Whenever Ferrari speaks, the world listens.
Supercar brands like Ferrari and Lamborghini are not immune to the onset of electrification in the auto industry at large. With more and more automakers announcing plans to either drop internal combustion engines outright or seriously reduce their usage, these Italian marques will have no choice but to follow. For its part, Ferrari has confirmed its first all-electric model will arrive in 2025. Lamborghini, meanwhile, is combining electrified assist with a naturally aspirated V12 for its upcoming Aventador successor.
Last week's introduction of the Ferrari 812 Competizione and 812 Competizione A, the company's most powerful NA V12 road cars to date, was thought by many to be the engine type's last hurrah. Or is it?
Speaking to Top Gear, Ferrari's chief marketing and commercial officer, Enrico Galliera, confirmed the company is trying to find ways to keep the V12 around. "The normally-aspirated V12 is part of the history of the company," he said, "and is certainly the heart of Ferrari. So what we are doing, that we already did with this model, is to try and identify ways to keep it alive." Okay, so does this mean Ferrari is following Lamborghini down the electric-assist route? Not necessarily.
Ferrari's engineering team went to great lengths to upgrade the 6.5-liter V12 in a number of ways, such as redesigned pistons, and many new lightweight components like the titanium con-rods, crank, and diamond-like carbon (DLC)-coated cams. There's also a completely redesigned intake system.
All of this new tech is Formula 1-derived, and Ferrari engineering chief Michael Leiters is confident the V12 has more life and year left. "Definitely we have to do a lot of research and development to maintain - as Enrico mentioned before - this pillar of Ferrari," he said. In other words, don't count the V12 as dead yet.
Whether it returns in its current NA form, turbocharged, or electrified, Ferrari is making it clear all options are on the table. The main requirements are clear - thunderous performance, emissions compliance, and the proper sound only a Ferrari V12 can deliver.