Ferrari’s Last Naturally Aspirated V12 Makes 789 Horsepower

Ferrari recently unveiled the 812 Superfast at the Geneva Auto Show, and this 211-mph supercar is expected to be the last flagship model from Maranello to sport a naturally aspirated V12.

Boasting 789 horsepower at 8,500 rpm, the 6.5-liter V12 is larger than the 6.3-liter engine found in the F12 Berlinetta. Future Ferrari vehicles will feature hybrid drivetrains, much like the limited-run La Ferrari with its 789-horsepower V12 that is boosted with a 120 kW motor for more than 960 total horsepower.

Ferrari’s high-pressure direct-injection system introduces three separate fuel events per combustion cycle.

As usual, Ferrari engineers leveraged Formula 1 technology to take advantage of the increased displacement. The intake ports were optimized, and the control system for the variable geometry inlet tracts was revised. The direct-injection fuel system is pressurized to a healthy 350 bar, or almost 5,100 psi. As shown in the video above, Ferrari uses a multi-event strategy for its fuel delivery, much like the more advanced diesel engines, to improve combustion efficiency.

Ferrari rates the upgraded V12 at 530 lb-ft peak torque at 7,000 rpm, but stresses that 80 percent of that torque is available from 3,500 rpm upward.

Two views of the Ferrari 6.5-liter V12 that powers the new 812 Superfast.

It’s been some 70 years since Ferrari introduced its first V12 engine. That 1.5-liter 60-degree V12 made almost 120 horsepower and sat under the hood of the 125 Sport. It’s a shame that a such a legacy is winding down, but the promise of more powerful and efficient drive systems without all that displacement and moving parts is the future of powertrain engineering.

About the author

Mike Magda

Mike Magda is a veteran automotive writer with credits in publications such as Racecar Engineering, Hot Rod, Engine Technology International, Motor Trend, Automobile, Automotive Testing Technology and Professional Motorsport World. He was the editor of four national automotive magazines, including Chevy High Performance, and has authored hundreds of automotive technical briefings. In covering nearly every type of motorsport, Mike has collaborated with many of racing's top engine builders and factory engineers.
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