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Ferrari returns to turbo as supercar makers face up to emissions rules

Published on Mar 3, 2014 5:35 PM

GENEVA (REUTERS) - Italy's Ferrari has mounted a turbocharged engine on its latest supercar for the first time in more than two decades, as even luxury automakers are forced to seek ways to cut emissions without sacrificing performance.

The California T, which will debut at the Geneva auto show this week, will be equipped with an eight-cylinder engine that Ferrari says will consume 15 per cent less fuel than its naturally-aspirated predecessor, reducing carbon dioxide emissions to 250 grams per kilometre (g/km) from 299.

By pumping air into the cylinders, turbochargers get more power from a smaller engine, sometimes at the price of sluggish initial acceleration. Naturally aspirated engines, which instead draw in air through a valve, can deliver more consistent torque and a bigger engine sound.

Unlike holdout Lamborghini and its naturally aspirated 5.2-litre Huracan on show in Geneva, Ferrari is breaking with tradition to offer its first turbo since the F40 coupe, sold between 1987 and 1992. The Fiat-owned sports car maker claims to have achieved "zero turbo lag" with new technology that adapts the torque curve to each gear change.

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