Ferrari is planning five new models before the end of the year. That includes not just hybrids but a hybrid supercar. But what isn't getting a hybrid is anything powered by a naturally aspirated V12. Those will be sticking around, unelectrically assisted, according to a new report.
We've already seen the first of those five new cars, the F8 Tributo that showed up at the Geneva show. That car, boasting a 3.9 L twin-turbo V8 and 710 hp, could be the last V8 Ferrari to not be electrified. "We’re at the limit of the performance," Michael Leiters, Ferrari’s technical chief, told Top Gear. "One of the key targets for Ferrari is to always increase the specific power output of the engine, but maintain the direct response characteristics of a naturally-aspirated engine."
Sure they could make more power with more boost, but that comes at the expense of responsiveness. Something the automaker is not willing to sacrifice. "We have a certain manoeuvre to measure turbo lag,” Leiters says. "Going along in third gear at 2,000rpm, we hit full throttle and measure when we have 80 to 90 per cent of full torque. If it’s not achieved in less than a second, it fails. As we’re at that limit, we will have to think of electrification of this powertrain in order to increase the power output in the future."
The hybrid supercar is set to arrive sometime in the next few months, the report says, and we're expecting it to use an electrified V8 to deliver the power. The downsized engines, turbos, and electric assist are all ways to help reduce engine emissions and meet regulatory requirements.
So what about that V12? Well, hybrids only make sense if you use them to allow for a smaller engine. "If you want to maximize the benefits of an electrified powertrain, you need to do it with downsizing otherwise it doesn’t make sense," said Leiters. "A naturally aspirated V12 engine is not a downsized engine, and for me it doesn’t make sense as a hybrid. We will fight for the V12, of course. We will do everything we can to keep it as it is core to our brand. But a real hybridization of the V12? I don’t see it."