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Watch out, Audi: Ferrari wants an electric turbo of its own

Audi may not be the only carmaker working on an electric turbocharger. Ferrari is apparently interested in the technology as well, and for something a bit more exciting than a full-size SUV.

According to 4WheelsNews, the boffins in Maranello are working on a new supercharged engine that will use an electric turbo for added responsiveness.

An electric motor’s ability to spool up a turbocharger almost instantaneously makes for plenty of low-end grunt without the dreaded “turbo lag” associated with many of these devices, and that’s apparently why Ferrari wants one.

This is the first report of a new Ferrari production engine with both supercharging and turbocharging, but the company has discussed using other technologies to improve efficiency.

Ferrari is resolute about sticking to V8 and V12 engines, but it plans to lower their fuel consumption in different ways.

For the V8 engines, turbos appear to be the way forward. This shift has already begun with the California T, and will continue with an expected turbocharged version of the 458.

However, Ferrari previously said it wouldn’t turbocharge its V12s. Instead, hybridization appears to be the plan, perhaps incorporating some version of the system from the LaFerrari.

So it seems an electric turbocharger would only be used on V8-engined Ferraris. No word yet on when this will happen, but since Ferrari is planning a blitz of new and updated models between now and 2018, it probably won’t take long.

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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