Ferrari’s Signature Naturally Aspirated V-12 Engine Isn’t Going Anywhere—for Now

Ferrari continues to have zero interest in following along with whatever the rest of the automotive industry is doing.

Not only does the Italian sports car maker remain committed to its trademark V-12, but it also intends to keep it naturally aspirated as long as it can, according to Autocar. Because of this, the company’s engineers have focused on doing everything they can to keep mill fully compliant without having to rely on forced induction.

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Ferrari’s latest flagship model, the 12Cilindri, elicited its fair share of oohs and aahs when it was unveiled before the Miami Grand Prix earlier this month. One of the front-engined beast’s biggest selling points is that it has a naturally aspirated V-12 sitting in the engine bay. The 6.5-liter mill is an evolution of the 12-cylinder found in the 812 Superfast and pumps out a hair-raising 819 horses and 550 ft lbs of torque allowing the vehicle to top 200 mph with ease. Just as its top speed is the fact that it won’t have any trouble meeting the upcoming Euro6e regulations.

The Ferrari 12Cilindri Berlinetta and Spider
The Ferrari 12Cilindri Berlinetta and Spider

Ferrari invested a lot of money to make sure that its brawniest mill would be compliant with Europe’s new (and stricter) emissions standards. It could have saved money, and countless headaches, by reducing displacement and adding turbochargers, but that was never a serious consideration for the automaker, according to product development head Gianmaria Fulgenzi (“Turbocharging is not in my mind,” he said). That’s because drivers expect a Ferrari V-12s to be naturally aspirated, just as it was in the 125 S back in 1947 and has been in every flagship that’s followed in the decades since.

“The V-12 is natural,” the engineer told the magazine. “It is something that creates emotion, sound and acceleration from a low rpm to maximum rpm. That’s the product we wanted to deliver.”

Unsurprisingly, Ferrari is the only one of its peers that still has a naturally aspirated, non-hybridized 12-cylinder engine in series production. Aston Martin and Pagani’s V-12s utilize turbochargers, while the engine in the Lamborghini Revuelto is part of a hybrid system. Gordon Murray Automotive’s T.50 and T.33 supercars both have naturally aspirated V-12s, but both models will receive only limited production runs.

So, as is usually the case, it’s Ferrari and no one else.

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