Tuesday 14th May 2013


TURBO V6 FOR NEXT FERRARI 458

458's successor to get F1-inspired engine tech but not carbon construction, says Ferrari


Last week’s Formula Ferrari presentation didn’t have a whole lot of talk of cars but CEO Amedeo Felisa did let slip one important hint about the replacement for the celebrated 458 Italia adopting a turbocharged V6.

V6 tech could trickle down from next F1 car
V6 tech could trickle down from next F1 car
OK, he didn’t say so in as many words, but given the importance Ferrari is placing on green tech – Felisa saying half of the 250m-euro R&D budget for the next five years is going on emissions and efficiency measures – you’d have to expect even Ferrari is feeling the pressure for engine downsizing. He also said that the trickle-down of F1 technology into road cars traditionally takes four to five years.

Extrapolating that to the current Ferrari range, and considering the pending introduction of forced induction V6s to F1 next year, could Ferrari really consider dumping signature screaming normally aspirated V8s for smaller turbocharged V6s? Well, pressures from legislators are only going to go one way, and such high-revving engines are notoriously ill-suited to the official tests for emissions and fuel consumption.

208GTB shows previous with this sort of thing
208GTB shows previous with this sort of thing
Ferrari has been there before of course, sleeving down the 308 GTB and creating the turbocharged 2.0-litre turbocharged V8 208 to duck under the same Italian tax barrier that gave us the E30 BMW 320iS. And the 288 GTO and F40 prove that it’s more than able to give forced-induction engines the necessary thrill factor we all expect. Add into that the additional 250 workers Ferrari is taking on to build the twin-turbo V6s for the Maserati Ghibli and the production lines already full of this engine and it’s not hard to see where this could be heading.

Ferrari pointed toward paddleshifter gearboxes, hydroformed exhaust manifolds, wheel-mounted manettinos, launch control and other technology that’s made the leap from F1 to forecourt in recent years; who’s to doubt that turbos will too?

Ghibli's V6 seems like an ideal candidate
Ghibli's V6 seems like an ideal candidate
V6 or not, the 458’s replacement is unlikely to be built of carbon fibre, Ferrari’s GT cars boss Roberto Fedeli telling us that, following the aero industry’s step away from carbon and back to aluminium and the company’s own expertise with the material, it’ll remain at the core of future Ferraris. Furthermore, mass-produced structural carbon fibre still has some way to go, he says, the fact ‘productionised’ techniques tend to use larger quantities of material more or less wiping out any supposed weight advantages in his view.

An interesting comparison with McLaren, for whom this technology is, literally, at the heart of its cars. Sadly before we were able to discuss this comparison further with Fedeli a crack Ferrari PR SWAT team caught wind and swiftly extracted him from the conversation, before guiding us towards a presentation about expensive silk clothing with embroidered prancing horse logos. 

Author: Dan Trent
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