Ferrari Will Not Turbocharge V-12s Any Time Soon
Despite the current "turbocharge everything" trend, followed by Ferrari itself with cars like the California T and the new 488 GTB, Ferrari isn’t yet ready to forget about its naturally aspirated engines. At least not when it comes to screaming V-12s, a prerequisite of almost every Ferrari halo model since the company started making road cars. According to a recent report by Autocar that quotes a mysterious Ferrari insider, the Italian sports car maker will prolong its naturally aspirated V-12 era with a little help from electric motors.
More specifically, the much-anticipated 48-volt electrical systems that a number of German carmakers like Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz are currently preparing, will abet Ferrari’s new predilection for mild hybrids. In short, the company’s upcoming V-12 engines will not be augmented by turbochargers for better fuel economy, but will get more oomph and improved efficiency courtesy of electric motors. "There will be no turbos on our V12s. Expect instead to see 48-volt systems on the next generation." the unnamed Ferrari insider told Autocar.
Take it with a pinch of salt, since the information hasn’t been verified by an official source, although the idea does make sense and the technology is imminent. A mild hybrid system would keep the high-revving nature of the big Ferrari V-12s, while also adding extra go at lower revs and improved fuel economy – the best of both worlds.
Continue reading to learn more about Ferrari’s V-12 engines.
Why it matters
Ferrari has been synonymous with naturally aspirated V-12 engines since almost forever. Even its first road model, the 125 Sport, was powered by a tiny, 1.5-liter, V-12 designed by the famous Gioachinno Colombo. More than a dozen Ferrari models have featured the configuration since then, so replacing them with turbocharged and downsized engines with fewer cylinders was not a very pleasing prospect.
But with the advent of more efficient electric motors and battery systems, Ferrari will work on two fronts to preserve the internal combustion engine as a means of propulsion. The first step was already taken with the turbocharged California T and the 488 GTB, but the LaFerrari provided enough know-how that the carmaker is also taking the hybrid route. Frankly, I can’t wait to see what they come up with in both areas, although I’m leaning more toward the hybrid V-12.
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