The two companies are among the last to build V12s so let’s hope this isn't a sign of what’s to come.
We love those moments when, amid all the news of the oncoming onslaught of electric cars, an automotive CEO tells the media that the regulations can go to hell. Previous instances include when Lamborghini’s boss told the world that V12s would never die out, when Ferrari head Sergio Marchionne called the idea of an electric Ferrari “obscene,” and when Aston Martin’s communications manager said that the V12 would remain inside the British Grand Tourer for years to come.
Unfortunately, Automotive News Europe’s latest report indicates that those philosophies are coming back to hurt these companies. As we all know, Lamborghini’s parent company Volkswagen is facing some seriously hard times over Dieselgate, but just this week the European Environmental Agency announced that it would be fining Ferrari and Aston Martin for failing to meet individual emissions reduction goals. It comes as little surprise when both of these automakers still sell cars with massive V12 engines that may as well be brand staples. Still, the news doesn’t bode well for the future of these two companies from the enthusiast’s perspective.
The fines themselves are negligible, with Ferrari having to pay 410,760 GBP ($427,704 at today’s rates) and Aston Martin having to pony up the paltry sum of 36,370 GBP ($37,870). With such ridiculously low fines relative to what automakers usually have to pay for violating laws, the loss of cash itself is likely to do little to cause these beloved car companies to change direction. What will force them to change is the fact that these regulations are only going to get tighter as time passes. While Ferrari doesn’t want to make a pure electric car, that doesn’t mean that the future won't see more hybrid Ferraris. It’s one thing to place exotic hybrid technology in a hypercar like the LaFerrari to make it go faster.
However, it’s quite another to use hybrid technology on "mainstream" Ferraris in order to save fuel. Something about that notion would make a Ferrari lose a bit of its magic. The same goes for Aston Martin, although the British automaker has already mentioned that it’s bringing an EV to fruition soon. While Ferrari and Aston Martin were the only two companies to receive fines, Ford, Opel, FCA, and BMW were told that they need to do more to reduce consumption to meet 2021 fuel consumption goals. On average, new cars sold in the EU actually emit less than the required limit, but that hasn’t stopped regulators from bringing the hammer down on the worst offenders.