Ordinarily, when a new Ferrari is announced, owners of the current cars gnash their teeth at the news, cursing their now-outdated rides and the price you have to pay to stay at the cutting edge of flash and speed. But maybe not this time.
You see, the 488GTB that Ferrari intends to show off at this year’s Geneva Motor Show has something about its engine that may cause a little blowback: it’s turbocharged. The 488GTB isn’t just a prettier, quicker new thoroughbred from Maranello, it’s a change in the bloodline. The current 458 will be a last of breed car, the last naturally-aspirated Ferrari.>
The 2016 Ferrari 488 GTB.
But I can hear you now saying, “Oh, who the hell cares? I wasn’t going to buy one anyway.” Fair point, but when even the boutique manufacturers are turning towards turbocharging to gain more low-end power while still keeping up with emissions standards, it’s not long before all fun naturally-aspirated engines are off the table.
Make no mistake, turbocharged engines can be fun – the off-beat rumble of a Subaru flat-four, the rippling thunder of an Audi RS7 at full bore – but naturally-aspirated engines have instant responsiveness and a unique character. The future, it seems, is undoubtedly turbocharged, but that’s not always for the best. Here’s a look back at some of the best free-breathing engines we’ll miss.
Fantastic Four: The Honda S2000>
Do you miss the Honda S2000? A new report says it could return by 2017, but it won’t be the rear-wheel-drive roadster you know and love
Nothing says docile, occasionally-clattery economy like a four-cylinder engine. However, when you get a car company run by racing-obsessed lunatic Soichiro Honda, small displacement is no barrier to big heart.
Honda and Acura have a long line of excellent four-cylinder engines, perhaps a little peaky on torque, but with motorcycle-like rev characteristics. If you had to pick just one to be the banner-carrier, it’d be the S2000 roadster, the first generation car for choice.
Here, the little Honda’s heartbeat comes from a 2.0L engine making 240 horsepower – at 8,300 rpm. This thing absolutely screams, and while the succeeding model boosted torque at the expense of redline and was a bit more daily-drivable, the original remains the purest and best.
Bavarian Six: the BMW M3
The E46-generation BMW M3 is powered by a sweet-sounding 333-horsepower inline-six engine.
BMW’s naturally-aspirated engines could appear a half-dozen times on this list; the Bavarians have built a gem at every cylinder count between four and twelve. However, if there’s a BMW signature theme song, it’s played best by lining six cylinders up in a row and letting ’em rev.
BMW’s current naturally-aspirated engine count is zero, so we have to travel back in time to the third-generation M3 to find our champion. Built up until 2006, low-mileage examples with the rare competition package are holding firm on values, simply because there’s nothing else like it anymore.
Now outclassed on torque and overall horsepower by the new M3, a much larger and more violent car to drive, the old version has a beautifully balanced 3.2L inline-six making 333 horsepower. It’s simply a wonderful engine, smooth as silk but strong as an ox.
Pancake stack: Porsche 911 GT3>
There will be a day when Porsche replaces it’s normally-aspirated flat-six engines with turbocharged ones. When that happens, the GT3 will be the only new normally-aspirated 911.
If you can afford to buy a new 911 Carrera S, don’t. Try to find a low-mileage last-generation 911 GT3 instead, and plan on owning it for life.
Porsche will be next to turn to forced induction throughout the range, with plans for turbocharged six- and four-cylinder options for all their sportscars. While that’s probably good news given the company’s long expertise with forced induction, there’s a little sadness here too. Also, racing driver Walter Röhrl recently told Australian magazine Wheels that the four-cylinder version, “Sounds like a Volkswagen Beetle, I’m not kidding you!”
So, go with the racing-derived 3.8L “Metzger” engine from the last GT3, and let depreciation be something other people worry about.
The Heartbeat of America: Corvette Z06
The previous-generation Chevrolet Corvette Z06 is powered by a massive 7.0-litre V8.
I know the new Corvette Z06 is better, faster, more competent than ever, and now has seats that are hugely improved. However, the move to supercharged V8 power in the hardcore Z06 version is perhaps the end of an era.
At last year’s LeMans endurance race, I stood near the Michelin walkway at daybreak and watched the Corvette racing cars come flying through the corner, yellow flanks streaked with soot and grime. You could hear them a mile away, drowning out Ferraris, Porsches, and even the Aston Martins with corn-fed eight-cylinder American thunder. Worked better than coffee, I can tell you.
The previous generation Z06 isn’t going to be a collector car, not exactly, but like the Porsche GT3, it’s something special we won’t see again. Its 7.0L V8 cranks out 505 horsepower, revs to 7,000 rpm and basically sounds like an artillery barrage. Low-mileage ones are as cheap now as they’re ever going to be.
Blue Oval Blues: the Mustang GT350>
Ford Mustang Shelby GT350
Here’s the best way to explain the flat-plane crank in the GT350’s 5.2L V8: it’s like two Cosworth four-bangers scrapping it out in the Octagon. Each bank of cylinders trades blows with back-and-forth strikes that hammer out something beyond 500 horsepower.
Frankly, it’s incredible that such an engine is getting built in this day and age, what with the fearsome Ford GT getting a twin-turbo V6 as a nod to Ford’s Ecoboost range of turbocharged engines. But we’ll take it. Heck, I’ll take two.
Banzai Banshee: the Lexus LFA>
Lexus doesn’t have any immediate plans to build a successor to the LFA.
At first, I hated this car. I hated its idiotic pricetag and the fact that they wouldn’t actually sell it, but only provide it through a complicated leasing program, and then Paris Hilton was given one as a present and I wrote the LFA off entirely.
Even so, the sound the LFA produces from its odd three-port exhaust is good enough that you have to forgive it eventually. It’s not so much a car as it is a musical instrument – and there’s a good reason for that.
Toyota built this mighty 4.8L V10 with input from Yamaha, part of a long collaboration between the two that stretches back to the 2000GT of the 1960s, perhaps the original Japanese supercar. Yes, Yamaha makes motorcycles and other small motorized vehicles, but their metallurgical expertise comes from producing pianos and other musical instruments. With their aid, the LFA was born to sing.
Big Ten: the Dodge Viper>
2015 Dodge SRT Viper
Even if the Hellcat’s taking the headlines, there’s something you have to admire about the lunacy of having a two-seater car powered by an 8.4L V10 engine. No, the Dodge Viper doesn’t do subtlety very well. Yes, it does happen to fit the Old Testament definition of awesome.
With a 640 horsepower coming from that colossal all-aluminium engine, the Viper has the exhaust note of a semi-dormant volcano. It would make absolutely no sense at all if it wasn’t just so damn fast.
Nessun Dorma: The Ferrari 550 Maranello
Lest we forget the Ferrari 550 Maranello’s screamer of a V12 engine.
“Nessun Dorma” – none shall sleep. While the big Ferrari V12 might be going into that good night, it is not going gently. Or quietly.
One big bucket-list item for me was having a chance to drive a 550 Maranello a while back, the last front-engined Ferrari available only with a manual transmission. It’s one of the best-looking modern cars built by the Italians, and has aged with grace and beauty. Also, it has a steel-gated stick-shift and a 485-horsepower 5.5L engine that sings like Pavarotti in his prime.
In a sonorous tenor, this blue Ferrari sang an aria that was at once triumphant, yet tinged with sadness for a time that’s passing. A second-to-third gear change, hard on the throttle, and the mountains echo with a tune that’s fading fast – but not yet forgotten.
Source : http://driving.ca/porsche/911/auto-news/entertainment/naturally-aspirated-engines-well-miss-you