Ferrari’s switch to V-6 power is big news. The Italian supercar maker has always been associated with fantastic engine noises, and the V-6 isn’t exactly the most popular engine configuration for sound aficionados. Most of us here at Road & Track were worried the switch, introduced in its newest 296 GTB supercar, would come along with a disappointing exhaust note that wouldn’t live up to the prancing horse badge. According to chief technical officer Michael Leiters, though, there’s nothing to stress about.
“During development [we found] it sounds like a little 12-cylinder,” Leiters told Road & Track in an interview leading up to the 296 GTB’s reveal in Maranello on Thursday. “So it’s quite brilliant sound. This is one of the biggest achievements we had during development, because with six-cylinders you have less combustion, so it can’t be compared with an eight- or a 12-cylinder. It’s really impressive.”
How did Ferrari manage to generate a sound good enough to convince its executives? It’s not just one aspect of the engine, but many smaller changes that added up to something satisfactory. “There are many elements you have to consider to design sound,” Leiters says. “The ignition order, the combustion itself, the architecture, the lengths of the tubes, the positions of the turbos, etc. We decided through simulations and tests, to have a single exit exhaust for more level and more volume, but also [to improve] the quality of the sound.” For the full story, check out this article from Road & Track.