Ferrari patents supercharged engine

A new Ferrari patent filing has surfaced, hinting that the automaker is considering superchargers for future cars.

Aside from some early race cars, Ferrari has generally preferred turbocharging as a method of forced induction. But a patent application published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Feb. 29 (and originally filed on Aug. 24, 2023) specifically deals with supercharging.

Ferrari Supercharger patent image

According to the application, Ferrari’s main interest in supercharging seems to be packaging. The automaker currently uses turbocharged engines in its road cars, but in the application it notes that turbos require placing intake and exhaust ducts side by side, which could require plumbing with less-than-optimal airflow. It’s also possible to spin a turbo with an electric motor, but this adds weight, Ferrari notes.

A supercharger doesn’t come with these drawbacks, according to Ferrari. In the application, the automaker discusses a way to give engineers even greater flexibility. Instead of driving the supercharger via a belt and pulley attached to the engine, as in most current applications, Ferrari proposes driving it with a planetary gearset attached to the driveshaft.

Ferrari Supercharger patent image

An engine with this method of supercharging could be part of a hybrid powertrain, Ferrari suggests. In the application, it discusses an all-wheel-drive setup with an electric motor driving the front wheels and the supercharged engine driving the rear wheels.

Ferrari is in the midst of refreshing its lineup, although it’s unclear if any of the updated models will feature supercharged engines. A successor to the Ferrari SF90 plug-in hybrid has been spotted testing, and is expected to retain its electrified powertrain. A prototype of the replacement for the 812 Superfast has also been spied on the road, although it’s unclear if this model will add any form of electrification.