According to recent international reports, Ferrari might be working on a similar version of Fiat’s MultiAir system. The Fiat system allows for electro-hydraulic adjustable cam-lobe lift and duration on the go for greater fuel economy and power efficiency.
Reports say Ferrari has submitted a patent design (looking something like the image above) and is keen on expanding the technology even further into the supercar domain. From the image it also appears Ferrari is looking to refine the design somewhat, because it looks like it could incorporate pneumatically operated valves as well.
Pneumatic valves replace valve springs and are used in Formula One race engines to allow engines to spin beyond 18,000rpm – a conventional valve spring, used on pretty much every four-stroke petrol piston engine, would not be able to keep up with such revs as the valve cannot be closed fast enough. This could mean Ferrari is looking to produce an engine that revs a lot higher than its current showroom benchmark of around 9000rpm, achieved by the Ferrari 458 Italia.
(The Ferrari MultiAir system would be similar to the diagram above only it could use pneumatic valve operation, which would replace the springs in the Fiat system above.)
The system would also use a similar valvetrain setup to Fiat’s electro-hydraulic actuator design, which would allow for the same multi-lift and long duration cam operation as the Fiat MultiAir system.
If both systems were put together – adjustable cam-lobe duration and lift, and pneumatic operation – it might allow Ferrari to develop both a high-revving, high-output engine, as well as one that was more efficient and environmentally-friendly that the current crop.
We’ll be sure to keep you updated in any case.