There's no mistaking the sound from the pipes of this test mule, but is it a hybrid powertrain?
The days of Italian V12 engines are numbered ... or are they? A new spy video just outside Ferrari headquarters captures another camouflaged Roma brandishing a V12 engine. Of course, we can't actually see the engine, but we can sure hear it.
This new video from Varryx captures the same prototype making two passes for the camera. The first offers a clear look at the car, which is clearly like modified Romas we've seen before. The hood seems a bit longer, and the rear haunches could be a tad beefier, but the changes are subtle. Without a soundtrack accompanying the visuals, one would assume this is another variation of the Roma with a V8.
We get a muted exhaust note in the first pass, but the driver isn't nearly as subtle for the second pass. The test car bellows an unmistakable V12 sound while navigating the roundabout, executing a very crisp gear change in the process. Furthermore, we don't hear anything that could be some form of forced induction. Whatever form of 12-pot is under the hood, it apparently operates on its own. Well, maybe.
It's still unknown if Ferrari will incorporate a hybrid powertrain with whatever it's cooking up behind closed doors. There are no stickers on this test vehicle identifying it as electrified, but they aren't necessary unless operating in certain areas (like the Nurburgring). We've yet to encounter any quiet prototypes, so hybrid assistance – if offered – could be of the mild kind without any electric-only operation.
There's also still the question of what this car will ultimately be. Right now, our sources believe Ferrari is using modified Roma bodies to test a successor for the bonkers 812 Superfast. We've certainly seen this approach from Ferrari before, notably with Maserati Levante bodies bolted to Purosangue bones. And lest we forget – there was speculation about the Purosangue launching as a hybrid, and what did we get? A purebred 6.5-liter V12 making 715 horsepower. And for one last twist, the Purosangue does share DNA with the Roma. We're thinking of this as a test mule for an 812 successor, but could a V12 Roma be the endgame here?
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Ferrari will debut more models before 2023 heads out the door, so we should learn the truth at some point this year.
Source: Varryx via YouTube