At a speech delivered at a recent Formula Ferrari event, Ferrari CEO Amedeo Felisa hinted strongly that technology being developed for the next generation of Grand Prix race cars would trickle down to Ferrari's next-generation road cars within the next four to five years.
That's around the time when the 458 Italia will be due for replacement.
With tighter Corporate Average Fuel Economy legislation now active in the USA and incoming EURO VI emissions targets in the European Union, Ferrari will need to pull out all the stops if it's to bring emissions and fuel consumption down.
A smaller-displacement turbocharged engine is a neat way of doing this, and also a convenient means for the Italian automaker to capitalise on its F1-derived technology.
Having a road car with the same engine configuration with the marque's top-tier race car would be desirable from a marketing standpoint too.
It's all speculation at this stage though, and there's no indication of what - if any - V6 Ferrari will employ. However, given the Maserati Ghibli is set to make use of a 3.0 litre twin-turbo petrol V6, it wouldn't be surprising to see a high-output version of that motor find its way into the rump of the 458 Italia's replacement later in the decade.
Alternatively, Ferrari could go it alone and develop something bespoke. After all, the company has allocated roughly €125 million towards the development of emissions-reducing technology, with the same amount again earmarked for general research and development.
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