Ferrari is reportedly working on the successor to the magnificent 458 Italia supercar. The car is codenamed 142M in which, 142 is the project number for the 458, and M stands for modified. This will be the first Ferrari to roll out of Maranello after the departure of Luca di Montezemolo and under the leadership of Sergio Marchionne.
A smaller engine likely sourced from the California T will provide motivation for the two-seater. The new car will have the tried and tested, mid-engined format with the same aluminium shell found in the current 458; but it will be a trailblazer in the engine department. The novelty lies in the fact that this will be the first mainstream Ferrari to feature twin turbos strapped to a 3.8litre V8 unit. The power output is expected to be quite potent, 666bhp and 745Nm of torque. An electric turbo might also be a possibility but is mostly unlikely when viewed from the cost standpoint.
To achieve those levels of power, Ferrari will take the help of its ‘ion’ knock detection system (which adjusts combustion conditions in individual cylinders) and a high compression ratio of 12:1. Ferrari boffins will also have to overcome the problem of reliably matching their 7-speed dual-clutch Getrag transmission to handle more than 745Nm of torque, which the Italia replacement is likely to produce. The gearbox is already operating at its limit in the California T. Suggestions for improvement range from using more durable materials to the addition of an extra gear taking the total to eight.
You may ask, “Why is Ferrari downsizing the engine and working so hard to extract more power? A very valid question. Apart from the obvious emission constraints, getting below the 4.0litre engine size will put the company in a position to avoid the heavy taxes levied on big engines in one of the supercars most important markets – China. This move will avoid the extra cost incurred and boost further sales of the supercar.
Competition for Ferrari’s newest baby will be in the form of the McLaren 650S. The design will not be a radical departure from the current generation, instead, it will be an evolution of the gorgeous curves and smooth lines seen on the present model. We will have all the details when the car is revealed at Geneva next year, till then stay tuned. Feel free to share your opinions in the comments section below.
Source: Autocar UK