The Ferrari F430 replacement is known in Maranello as the F142 – and CAR has been piecing together the jigsaw on Ferrari's next V8 supercar. Unlike the current F430
, which is an evolution of the 360 Modena built between 1999 and 2003, the follow-up is a brand-new design.
Due in late 2009 or early 2010, it will be the first Ferrari to follow the blueprint set by the 2007 Mille Chili
concept. That means the new model will be a little more compact and significantly lighter than the model it replaces. Good for economy, performance and handling...
A Ferrari Elise? I like the sound of that!
We're not talking Lotus levels of dieting here. But we expect the F142 to be lighter than the F430 Scuderia
which tips the scales at 1250kg, so the next mid-engined V8 will not need a huge displacement or number of cylinders to deliver the goods.
Will it be the first turbocharged roadgoing Ferrari since the F40?
We're not sure yet about the planned powertrain for F142, but we keep hearing snippets that point to a turbocharged small displacement direct-injection V8. Blame the global obsession with cutting CO2 – smaller-capacity, turbo engines are in vogue for these ascetic times.
Like the new Ferrari California
, the F142 will not be available as a soft-top Spyder anymore. In its place is an ultra-quick, ultra-light and ultra-compact power-operated top which consists of a perspex centre panel and a secondary element painted in body colour. Yes, the next F430 will be a CC coupe-convertible.
Also on the cards are semi-active aerodynamics, brake energy tapped for torque loss compensation during upshifts, a compact pushrod suspension and a so-called ballistic valve train for extra high-end grunt.
What's the new Ferrari going to be called?
We've no idea at this stage. F142 is merely a codename, but the new V8 is bound to have a typical Ferrari name relating to its engine configuration. After a series of rising digits – 355, 360, 430 – does that mean the newcomer will have a lower-denomination badge? Very possibly.
However, F142 is destined to be more expensive than today's Modena. This one will put clear water between it and the same-price-as-the-430 £143,000 California
The Ferrari boss speaks
Ferrari chief executive Amedeo Felisa has dropped various hints about future tech coming to the new supercar. He ruled out Ferrari diesels, but admitted that even his exclusive products – that sell in relatively minute numbers annually – must cut their emissions urgently.
'Diesel is not a direction in which we want to go,' he told The Daily Telegraph
. 'It is not in our five-year strategic plan and I don't think diesel is the answer to the problem. Reduced displacement is one route we will have to go – defininitely turbocharged units with direct injection. Hybrid systems will not be exactly as used in F1's energy recovery, as that's a very different set of demands, but we are looking at it.
'We have decided to face the future and our we will need to use all our experience with petrol engines to solve the emissions problem.'
Ferrari's CO2 strategy
Ferrari, like Porsche
, is taking its environmental credentials very seriously all of a sudden. Maranello aims to cut CO2 emissions from around 400g/km today to 280-300g/km by 2012. Those scarlet cars are slowly turning green(er).