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Friday, 29 November 2013

Ferrari's 2014 LaF1 Mule Lets Us Listen To The Future Properly

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Last Sunday, the 2.4-litre V8 Formula 1 engines screamed to 18000rpm for the last time ever (outside of appearances at Goodwood and such like). But what will next year sound like? Well, Renault, Mercedes-Benz and Honda - joining the fray in 2015 with McLaren - have given us soundbites already, but those are recordings of dyno runs, so aren't truly representative of the real V6 Turbo engine sounds we'll hear in 2014... however, this video could give us a much better idea.

Here we see a LaFerrari test mule at Pista di Fiorano, Ferrari's test track. LaFerrari's normal powerplant consists of a 6.3L V12 revving past 9000rpm, and a hybrid system similar to F1's KERS. But this is no normal powerplant. It's louder, rawer and full of whistles and whooshes from what must be a substantial turbocharger. Yes, Ferrari are making V6 Twin-Turbo engines for Maserati these days, but there's no way an engine that sounds like this and requires the hybrid hypercar to be fitted with a large central air snorkel is destined for a production car. It must surely be the Formula 1 V6, revving low much of the time but giving us brief moments where it sounds close to its 15000rpm limit. Reminiscent of the 1980s turbo cars, I think it sounds great, with six-cylinder harmonics and turbo whizz-bangery that keeps my ears interested.

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