Ferrari updates 812 V12 for Competizione models

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V12 engines may be few and far between in the modern powertrain world, but Ferrari remains one of the layout’s last bastions. The company has recently revamped the unit found it its 812 model for the limited edition Competizione and Competizione A versions. This has seen the naturally aspirated motor subject to extensive modification compared with the ‘standard’ version found in the 812 Superfast, and its output has been boosted to 819bhp from 788bhp.

In order to achieve this improvement, work focused on increasing the operating RPM (the engine now redlining at 9,500 rpm), optimizing the combustion system and reducing internal friction. Internally, there are now titanium con-rods, 40% lighter than the standard steel productions, coupled with DLC-coated pistons pins, which both reduce friction at the rod-piston interface and increase wear resistance. The rods mount to a revised crank, which Ferrari says is 3% lighter and has been balanced to closer tolerances than in the Superfast.

The most significant improvements, states Ferrari, are to the inlet tract and the cylinder heads, which have both been completely redesigned. The cams (which now feature DLC coating) action the valve stems via DLC-coated steel sliding finger followers, which Ferrari claims are derived from its F1 program and provide a higher lift profile than the originals. Further changes have seen the manifold and plenum made more compact to reduce the overall length of the tracts, improving power at high RPM, while torque is maintained at all engine speeds thanks to variable geometry inlet runners.

Ferrari’s engineers also developed a variable-displacement oil pump that continuously adjusts oil pressure across the engine’s entire operating range. This is coupled with a less viscous oil than standard, (Shell Helix 5W40) which increases flow through the oil scavenge system.

Ferrari explains that the direct fuel injection management strategy has been honed to keep abreast of increasingly stringent emissions regulations. Recalibration of injection timing and volume, as well as an increase in injection pressure, are claimed to have reduced emissions and the generation of particulates, especially when the engine is cold. The engine also now features an on-the-move start-stop system as well as a number of low-emission specific operating maps.

The company notes that the ignition is constantly monitored via an ion-sensing system that measures ionising currents to control ignition timing; it also has a single and a multi-spark capability to match varying combustion conditions, while the ECU also leverages a system which can identify fuel octane and adjust combustion parameters to suit.

Of course, one of the V12’s most alluring characteristics is its sound, and here, Ferrari has gone to great lengths to ensure aural pleasure is not compromised by the addition of a Gasoline Particulate Filter (GPF). This has included the development of a revised tailpipe design, which Ferrari claims reinstates the medium-high frequency sound usually muffled by the use of the GPF.

The cooling system has also been adapted to cope with the additional heat generated by revised specification. This includes, in what Ferrari says is a first on one of its V12 cars, a single front air intake that maximises the amount air of cooling air channelled toward the radiators. According to the manufacturer, the revised cooling circuit nets a 10% increase in cooling efficiency compared with the 812 Superfast.

Lastly, the engine oil tank has been redesigned to cope with an increased flow rate (up by 30%) and to cope with the car’s greater lateral and longitudinal acceleration. Thanks to the optimisation of the interior chambers and volumes, the new tank saves over 1kg of oil compared with the 812 Superfast, making the 812 Competizione and the 812 Competizione A the cars that require the least oil in the current V12 range.

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently he is responsible for content across UKI Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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