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Eco-friendly fury: Ferrari plans to cut emissions with turbocharged V8s and hybrid V12s

Supercars often seem to exist in an alternate reality, beyond government regulations (when’s the last time you saw one at the DMV?), but every car manufacturer has to face reality eventually.

Even Ferrari needs a strategy to deal with tightening global emission standards and, according to Automotive News Europe (sub. required), that strategy involves turbocharged V8 engines and hybrid power trains built around larger V12s.

In a recent interview, Ferrari Powertrain Director Vittorio Dini said the carmaker hopes to reduce emissions by 21 percent by 2021.

The plan is already apparent in the turbocharged California T and an anticipated turbo 458 variant. The California T’s twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V8 produces 552 horsepower and 557 pound-feet of torque, improvement of 62 hp and 49 lb-ft over the outgoing California.

However, Ferrari won’t stop there. It reportedly wants to turbocharge all of its V8s, and reduce their displacement while still increasing power.

That won’t be good enough for all of Ferrari’s cars, though. More prestigious models like the F12 and FF will retain their V12s, but some form of hybridization.

The LaFerrari makes a pretty strong case for a V12 hybrid, to say the least, and it seems logical for Ferrari to apply the technology to other models. Trickle-down engineering would be nothing new: The Enzo’s 6.3-liter V12 eventually found its way into the 599 GTB Fiorano, after all.

In addition to helping less-lucky customers catch some of the LaFerrari magic, hybrid power trains offer a practical advantage as well. Ferrari feels four turbos would be necessary to achieve the improvements it wants from its V12s, and that would produce way too much heat.

So, as always, the next Ferrari will be faster and cleverer than the one that came before, but it might also be a bit greener.

Stephen Edelstein
Stephen is a freelance automotive journalist covering all things cars. He likes anything with four wheels, from classic cars…
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