Breathe Easy, Purists – Ferrari Won’t Turbocharge Its V-12 Engines
… it will, however, turn them into hybridsby Jonathan Lopez, on
Ferraris and naturally aspirated V-12 engines. It’s like peanut butter and jelly, milk and cookies, social media and baseless political rants – some things just go together. Unfortunately, with rising pressure to reduce emissions and increase average efficiency, the N/A Ferrari V-12 is looking a bit like a square peg headed for a round hole. After all, consider what happened to the Prancing Horse’s V-8’s – the displacement went down and the boost went up, and while the net result was more power and more speed, the purists were quick to cry foul. Luckily, the Ferrari V-12 won’t be getting forced induction anytime soon, if Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne is to be believed.
“We will always offer a V-12,” Marchionne recently told Autocar. “Our head of engine programs told me it would be absolutely nuts to [put a] turbocharger on the V-12, so the answer is no. It [will be] naturally aspirated, with a hybrid [system].” That’s great news for anyone fearful that a pair of turbines might spoil the V-12’s inherently quick throttle response and soaring engine note, but that last bit about hybridization might raise a few eyebrows. Read on to learn why it shouldn’t.
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Why It Matters
So then. No turbos. That’s good! But hybridization? That’s bad… right?
Wrong. Hybridization is actually a very, very good thing. Let me explain.
Hybridization is actually a very, very good thing.
First up – hybrid technology has the potential to add more of that high-performance magic we enthusiasts are always raving about. Let’s take a look at Ferrari’s current hybrid V-12 as an example – the LaFerrari. With a 6.3-liter gas-drinker as the main attraction and a Formula 1-derived hybrid system playing backup, the LaFerrari manages 949 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque at the rear axle, good enough for a run to 60 mph in 2.4 seconds and a top speed over 217 mph. All without turbochargers. And, it should be noted, all that output and performance arrives with even more of the immediate throttle response that we’re looking for, all thanks to the electrical enhancement.
This is the way forward for Ferrari, as confirmed by Marchionne. “The objective of having hybrid and electrics in cars like this is not the traditional objective that most people would have,” he said. “We’re not trying to make two targets. We’re really trying to improve the performance on the track.”
Long story short – the technology will evolve, which means enthusiasts win. So stop fretting about getting shuttled around in soulless autonomous transportation bubbles and never again hearing the siren call of an all-atmosphere Italian V-12. Ferrari ain’t going out like that.
What do you think? Are you excited about the prospect of further N/A hybrid V-12’s from Ferrari? Or are turbos a perfectly viable alternative? Let us know in the comments.