Why Haters Should Stop Whining about Ferrari’s Turbo Return: Hypocricharging

Be afraid, be very afraid - according to the Internet commentator population, our motoring world is about to end. Here’s the story, one that has more hypocrisy than petrol: At least until some team of engineers spend their nights working and come up with a revolutionary pill for the engine compartment to swallow, the era of the naturally-aspirated V8 engines made by Ferrari is gone. That’s right, once the Prancing horse releases the upcoming turbocharged Ferrari 458 revamp, you can say goodbye to Maranello’s infamous high-revving NA madness. Their V12s will skip the turbos, but I don’t know for how long.
The so-called aficionados went crazy when the news came out and the truth is many of them have no idea what they’re talking about. Yes, there is more than just one reason for the natural aspiration to be missed, but I wonder how many of those who complain about this have actually driven (or will do so in the future) force-fed and NA supercars back to back and felt the painful difference they keep whining about.

Even worse, a part of the complains come from the same people who rejoice when a tuner announces they’ve slapped a pair of turbos to the back of a 458 or a Lambo. You should see the hype they make when a custom TT supercar goes past the 1,000 horses mark. I call that hypocricharging.

I’m fine with customized supercars, there’s nothing wrong in tuning a car up to the point where it can leave a superbike in the smoke that had just spun its turbines. In fact, it’s marvellous, but the point here is that aftermarket developers are never going to reach the drivability factor offered by factory go-fast machines.

Then again, keyboard drivers will never care about the real world feel of a car. All they want is more powaaah and, of course, purity, whatever that means in their acceptance.

Let me tell you something about purity - if Ferrari would say “no” to forced induction, sooner or later we may have no Prancing Horses. Sure, the Italians don’t have to meet the same emission targets as Fiat, for instance, but their small volume manufacturer exemption can only be pushed up to a point.

Don’t get me wrong, natural aspiration has its unique virtues. I struggle to keep my adrenaline under control whenever I have the chance to enjoy the suppleness of a drift augmented by the linear power delivery on a NA engine.

Alas, most of us have to deal with the compromises of everyday life and as much as I love the linearity of the 458’s V8, I prefer to have this forced fed rather than not be able to enjoy it at all.

Besides, it’s not like Ferraris haven’t been turbocharged before. For the sake of Maranello delicacies, the infamous F40 relied on turbocharging to get its horsepower. Sure, that wasn’t the most drivable car in the world, but now that Ferrari is back in this game, we’ll all benefit from the developments its engineers deliver.

The influence the world’s most famous brand has on the auto industry is difficult to imagine, which means that their technological advances will slowly push volume carmakers to make our turbocharged everyday cars better.

The Prancing Horse has already delivered its first new-age turbo model, the California T, which everybody agrees is better than the NA California we used to have. And while right now they’re pulling tricks like limiting torque in the low gears to imitate the “rev-hard-to-extract-the-performance” character of a naturally aspirated engine, the future holds even sweeter moves.

Think electric charging, with turbines that can be modulated to deliver the boost as desired. Think years of feedback and testing that will lead to a level of polishing that’s never before been imagined.

The soundtrack is another important issue, but as AMG, for example, has demonstrated, workarounds can be found. Fret not all you haters, the turbo future will be much better than you think.

I’ll be longing for natural aspiration too, but instead of spending my time complaining about this, I’ll try to do what’s necessary to get my hands on a weekend car built in the “good old days”.

This entire story reminds me of the manual gearbox disappearance debate, where people say they regret stick shifters and then they go into a showroom and buy an automatic. But that's a story for another time...
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About the author: Andrei Tutu
Andrei Tutu profile photo

In his quest to bring you the most impressive automotive creations, Andrei relies on learning as a superpower. There's quite a bit of room in the garage that is this aficionado's heart, so factory-condition classics and widebody contraptions with turbos poking through the hood can peacefully coexist.
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