Ferrari is undergoing a major change to its organizational structure as parent Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) looks to spin it off into an independent business unit, but that may be just the beginning.
The way Ferrari makes cars may also change significantly. The company is considering a new modular platform to underpin the majority of its future models, according to a new report from Automobile Magazine. This would mean future Ferraris would be designed and built a lot like more mainstream cars.
Ferrari builds both mid-engined and front-engined cars, sporting V8 or V12 motors. Soon, nearly all of those models (excluding special editions like the LaFerrari) could be built on the same platform, much the way other manufacturers use the same foundations for everything from sedans to SUVs. This, of course, helps lower development costs.
The Ferrari platform will reportedly be a lightweight aluminum spaceframe, with provisions for swapping in different powertrains, suspension configurations, and other components to maximize flexibility. Aluminum was reportedly chosen over carbon fiber because it is easier to work with in both manufacturing and repairs.
The first car to use the new platform is said to be a replacement for the current California, which is expected to debut in 2017. Once other models from Ferrari’s current lineup, including the FF, F12 Berlinetta, and the recently-launched 488 GTB, cycle in for redesigns, they’ll likely move to the new platform as well.
In addition to consolidating most of its models onto one platform, Ferrari may also start downsizing engines more aggressively. The California replacement could get a V6 instead of a V8, while the FF replacement could trade its naturally-aspirated V12 for the 488 GTB’s turbocharged V8. This will help Ferrari increase fuel economy in the face of tougher emissions standards.
Ferrari wouldn’t be Ferrari without V12s, though. The massive engines will therefore survive, although possibly with electric assist. Unlike the LaFerrari’s system, these future hybrids may actually be designed to drive on electric power only for short distances.
A silent Ferrari? That may be the biggest change of all.
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