Anytime you get to use the term “banned F1 technology” you know you’re going to be talking about something very interesting and very cool. That’s the case today because the topic is the magical engine placed into the belly of the beast called the LaFerrari. This is a 6.3-liter 800-horsepower V-12 that works together with a hybrid system to pack a prancing horse punch.
Today’s engines employ all sorts of variable trickery to generate more power, fewer emissions, or a combination of the two. It’s typically the timing of the intake or exhaust valves, and it can happen on the camshaft or through throttle control systems as well. On the LaFerrari, things are a bit different.
Ferrari has a technology called Continuously Variable Length Intake Tracks. The engine is able to adjust the length of its intake runners, which, in turn, alters the volumetric efficiency of the engine. By doing this, the 6.3-liter V-12 is able to make the most of the available air all the way across the rev range.
At lower RPMs, the intake runners are set up for a longer path into the engine. This creates more air turbulence, creating a supercharging effect, and helps ensure a greater air-fuel mixture and more efficient combustion. At the higher RPMs, the intake path is shorter, which creates less resistance and lets the air flow more efficiently into the engine.
Our friend Jason Fenske from Engineering Explained goes deeper into the details. Toward the end of this video, he shows a graph of the torque and horsepower curves that highlights the rev range where this technology makes the greatest difference. We’ll let you watch the video to learn that tidbit.
All in all, this is a slick system that allows the LaFerrari to burn all of the air and fuel it needs to create the most power on the way up to its 9,250 RPM redline.