Talk is cheap, but when the head of Ferrari starts talking about a V6 engine joining the range, the motoring world stops and listens.
That’s exactly what happened at the Frankfurt Motor Show, with Ferrari CEO Amedeo Felisa telling Top Gear “There is probably a V6 in our future”.
As an introduction, that V6 is likely to find its way into a compact mid-engined model to sit alongside the current entry-level California T.
A second generation California is on its way, but is expected to continue as a folding hard top, with a front engine layout, and most likely powered by a development of the current car’s 412kW 3.9 litre twin turbo V8.
The new V6 is slated for a spiritual successor to the Dino. The original Dino, produced in two generations from 1968 until 1974, was built by Ferrari, but never wore the Ferrari badge.
This time around it looks like the new ‘Dino’ will wear the prancing horse, but before it reaches production it may well be treated to a name change in typical Ferrari style.
Ferrari is no stranger to V6 engines in the modern age, assisting with the development of the twin turbo V6s found in the Alfa Romeo Giulia QV (itself derived from the California’s V8), and the Maserati Ghibli.
Ferrari is also believed to be developing a new aluminium-intesive modular architecture, capable of underpinning both front, and mid-engined cars. By using this cost-saving measure Ferrari engineers should be able to bring new models to market more quickly and easily.
Before the V6 becomes a reality engineers have targeted a 150kw per litre power output, which would give the final engine a 435kW power figure. To compare, the 488 GTB V8 produces 492kW, giving it a per litre output of just over 126kW per litre.
Such a high specific output would place the engine under enormous mechanical and thermal stresses. Theories of a flat-plane crank V6 have been floated, but the complexity associated with making such a set up run sweetly makes it seem unlikely.
For now though, a reborn Dino remains on the cards, if only at a development level.
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