Emission standards are slowly crippling the world of high-performance cars, but Ferrari says it will continue to do anything in its power to keep its famed naturally aspirated V12 engine for as long as possible.
Its latest V12 displaces 6.5 liters and powers the newly-unveiled 812 GTS. While this engine is largely the same as the powertrain used by the 812 Superfast, Ferrari was required to fit it with a particulate filter.
“We will fight for this engine,” Leiters told Top Gear. “We have good ideas for its development. We now have Euro 6 regulations, which forced us to put a particulate filter on the GTS, and there are general emissions and CO2 targets especially for places like China and the United States.”
The presence of a power-sapping particulate filter is not something manufacturers of high-performance cars want to deal with. Nonetheless, Ferrari was able to tweak the engine for the GTS so it still produces 789 HP like the Superfast all while complying with Euro 6 emission standards.
It is not only emissions that are worrying Ferrari regarding the future of the V12. Noise regulations will also make it increasingly difficult to keep such big engines around in the years to come.
“The regulations that arrived one and a half years ago are very challenging for us because it’s not only about the level of noise, but the way you measure it is much stricter. This is definitely something that we have to consider as a challenge for the V12,” Leiters revealed.
“The other is challenge is more internal. We have reached a level of specific power output which, for a naturally aspirated engine, is huge. Right now, nobody needs 800bhp but everybody wants it. I guess we have to understand how we can enrich the engine and its characteristics in a different way in the future, but still show progress.”
One logical way for Ferrari to keep its V12 would be adding some form of electrification, in much the same manner as cross-town rival Lamborghini will do with the Aventador’s successor.