Ferrari will have a big 2019. At the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show, the automaker announced that it will launch five new cars this year, and showed off the first of those, the F8 Tributo. This 488 successor isn't a hybrid, but at least one of the remaining four cars Ferrari plans to launch will be—a track-focused mid-engine V-8 supercar. At the show, we spoke to Michael Leiters, Ferrari's chief technical officer, to get a preview of what's to come.
While it's confirmed that first hybrid Ferrari since the LaFerrari (pictured) above will have a V-8, we wondered if the Italian company would do a V-12 hybrid, too.
"It’s very important to differentiate which car I want [a hybrid system] in," Leiters said. "If we’re doing a V-12, I’m not thinking about hybridization. It’s a contradiction. Maybe we would get a little reduction in consumption with a hybrid, but it doesn’t make sense. To get the full potential of a hybrid, we need to downsize the engine. With a V-12, naturally aspirated car, we don’t have that downsizing."
At its Capital Markets Day presentation last year, Ferrari said that 60 percent of its cars will be hybrids by 2022, so perhaps the V-12 models will be in the remaining 40 percent. And no, the V-12 won't get downsized or turbocharged as long as Leiters gets his way. "We will fight for the V-12, to maintain it like this today, because it is core Ferrari," he said.
Ferrari's new hybrid will be mid-engined, but the company is also developing a new modular front-engine architecture that will be able to accommodate a hybrid powertrain. Ferrari is also working on a new turbo V-6, an engine first announced at its Capital Markets Day last year.
Ferrari supplies V-6s for Maserati, and had a hand in designing Alfa Romeo's 2.9-liter twin-turbo V-6, but Leiters specified that the turbo V-6 under development will power a Ferrari. He wouldn't say which Ferrari, but he confirmed that the engine will work in both front- and mid-engine layouts.
We're left with a lot of questions, but we shouldn't have to wait long for answers. The hybrid mid-engine V-8 car should arrive in the coming months, with the next three following shortly after.