Not dead yet.
With the launch of the 812 Competizione and 812 Competizione A, Ferrari introduced its most powerful internal combustion engine for a road car in its entire history. With 830 horsepower (619 kilowatts) and 510 pound-feet (692 Newton-meters) of torque, the 6.5-liter V12 proves naturally-aspirated engines are still very much alive and kicking. And it seems that the V12 NA will continue to play an important role in the Maranello-based company’s future.
Speaking to TopGear, Enrico Galliera, the brand’s chief marketing and commercial officer, acknowledged the V12 “is certainly the heart of Ferrari.” More importantly, he confirmed the engineering team wants to “identify ways to keep it alive” as he remains positive the days of the naturally aspirated V12 are not counted yet.
Modern-Day V12 Heroes:
- Ferrari 812 Competizione A Revealed: V12 Targa With 830 HP
- GTO Engineering Squalo Revealed As Ferrari-Inspired V12 Super Coupe
Michael Leiters, Ferrari’s chief technology officer, backed up Galliera’s words and told TopGear there’s still life in the 6.5-liter V12 and it can be improved for better efficiency and more power. “Definitely we have to do a lot of research and development to maintain – as Enrico mentioned before – this pillar of Ferrari,” though nothing is impossible. One thing he noted as a huge challenge, however, was the ever-stricter emissions standard.
The tweaks to the 812 Competizione's engine are small but the devil is in the details, after all. As TopGear reports, the new V12 features a diamond-like carbon coating on the piston pins and a rebalanced, as well as redesigned pistons and new cylinder heads. There's also a newly-designed intake system.
If we have to summarize, it seems that there’s still room for improvement for Ferrari’s naturally aspirated Ferrari. It’s also good to know that the company has “the technologies to decide what is going to be the best option for the future,” though don’t expect massive upgrades. After all, we are already very close to the maximum potential of the 9,500 rpm V12 engine.