When Ferrari announced the 812 Superfast in February, many wondered if it might be the last-ever naturally aspirated Ferrari road car, after all the auto industry is in the midst of a full-blown turbocharger addiction—even in Maranello, where forced-induction V8s now power the California T, 488, and GTC4 Lusso T.
However it seems there will always be a place for a naturally aspirated V12 at Ferrari, according to CEO Sergio Marchionne; it’s just that they’ll come with some batteries included.
Emissions standards might be getting tougher, but Autocar reveals that Ferrari has no plans to ditch the V12 or turbocharge it:
Ferrari’s technical head, Michael Leiters, told Autocar that the 812 Superfast comfortably meets the current EU6B emissions rules and that from 2021—when the EU implements regulations requiring fewer than 95g/km CO2—hybridization will provide the solution. Leiters confirmed ‘Our head of engine programs told me it would be absolutely nuts to [put a] turbocharger on the V12, so the answer is no. It [will be] naturally aspirated, with a hybrid [system].’
It’s already known that Ferrari is working on a hybrid architecture, due in 2020, and the company has quite a few patents related to hybrid powertrains in road cars.
Ferrari first floated the idea of a V12 hybrid road car back in 2010, with the HY-KERS prototype. This was a 588 GTB Fiorano fitted with a 100hp (74kW) electric motor and a 3kWh lithium-ion battery pack that proved the concept that went into production in the LaFerrari hypercar. Unlike those cars, the forthcoming hybrid architecture will feature much larger battery packs and should include plug-in hybridization.
But the goal, according to Marchionne, will be to supplement performance. As a small manufacturer—Ferrari is no longer part of the large Fiat Chrysler Automobiles empire—it gets to play by slightly more permissive rules.