Six-pot stallions

Prancing Horse to amp up downsized engine stable p p able

TOBY HAGON

FERRARI is developing a modular V6 turbo engine as part of a bold hybrid vision that will spread to its latest V8 models in a fast-evolving drivetrain strategy.

The new V6 is poised to change the shape of Ferrari, according to chief technology officer Michael Leiters, speaking to Wheels at the Geneva motor show.

Using the combustion chambers of the 3.9-litre V8 – each measuring 488cc – the new V6 will displace 2.9 litres.

“We are thinking about downsizing,” said Leiters. “If we were to develop a six-cylinder, it should have the same performance as today’s eight-cylinder engine.”

But he said the sound would be crucial to signing off a V6 program.

“If we were to develop a V6, we would do one with a tremendous sound,” said Leiters.

He pointed out a Ferrari V6 would save crucial kilograms, allowing for the addition of a hybrid system’s batteries and electric motors.

“We are not only talking about a fuel consumption reduction, we’re talking [about a] weight reduction, because, if we’re thinking about hybrid, there will be extra weight.”

Utilising turbos, Leiters hinted much of the development work would revolve around blending electric propulsion with an ICE.

“There’s a big difference between us and the others [with and we want to maintain this advantage. That means [produce] a higher specific power output along with no Electric turbo tech solution for eliminating Leiters said Ferrari beginning to think about where its entire range partially on electricity.

“There will be a time have to talk about … as a standard,” he said. discussing what could product range. Obviously, to present a hybrid car has outstanding performance, we want to do it in a to have synergies to continue hybridisation of the product THE GOOD news is that legendary naturally that has defined the inception in 1947 will Leiters stressed an would play a core role Ferraris, despite a shift induction that was seeing increasingly lopped Following the reveal 812 Superfast – with 6.3-litre is the most ith rence ith turbo lag] ntain ns we have to ecific turbo lag.” is one ing lag. was bout a future e relied y. me when we hybridisation d. “We are still d be the future usly, we want ar … [that] ormance, and modular way ontinue with roduct range.” hat the aspirated V12 brand since its l continue. atmo V12 e in future ift to forced eeing cylinders off. al of the 588kW, the powerful V12

in the brand’s history – Leiters said the focus was also on the V12. convinced always a niche [for] a V12,” he said, opening newgeneration engine, and possible hybrid system. “We want to do more. Now we are starting thinking about it the next car.”

He cautioned that tightening emissions regulations and customer requirements would shape the the Ferrari V12. said power figures would gen a s d st for H tigh regu require future of He also nvinced there will be ng the door to a newti i “I’m co openin or at least we’ll see a lowering of the [percentage] it climbs by,” said Leiters.

“The more important part will be the emotionality; how we evolve this performance. It’s not necessarily having 900 horsepower; for me it’s more important to have more emotion. We talk about the sound, we [focus on] the torque curve and so-on, the revs.” not make the leaps of the last decade; in 2006, the then-new 612 Scaglietti made 397kW; the 812’s power output is up 48 percent.

“We are getting to the limit; t l t ’ll l i f

“If we were developing a would do one with tremendous sound” V6, we w a tremen Ferrari tech boss Michael Leiters

BACK TO CALI

Ferrari has admitted its most affordable car – a model credited with attracting new buyers to the brand – is not a perfect fit for the Prancing Horse. the current characterful. lateral Speaking frankly at the Geneva motor show, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne admitted “the way in which we interpreted the California may not be right.”

“I like the car very much but it is the one that probably from our identity standpoint has the hardest time of seeing itself as a full-blown Ferrari.”

Ferrari tech boss Michael Leiters said th replacement would likely sit below the cu price and be sharper, faster and more ch “We want to develop our future cars [to fun to drive. The behaviour of the car – n longitudinal acceleration but also the lat has to give a good [sensation], not just at he California urrent $409,888 aracterful. o be] more not only the eral feeling – t the limit.

BUT WHAT ABOUT ALFA? BU AB B A

Ferrari’s new V6 will no doubt share some of the engineering philosophies and performance of the 2.9-litre twin turbo in the Alfa Romeo Quadrifoglio. After all, that engine was ‘Ferrari-inspired’, which is code for ‘former Ferrari engineers developed it.’ will be a different engine, utilising the cylinder chambers of the 3.9-litre V8. whereas the Alfa V6 lacks aural excitement, expect the Ferrari engine to howl and spit keeping with other engines from the Maranello brand. ophies es errari ome o nd pe win tu uadri ngine hich ngine But it ngine hamb And w cks a he Fer pit in om th Fe so an tw Qu Qeen wh ween B en ch A lac th sp fro