In the late 1970s, performance cars suffered a huge blow when the necessity for better economy and lower emissions crippled their power. It took nearly a decade for the horsepower to return. Today, we're in the middle of another push for greater vehicle efficiency, but don't expect another era of malaise this time. Instead, lightweight materials, turbos and hybrids mean that everyone can be happy. However, the pressure to clean up isn't just for the mass market, supercars must improve too, but Ferrari at least seems to be taking on the challenge in stride.
Ferrari Powertrain Director Vittorio Dini recently told Automotive News Europe that the Prancing Horse will improve its current average C02 emissions of 270 grams per kilometer by 20 percent by 2021, to reach about 216 grams of C02 per kilometer. To achieve these lofty ambitions, the company will exploit a relatively simple path. "In the future, all of our V8s will use turbos," said Dini said to ANE. Also, its V12s will use hybridization because it'll be a better choice for them compared to the heat of multiple turbos, he claimed.
The first steps of this strategy are already in front of us. The new California T ditches its naturally aspirated V8 in favor of a smaller displacement, more powerful turbocharged unit, and the LaFerrari is already using the hybrid V12. Dini's quote certainly lends some credence to the rumor that the 2015 refresh for the 458 Italia may use an even more powerful version of the California's turbo V8. With a new Ferrari model planned for each year between now and 2018, the Prancing Horse seems unperturbed by any threats posed by emissions.