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Monday, October 6, 2014

Ferrari Engine Patent Suggests it Might Build More than Just Sportscars




In today’s automotive arms race, it pays to be one or two steps ahead of the competition – to try something new and think differently, with the end result hopefully equating to bigger sales and mass appeal. Given that innovate-or-die notion, one Ferrari patent has caught the collective eyes of the Internet and it raises a lot more questions than answers.
A patent application has surfaced, specifically laying out the format for – gasp – a Ferrari V-twin engine, fitted with vibration-reducing balancing masses and pictured in the center of a retro-looking motorcycle.
While the idea of a Ferrari two-cylinder, or for that matter a two-wheeled Prancing Horse, sounds like blasphemy against the sacred house of Enzo … in reality, it might just be the next best thing. A range extender.
Tucked away carefully within the recesses of a car, we’ve seen how effective these gasoline range extender engines can be in the BMW i3. Run low on electrical juice and the gas engine turns a generator to put you even further down the road and with strong torque and good speed too.
For a marque like Ferrari, a sporty yet eco-friendly EV in the same vein as the i3 would help the firm sidestep increasingly stricter emissions standards and slot Ferrari into a new market share. Also, the idea of lithe, nimble Ferrari/Alfa Romeo EV gets us all tingly in anticipation.
 Conversely, Ferrari could just drop its v-twin into a sleek aero-coupe, like the all-new VW XL Sport, and let its engine performance and air bending speak for itself, sans electric motors. For those desperately looking for a Ducati-fighting Ferrari motorbike, it’s best to keep dreaming.
 Ferrari engineers have previously expressed their hybridization intentions for 2021, and as seen with the i3, the range extender and EV powertrain seem to be the best one-two punch.