A Ferrari prototype has been spotted for the first time emitting the characteristic sound of a turbo spooling and whistling, thus leading to ripe speculation of its intended development.

A Ferrari prototype has been spotted for the first time emitting the characteristic sound of a turbo spooling and whistling, thus leading to ripe speculation of its intended development.

It is easy to jump to conclusions with this California prototype, seen here testing at Ferrari's Fiorano circuit, as it appears Ferrari is developing a forced induction powerplant to be used in a Ferrari model. However, previous reports have placed the all-new 2014 Maserati Quattroporte as the prime recipient of two new Ferrari-built engines.

The redesigned sedan will be offered with a 420 hp (313 kW / 426 PS) supercharged V6 and a 520 hp (388 kW / 527 PS) turbocharged V8. The V6 engine won't be available at launch, but it will reportedly be 30 percent more efficient than the 4.3-liter V8 used in the Ferrari California.

Whether that engine will trickle down to the California remains to be seen, but both engines will be connected to an eight-speed automatic transmission which could be paired to an optional all-wheel drive system.

Last time Ferrari used a turbocharged engine was approximately 20 years ago in the F40. Produced between 1987 and 1992, the F40 featured a 2.9-liter twin-turbo V8 making 471 hp (352 kW / 478 PS).

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