Aston, was formed out of the other Cosworth when they bought it from Audi back in 2004. Prior to that Cosworth designed and made V12 engines for Aston.

1968 Lotus powered by famed Cosworth V8
1968 Lotus powered by famed Cosworth V8
All very confusing (and possibly not relevant!) but the original firm founded by Mike Costin and Keith Duckworth back in 1958 was split after Audi bought it from Vickers in 1998.

Almost immediately Audi hived off the F1 division and sold it to long-term Cosworth sugardaddy Ford, who used the accumulated knowhow to embark on a largely disappointing F1 career via Jaguar, before selling it to Champ Car World Series owners Gerald Forsythe and Kevin Kalkhoven, also in 2004.

Cosworth is no lame duck [is that a joke? - Ed] despite its current problems. Last year it made £3.9m in after-tax profits and has interests outside its core engine business in defence and aerospace.

Would be great to see it back in British hands and steered by someone with Richards' deft touch when it comes to iconic brands.

P.H. O'meter

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Comments (40) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Scuderia2112 13 Nov 2012

    Scuffers said:
    way I see it, Cosworth bit that's left is just slapping F1 engines together, and after 2013, won;t have any customers left in F1 (unless they can come up with a complete new engine/drivetrain/Kers in a hurry).

    the Cosworth of old that did the road car stuff is now MPT.

    Can't see where the future of Cosworth is now, Prodrive will just want the name, (and maybe a little bit of the defence development stuff), but you can be sure Dave Richards will not want to pay much for it, and if they do buy it, most will be let go fast.
    Unless they find a buyer, whatever iteration of Cosworth that is left building F1 engines will be finished. They say they can build a new engine in time but they have been getting rid of engine builders and have been a shadow of their former self for many years. They have bills they can't pay, engines they can't finish, and I can only hope they find a buyer soon.

  • whiteangel 13 Nov 2012

    Scuffers said:
    way I see it, Cosworth bit that's left is just slapping F1 engines together, and after 2013, won;t have any customers left in F1 (unless they can come up with a complete new engine/drivetrain/Kers in a hurry).

    the Cosworth of old that did the road car stuff is now MPT.

    Can't see where the future of Cosworth is now, Prodrive will just want the name, (and maybe a little bit of the defence development stuff), but you can be sure Dave Richards will not want to pay much for it, and if they do buy it, most will be let go fast.
    Don't wish to be rude but Cosworth don't just slap engines together, Cosworth is very big in high end electronics in many areas.

    They have been based just outside of Cambridge for years and this is the brains hub of the company. From what I have heard they are doing well and are staying put.

  • Spuggy 30 Oct 2012

    TinDuck

  • 350Matt 29 Oct 2012

    Scuffers said:
    way I see it, Cosworth bit that's left is just slapping F1 engines together, and after 2013, won;t have any customers left in F1 (unless they can come up with a complete new engine/drivetrain/Kers in a hurry).

    the Cosworth of old that did the road car stuff is now MPT.

    Can't see where the future of Cosworth is now, Prodrive will just want the name, (and maybe a little bit of the defence development stuff), but you can be sure Dave Richards will not want to pay much for it, and if they do buy it, most will be let go fast.
    recently done the aston 1-77 engine

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive/article-12...

    and does Lotus' race engines for GT

    http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/motorsport/coswo...

    as well as F1

    and Jag's CX-75 engine too

    http://www.auto-types.com/autonews/jaguar-forced-t...

    and the defence stuff too

    http://www.cosworth.com/defence/

    Subaru CS400

    http://www.cosworth.com/automotive/special-perform...

    so there's life in the old dog yet....

  • b0rk 28 Oct 2012

    Surely the future of Cosworth is question of defence/aerospace vs automotive if the business is to sold as one unit and not split.

    The automotive stuff F1 excluded is surely only electronics, modified Duratec engines and improved circa 2004 - 2008 Subaru/Mitsubishi/Nissan/Toyota engine parts developed for previous motorsport programmes. All good stuff but hardly good for long term viability.

    The defence and aerospace stuff seems from what little is publicised to be much more cutting edge, as question does this now form the bulk of Cosworth revenue?

    Personally I expect the company to split in two with the defence/aerospace side going to an existing partner, supplier or customer and the automotive side ending up being sold for relatively little to the likes of Prodrive, Ricardo etc.. more for branding/marketing then a desire to build the company.

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