Ferrari is Working on the Development of a New V-6 Engine
The long-awaited Ferrari V-6 is finally returningby Michael Fira, on
Ferrari is bringing back the V-6 for the first time since 1974 and, according to Chief Technical Officer Michael Leiters, hybridization is a big part of Maranello’s plans through 2022 when they plan to introduce the 488’s replacement, an even faster supercar and likely the new five-door Purosangue SUV.
Rumors regarding Ferrari’s reintroduction of its legendary Dino and, with it, the V-6 spring as far back as 2015, but little was heard from Ferrari on the subject since. Now, however, the Italian manufacturer has confirmed that a V-6 is in the works although it’s unclear what platform it will be mated with.
Ferrari offered some details about their plans over the next four years, underlining a clear desire for hybridization. The company is currently developing new mid- and front-engine platforms that welcome hybrid technology. “Ferrari will use hybridization to enhance performance and fun-to-drive,” Leiters pointed out. “We will also use it for fuel efficiency, obviously, but our main focus has to be performance and fun-to-drive.”
Given that the Italians want to see a 60-percent hybridization of their range by 2022, we can expect that many of the recently announced models will use hybrid technology. Enrico Galleria, who acts as Ferrari’s Chief of Marketing, told the press that plug-in hybrid technology will be first introduced on the front-engined cars that are part of the GT arm of the production line, as we’ve detailed previously in our Ferrari Monza coverage.
While we know that a fleet of new Ferraris are coming our way, with the earliest arrival scheduled for as early as next year, there is no LaFerrari replacement in the near future. We should look for a new top-tier, mid-engined thoroughbred to be set forth no sooner than 2023.
What We Know About the Ferrari V-6
Ferrari had everyone drooling the other day when they pulled the wraps off of their new Monza SP1 and SP2 Barchetta sports cars that headline a new arm in their lineup known as Icona. Indeed, more limited-production Icona cars are slated to come in the near future, but the Prancing Horse’s plan is far-reaching for its 2018-2022 cycle.
Louis Camilleri, the new CEO of Ferrari, announced that 15 new models are in store for the next half decade whilst Chief Technical Officer Micheal Leiters was quoted as saying that “we will develop a totally new V-6 family based on a very, very particular, innovative architecture with plenty of innovations regarding technologies and components.”
With hybridization also a big part of Ferrari’s plans, it’s possible that the new V-6 will be a hybrid, but it’s unclear what platform it will power.
Ferrari said that their new platforms will welcome such technology and they also announced a new supercar that will sit above the 488 in terms of performance. We can safely assume that won’t be where we’ll find the V-6, so we’re still waiting for that entry-level Ferrari two-seater or an economical GT of sorts.
The rumor mill on the rebirth of an affordable V6-powered Ferrari started rolling over a decade ago, former Ferrari R&D Chief Amedeo Felisa being a fan of this architecture. As recent as last year, Car Magazine was reporting on some pretty feisty figures for a new 2.9-liter, twin-turbocharged, V-6 that was good enough for 610 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. That would put it at just 50 horsepower under the power figure of the 488 that produces 661 horsepower out of its 3.9-liter twin-turbocharged V-8.
It was even suggested elsewhere that the new V-6 would be a flat-plane crank unit just like the V-8 which is highly unusual but not impossible.
Ferrari is, anyway, producing a V-6 as we speak, only it doesn’t power any Ferraris. The F160 engine is assembled by Ferrari for use in Maserati models such as the Ghibli or the Quattroporte. The 3.0-liter, twin-turbocharged engine develops anywhere between 350 horsepower and 430 horsepower in its multiple guises. Then there’s also the F154 V-6, a 2.9-liter engine that sits under the hood of the Giulia Quadrifoglio and the Stelvio Quadrifoglio. With its 510 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque it isn’t that far off the rumored “Dino V-6” and it’s also a distant relative of the F154 V-8 families that power the 488 and the top-tier Quattroporte GTS and Levante GTS and Trofeo models.
Ferrari’s push is clearly towards a cleaner range and, with hybridization being one way to tackle that goal, another is the introduction of a smaller capacity engine.
Ferrari is also developing a new dual-clutch gearbox for its next-gen platforms that will also welcome AWD besides hybrid powertrains.
This doesn’t mean, however, that the Purosangue will be an all-out SUV like Lamborghini’s Urus. CEO Camilleri stated explicitly that he doesn’t like to hear the SUV letters spoken in the same phrase with the name of the company that he runs. It has to be, then, a Panamera-conquering roomy coupe akin to the Pinin prototype built in 1980 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Pininfarina.
There are, decidedly so, more questions than answers after Ferrari’s recent announcements, but a few things are certain: the V12 isn’t going away – although it might not be naturally-aspirated in the future – and if there will be a new V6-powered Ferrari it will never look as good as the Dino 246 GT of yesteryear.
Read our full review on the 2016 Ferrari 488 GTB.
Read our full review on the 1969 - 1974 Ferrari Dino 246 GT.
Read our full review on the 1968 Ferrari Dino 206 GT.
Read our full speculative review on the new generation Ferrari Dino.