Talk of Ferrari using a turbocharged V-6 dates back to 2008 but even though we’re yet to see the automaker head in that direction the rumors persist. The latest comes by way of Motor Trend’s Jonny Lieberman, who posted on Twitter that Ferrari will launch a new entry-level model powered by a twin-turbocharged V-6 to take on McLaren’s new Sports Series range as well as sports car models from more mainstream brands such as the Mercedes-AMG GT and Porsche 911 Turbo S.
Citing a source at Ferrari parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles [NYSE:FCAU], Lieberman claims the V-6-powered Ferrari will arrive in 2019 and be priced from $180k. Considering the launch date and expected pricing, the car the FCA source is suggesting may just be the replacement for the California T, which is currently priced from about $200k and is due to be replaced at the new sports car’s claimed launch date of 2019.
Despite its continued concentration on performance, Ferrari has also been striving to improve the green credentials of its fleet in recent years. CEO Amedeo Felisa has previously stated that much of the automaker’s R&D budget is being spent on emissions and efficiency measures, and we’ve already seen this with the launch of the hybrid system in the LaFerrari and the downsized, turbocharged engines in the California T and 488 GTB.
Then there’s the issue of Formula One having adopted turbocharged V-6 engines. Ferrari has consistently linked its road car program with its F1 efforts and this is unlikely to change anytime soon. In this regard, Felisa has also said in the past that the trickle-down of F1 technology into road cars traditionally takes four to five years, which again roughly coincides with the 2019 launch date for the new sports car.
A possible platform for the car is the one being developed for Maserati’s new sports car based on the front-engined, rear-wheel-drive Alfieri concept car. Due in 2018, the new Maserati sports car is expected to be offered exclusively with V-6 engines.
And Ferrari already has access to V-6 engines. The automaker currently builds some for Maserati. The engines are based on a twin-turbocharged and direct-injected 3.0-liter V-6 design, and at present produce up to 404 horsepower.