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Deep dive: Ferrari’s new V6 hybrid engine, dubbed ‘piccolo V12’

It may be a plug-in hybrid that can run 25 kilometers on electric power alone, but New Ferrari 296 GTB’s The turbocharged V6 itself is a clean design, heralding a new chapter for Ferrari’s Berlinetta family with truly incredible performance.

By combining the powerful new V6 turbocharged petrol engine with an electric motor installed between the engine and the mid-mounted transmission, the 296 GTB produces an astounding 610kW of power and 740Nm of torque. Its electric vehicle (EV) range comes from a 7.5kWh battery.

Dressed as a standard GTB (you can get the Assetto Fiorano Package), it can accelerate from a standstill to 100km/h in 2.9 seconds and from 0-200km/h in 7.3 seconds. V-max is 330km/h.

It also claims a power output record by weight for its segment (221hp per litre).

Interesting, Ferrari recently previewed its 296 GT3 racer without electric assist before its 2023 debut on the track.

Attilio Pietroni, Ferrari V6 engine project leader, said: “The decision to create an all-new engine from the ground up for the all-new 296 GTB was in response to the demand for a new high-performance car capable of interesting driving.

The turbocharged six-cylinder features an innovative architecture where the cylinder banks are arranged at a 120-degree angle allowing the turbochargers to be positioned in the center of the ‘vehicle plate’.

THAN: Review Ferrari 296 GTB 2022

The switch from eight-cylinder to six-cylinder engine reduces weight by 30kg. Then the engineers set about lowering the center of gravity of the engine.

Top output of 221bhp (165kW) per liter is achieved by increased pressure in the combustion chamber, up to 10 per cent more than in previous applications.

The chamber itself features a 350 bar injection system that guarantees performance in terms of specific power and emissions.

The turbocharger blades have been completely redesigned to expand the turbo’s operating map as much as possible.

This measure alone has allowed Ferrari to increase the turbocharger’s rev limit to 180,000 rpm, as well as deliver a 24% increase in pressure over Ferrari’s previous turbochargers.

The turbochargers themselves have also been redesigned to reduce rotational mass (reducing rotor inertia) and optimized for more efficient fluid dynamics. The compressor wheel diameter is reduced by 5% and the turbine wheel diameter by 11% without affecting turbo efficiency.

The crankshaft of the 296 GTB is also a completely new component with its rotating pins oriented at 120 degrees. The crankshaft is forged and twisted with the goal of achieving 100% balance of rotational mass and 25% displacement.

This type of balance minimizes stress on the main bearings without affecting the crankshaft mass.

The specific combustion sequence of the new Ferrari V6 engine stems from the new crank layout, which allows for uniform combustion, optimal performance and a unique sound. Vee architecture with equal crankshaft symmetry for regular firing frequency with equal firing distance.

The V6 produces a clear and intense sound that is transmitted to the rear of the driver’s seat from both the exhaust and the intake via a completely redesigned and revised ‘hot pipe’ system. Ferrari describes the engine sound as extremely ‘pure’ and formed by multiples of the third harmonic.

The result is the characteristic high-frequency sound of a naturally aspirated V12 engine – from the low end of the rev range to the limiter at 8500 rpm. In fact, a similarity is the sound that Ferrari engineers have named the new engine ‘piccolo (little) V12’.

A key feature of the new engine is the hot-vee architecture, which involves having two central turbos above the engine and the intake and vents on the bottom of the engine. Very important, as it allows Ferrari to develop the most compact and most efficient intake manifold.

The reason the 296 GTB has a unique and concentrated exhaust line is because the exhaust line is located in the upper part of the engine compartment, extending from the engine to the rear of the car, so the two cylinders in front of the car meet. central rear.

The rectangular exhaust is not only a new feature on the mid-engine Ferrari, it’s also one of the best exhaust tips in the business.

The linearity of the exhaust manifold is one of the reasons for the outstanding performance of the 296 GTB. It depends on reducing backpressure and loss, even through an exhaust gas treatment system with pre-catalysts and inline particulate filters on both cylinder banks.

The exhaust system of the 296 GTB is also lighter than previous versions used by Ferrari thanks to the use of Inconel – a steel/nickel alloy that allows for very thin wall thicknesses and resistance to temperature and pressure. high.

Furthermore, it eliminates the need for bulky or heavy silencers by using the latest generation bypass valve for the task of adjusting noise levels and providing character to the exhaust note.

The exhaust tips themselves are manufactured using a special steel alloy called Aluchrom which is resistant to aging and thus can maintain its luster over time despite being subjected to high temperatures.

The oil pump on the 296 GTB is also completely new and specially developed for the V6 Turbo engine. It is a variable displacement pump that allows constant control of the delivery oil pressure as engine speed and load change.

In addition, the garbage pumps have been completely redesigned and customized for the V6 engine, with the goal of minimizing friction and pump loss. Specifically, the V6 engine uses six sweeping rotors.

The distribution is through gears and the timing chain drives the drive from the crankshaft to the pump unit. For the first time on a Ferrari engine, the distribution system uses a dedicated hydraulic tensioner to ensure chain dynamics and maximum chain tension.

The secondary branches involve chains and hydraulic tensioners with different settings for the left and right cylinder banks. In addition, the valve train has roller finger followers with new hydraulic tappets specific to the V6. In addition, the lift valve configuration has been redesigned for both intake and exhaust to maximize efficiency in the combustion chamber.

Read the full review of the all-new Ferrari 296 GTB and 296 GTB Assetto Fiorano including road driving and track testing this.

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