Euro 7 will be implemented in mid-2025. Euro 7 is in fact considered a strict standard that is close to a deαtһ sentence for existing internal combustion engines. Therefore, the majority of car makers around the world are turning to electrification, and in the transitional period, the supercar industry offered a downsized V6 as an alternative.
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Of course, some Italian and British supercar brands have received exceptions from the European Union (EU), making it possible to maintain internal combustion engines, but the future is not bright overall. For this reason, the supercar industry is using downsized V6 engines during the transition to electrification. Compared to the existing V12 cylinder, the number of cylinders and displacement of the engine has been reduced by half, but efforts are being made to keep the output and efficiency similar.
Even until the 1990s, in fact, the V6 engine was not even treated as an engine in the supercar market, but it is inevitably changing into a mainstream engine due to strict environmental standards. However, in Japan’s JDM scene, Honda NSX and Nissan GTR (R35) are cited as supercars equipped with V6 engines earlier. Of course, there is some controversy over whether it can be seen as a pure supercar category.
In the midst of this, let’s take a look at the new V6 engines recently released by supercar manufacturers. Most of the brands that recently challenged the entry-level supercar market launched with a V6. Ferrari, which was synonymous with the existing supercar industry, also put a V6 engine on the new model. So far, the only brand to step back in this newly formed V6 engine arena is Lamborghini. Lamborghini has a relatively slow pace of electrification and is skeptical about downsizing. If a V6 is introduced in the future, it is predicted that the V6 of a hybrid combination will be introduced into the Huracán.
Ferrari’s first twin-turbo V6 engine, F163
Ferrari has accumulated technology for naturally aspirated 12-cylinder engines honed in racing, as much as F1’s long history. A typical example is the 12-cylinder naturally aspirated F140 engine. Based on this engine, a variety of models have been released, and most recently, it was installed in a front midship (FMR) layout on Furosange. Normally, this 12-cylinder engine is generally 6 liters and produces around 600 to 800 horsepower depending on the setting.
On the other hand, the recently released 296 GTB is a model equipped with a representative 3-liter V6 twin-turbo engine, and Ferrari says it is the first twin-turbocharged V6 engine. Historically, the V6 has been installed in the Ferrari Dino series the past, but since it was naturally aspirated SOHC and DOHC, this is the first time a turbocharged V6 has been installed. For this reason, the tradition continues following the same 296 names as the Dino 296 S, which was equipped with a V6 engine in the past.
This new V6 engine is called the F163, and the most noteworthy part is the bank angle. Each of the three cylinders is divided and arranged in a V shape, and at this time, the bank angle formed in the middle plays an important role in engine design. In particular, most recently released V6 engines compensate for the lack of output of downsized engines with turbines.
At this time, a hot-vee configuration in which a turbine is embedded in the V-shaped bank is also a consideration. Mercedes-Benz AMG has been using this hot V method of putting a turbine in the middle of a V8 engine. So, if the bank angle is large, it is easy to adopt the hot V method of raising the turbine. In addition, depending on the bank angle, the stroke load of the engine is fundamentally reduced.
This is the reason why horizontally opposed engines based on 4-cylinder engines are regarded as the most ideal no-load engine. The arrangement of the cylinders, divided into both sides by the piston lying at 180 degrees, counterbalances each other with only its own stroke.
However, in the case of a V6 engine, the most ideal bank angle is 120 degrees. Therefore, the F163 engine newly created by Ferrari this time is technically the V6 engine with the most ideal counterbalance. Of course, there are also downsides. As the V-shape opens wide at 120 degrees, the size of the engine itself increases. Therefore, it is difficult to mount it in the engine room of a general vehicle. (Of course, you can do it if you want to) But since Ferrari designed it in a mid-ship layout, space was not a problem, and it was installed in the 296 series.
The F163 engine’s own output is about 650 horsepower, and the 296 GTB produces a total output of about 830 horsepower when combined with an electric motor. Ferrari had one firm philosophy for this F163 engine. It was to preserve the characteristics of the V12 cylinder as it is. So inside Ferrari, this engine was called [piccolo V12]. Piccolo means ‘little’ in Italian. In other words, it was called “the little V12 engine.” Even though it is a turbocharged engine, it is a high-revving engine that can push up to 8500 RPM, and the engine sound is similar to that of the existing 12-cylinder. The twin-turbo is a Japanese IHI and is a single scroll type, and the reason why a single is selected instead of a twin-scroll is for high rotation.
Maserati’s Nettuno twin-turbo V6 engine
Maserati broke into the entry-level supercar market with the MC20 model. Of course, in the past, Maserati has also released the MC12 supercar model, but this model is not for mass production but is a limited model for homologation to meet regulations to sortie for the FIA GT Championship. At the time, the engine was a version of the F140 competition in collaboration with Ferrari.
So, at the time, it was difficult to see the MC12 as a challenge to the full-fledged supercar market, but this MC20 is different. So Maserati also emphasizes that it is the first model that has not existed in the meantime. Maserati says that the MC20 is mentally inheriting the MC12 at the marketing level, but it has nothing to do with technical specifications.
Historically, Maserati has been tossing and turning with Ferrari. So, in a way, the two brands can be seen as a family or relative relationship, but since around 2005, Maserati has been separated. Then, in 2019, Ferrari officially announced that it would not supply engines to Maserati from 2022. Therefore, Maserati is strengthening its own engine development. Unlike Ferrari’s independent status, Maserati has been affiliated with FCA and has been affiliated with Stellantis since 2021.
Since the field of engine development cannot be achieved overnight, Maserati seems to be strengthening its position by improving the existing Ferrari engine. Maserati claims that the Nettuno V6 twin-turbo engine installed in the MC20 is a ‘100% Maserati’ engine, but experts view it as an improved version of Ferrari’s F154 engine. It is a reduced version of 2 cylinders from the existing 8 cylinders.
Already, the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio is equipped with a V6 engine based on the Ferrari F154 and emits 500 horsepower. With that engine, Giulia Quadrifoglio is called the BMW M3 killer. For reference, the F154 engine was installed in Ferrari’s 488, etc., and it has been installed in various models because it is a very famous engine and a bone engine. Maserati has also been equipped with Trefeo-class models.
The Maserati MC20 adds pre-chamber ignition technology, often used in F1 engines, to produce 630 horsepower. This Nettuno engine has a bank angle of 90 degrees and a displacement of 3 liters, similar to the 2.9 liters of Alfa Romeo.
The peculiarity of this engine is the compression ratio. In the case of high output with most twin-turbo V6 engines, the compression ratio is usually set at 9:1. This is to receive the high-pressure boost formed by the twin-turbo. However, this Nettuno has a high compression ratio of 11:1, similar to a naturally aspirated internal combustion engine. Although Maserati is turbocharged as much as possible, it seems to have tried to make use of the naturally aspirated characteristics. The firing order is 1-6-3-4-2-5 with a flat plane like the Ferrari before it.
McLaren’s new heart twin-turbo V6
In fact, McLaren relied heavily on the M838T engine compared to other brands in the supercar industry. Not many people know that this engine was originally from Japan’s Nissan. This is because all of our models are built on this one engine. So, some see it as the most commercialized brand with the greatest engine potential. McLaren, of course, responds to these accusations by placing a physically insurmountable gap between the entry-level and advanced levels of each model.
Because of the astronomical cost of engine R&D, it was difficult for McLaren to increase the number of engines prematurely. As such, there are few brands in the finished vehicle industry that can develop engines on their own.
Then, around 2017, McLaren released an evolved M840 engine, and this time, it introduced a twin-turbo V6 engine with the Artura. The engine this time is the M630. As a result, McLaren has three types of engines, the M838, M840, and M630.
This engine also has a lot of physical similarities with the aforementioned Ferrari F163 in terms of configuration. Both engines have a bank angle of 120 degrees, and twin turbos are inserted in the hot V method. Displacement is also consistent at 3 liters. However, in the case of the McLaren M630, it is unique in that it is an all-aluminum engine. The characteristics of McLaren, which almost risked its life to lose weight, were well preserved. (Usually characteristic of British racing brands) Thanks to that, it is 40 kg lighter than the previous M838. McLaren again developed the engine at Ricardo in England. In Korea, Ricardo is not well known, but it is a comprehensive automobile company with a long history, making everything from mass production parts to racing parts, and is also well-versed in engine development.
Ricardo has developed a modern large commercial vehicle engine together and has a record of success in developing the engine in just three and a half years, one of the fastest at the time. In the industry, engine development usually takes four years at the earliest, and it is common for it to take more than that. Therefore, this Atura and Ferrari 296GTB can be seen as a battle of pride between Italy and England, respectively, with a twin-turbo V6 engine.
In addition, British Lotus also recently released a new Emira, and the engine specification can be selected from Mercedes AMG’s 2-liter M139 engine and 3.5-liter Toyota V6 2GR engine. This new car also seems to be adding to the heat in the entry-level supercar market, which is getting fiercer recently.
On the other hand, rumors that Hyundai, a domestic brand, will release a mid-engine entry-level supercar (?) for the first time came out once in a while. This rumor has been around since around 2014, and the project name has also changed from RM14 to RM20e as the year goes by. RM is an abbreviation of Racing Midship, and it is known as a vehicle that has been developed along with the launch of the high-performance brand N as a Hyundai internal project. It is a vehicle that produces an output of 300 horsepower by raising the theta engine in the midship on the Veloster body, and it is said that the considerable tuning potential and fun from the small body are maximized. In fact, there was also an article about a test drive of the RM19 by an overseas magazine.
Then, recently, various rumors have been rampant, such as saying that the RM vehicle will be released in the form of a fully electric vehicle from an internal combustion engine, and then that it will be released in both an internal combustion engine version and an electric vehicle version. Recently, there is talk that the project has been canceled altogether. It is also said that it has moved on to revealing the RN22e instead. The fact that there is no domestic internal combustion engine midship layout model compared to Japan is a regrettable part of the history of automobiles. Some say that there is still a possibility that Hyundai will reconsider the midship.