Newsletter 13: SHOULD FERRARI V8’S GO ON A DIET?
Ferrari made a 208 turbo road car in 1982. The reason was to circumvent the tax laws in place at the time. Heavy taxes were imposed for cars with more than a 2.0-litre capacity. To avoid the tax, Ferrari produced a 1991cc engine and slapped a KKK turbo on it to compensate for the lack of power.
The next turbo production car was the legendary F40, lauded by many as the best supercar ever made. The trouble with turbo’s in those days …….. ………. the lag!! Accelerating the F40 would start with nothing, continue with nothing, and then….. 3500 revs and…… Bang…… all you see in front of you is hedge, road, hedge, road…. Ambulance!
It would be over two decades before Ferrari would make another production turbo, the California T.
By then, having lived through the Formula 1 turbo era, Ferrari had mastered the turbo. The California T had a smooth, consistent power curve, from zero to a hundred and plenty. Gone were the days of “put you in the hedge” surprises.
Like most modern cars, Ferrari V8’s have gotten bigger and heavier over the years, with each new model gaining a few kilo’s and a few cm’s.
The 355, in 1994, weighed in at 1,497kg’s,
The 360 Modena, at 1,493kg’s,
The F430, at 1,517kg’s,
The 458, at 1,565kg’s,
Right up to the new Hybrid SF90, in 2020, at 1,570kg’s.
Surprisingly, the only newish model to buck the trend is the 488, weighing in at 1,525kg’s, only 48kg’s heavier than a 458, but 45kg’s lighter than an SF90.
Better performing engines, turbo’s and lighter materials obviously compensate for heavier vehicles but, as the weights (and sizes) have increased the 0 – 100 times, top speeds and general performance figures have increased exponentially.
We should also embrace the modern turbo era, it’s here to stay and Ferrari have worked hard to bring the visceral, emotive and engaging experience of the normally aspirated cars back, there doing a grand job!
So NO……. Ferrari V8’s don’t need to go on a diet!