Turbo V6 for next Ferrari 458

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. 

P.H. O'meter

Join the PH rating wars with your marks out of 10 for the article (Your ratings will be shown in your profile if you have one!)

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
Rate this article

Comments (89) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Schermerhorn 30 Apr 2014

    OlberJ said:
    Turbo engines can't scream. The turbos make sure of that frown
    Unfortunately, unless you start messing with the exhaust profiles and raising the rev limits. The latter being a problem due to the emissions regulations and defeats the point of turbo charging in the first place.

  • matrignano 30 Apr 2014

    Was going to say - no way they'd use a turbo V8 in the California and a mere V6 in the 458's successor.
    What about a development of the existing V8 with KERS technology?

  • vz-r_dave 30 Apr 2014

    Wonder if they will use the same 'Cool' in cabin sound generator's that BMW are using in their 6 cylinder 1 series?

    How will they justify the price tag of a 458 if it has the same engine (effectively) as a 40k saloon? The California has opened the flood gates, it's all down hill from here on.

  • JDMDrifter 30 Apr 2014

    We all knew it was coming, it will be very sad to see the NA v8 go from Ferrari. But with all the crippling emission regs around now they are a dying breed. Hopefully the V6 will be masterpiece smile

  • binnerboy 30 Apr 2014

    cmoose said:
    Behemoth said:
    Don't be silly. Nobody is trying to compare a great car with a mediocre car here. That much should go without saying.

    Two objects that are similar in quality and of great complexity cannot easily be divided. Take two great pieces of architecture. Two great films. Two great works of art. And two great cars.


    You are in a reductionist world. You think everything can be measured and decided once and for all, for all concerned. It cannot. It is subjective. It is opinions. All judgements are biased since the choice of evidence itself is biased, not to mention the measurement of that evidence.

    The fun is in the argumentation. Let people be entitled to their opinions and draw the evidence out.

    Ah, but there's nothing subtle and nuanced, for instance, about manual vs robo-box, is there? So I think aspects like that can be reasonably discussed in an objective manner.

    And I don't think literally everything can be reduced. But do basically object to the idea of giving up trying to work out what's better just because it's a bit complicated or for fear of infringing everyone's right to have an opinion of equal value.
    read this


    gives an interesting perspective, I agree with Behemoth, whilst it may possible to objectively compare speed, fuel consumption, weight, etc when it comes to deciding what better means then subjectivity comes into play. There is no single objective definition of what better is , it entirely depends on the person, and is therefore subjective. Exchanging opinions is where the fun is just accept there is no right and wrong, just opinion.

View all comments in the forums Make a comment