Maranello may have done the improbable. A handful of pictures posted to Instagram suggest Ferrari may have found a way to wedge the LaFerrari’s V12 powertrain into the company’s mid-engined sports car platform.
Over the last week, an Instagram user and apparent supercar aficionado going by the handle @gregb.23 has posted a series of images of the mysterious car, which appears to be his new ride. The first two shots both featured a car covered in the sort of crimson covering Ferrari traditionally uses to mask models before an unveiling. The general lines beneath the silky sheet appear more or less similar to the 458 Speciale—the small lip spoiler and lights distinguish it from a basic 458 Italia, while the lack of a side vent sets it apart from the newer 488. In the caption, however, Greg B. claims that the car isn’t powered by a V8—and more importantly, isn’t a LaFerrari, that hypercar being the only mid-engined production car Ferrari has whipped up in the last decade.
But the real proof—assuming no Photoshop skullduggery—came in the final picture, posted four days ago, which depicted what appears to be a portion of the ass end of a 458 Speciale with a LaFerrari V12 hiding beneath the rear window.
Faithful Ferrari followers may recall that none other than Eric Clapton reportedly pleaded with Maranello to squeeze a V12 engine into a 458 frame for his SP12 EC one-off, only to be told it couldn’t be done due to homologation concerns. But if this new V12 458 Speciale—if that’s truly what it is—is designed strictly for track usage, then the company could have found a loophole that lets it get away with this Frankensteinian creation.
It’s unclear whether the mystery car packs the entire hybrid powertrain of the LaFerrari, or if the V12 has been uncoupled from the batteries and electric motor. While the idea of the LaFerrari’s screaming 12-cylinder engine running wild and free sounds magical, considering the motor was designed to work in concert with the electric bits to create an otherworldly type of power delivery, we’re guessing it’s sticking with the full hybrid setup
Besides, imagine a 949-horsepower 458 Speciale? That just sends shivers up our spines.