Who says you can’t have high performance and efficiency at the same time? Definitely not Ferrari. The push for less of a carbon footprint from engines has now made its way to the supercar domain and the Prancing Horse is getting new lungs across the board.
Ferrari introduced the super high tech LaFerrari last year with its hybrid engine system. Even though it is part electric, the car posts performance numbers that would make any enthusiasts head spin. Displaying this type of technology and performance shows that Ferrari has the capability of building Earth-friendly supercars that still deliver the Ferrari experience.
The technology is quite expensive and complicated making it impossible to implement in its ‘mass market’ models such as the California and the flagship 458. Emissions regulations aren’t going away and neither is the demand for performance from these types of vehicles. So what’s an Italian exotic car manufacturer to do? Re-invent the wheel, literally.
Turbocharging has been a fast and easy way to boost performance in an engine and turbos were all the rage in the 1980’s. Almost every mainstream brand had a turbocharged engine on the market including Ferrari’s limited production F40. When the F40 line ended, Ferrari returned to normally aspirated engines to produce mammoth amounts of horsepower. Increasing displacement, adding more cylinders and other technologies were used to keep those power output numbers high. Then the Earth fell apart.
Bigger engines, more cylinders, throatier exhausts and larger fuel injectors meant more carbon output and those 3 words are like swear words in the automotive industry. While the average Ferrari customer may not be attuned to the environmental effects of their cars, the governments of the world are and the push for less emissions and more efficient engines is felt in every level of automotive manufacturing.
The average Ferrari customer does expect blistering performance and The Prancing Horse brand has turned to turbos with smaller displacement engines to keep the output numbers in the sky. Ferrari does know all about turbocharging as all their F1 cars have them as per league regulations.
The first car of this era to receive the new breather is the California T and it posts 0-100 km/h numbers that are a touch faster than the non-turbo model. Smaller turbos reduce lag and put output at 560hp.
Ferrari’s high performance 458 model and its future successor will also be fitted with turbos in smaller power plant. Currently bored to 4.5 liters, the new engine will most likely displace closer to 4 liters with output around the 650hp range.
By Doron Levy – TheTopTier
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