It could operate under two different ignition methods depending on the efficiency needs at a given time.
Ferrari looks toward the future with a newly patented engine design that the company believes would reduce emissions while maintaining performance. The Prancing Horse filed the paperwork on April 24, 2019, but the United States Patent and Trademark Office published it on October 24.
Gallery: Ferrari Engine Patent
The patent describes a way to incorporate two different combustion methods into the engine. One of the strategies involves injecting a small amount of fuel just before the spark plug ignites. Ferrari describes the advantage of this system as increasing the airflow through the combustion chamber and creating a hotter air-fuel mixture. "The catalytic system is therefore very rapidly heated at engine start-up and the emissions, particularly significant in this phase, can be reduced," Ferrari writes in the patent documents.
This Ferrari engine adds a pre-chamber that sits above the center of the main combustion chamber, and both of them have their own spark plug. During normal driving, some of the air-fuel mixture enters the pre-chamber, and the spark plug ignites it. "This translates into a rapid combustion with low detonation risk," Ferrari writes.
Conversely, the spark plug in the main combustion chamber operates during startup or low-load conditions. In this mode, the engine operates under spark-coupled injection to heat up the catalytic converter.
A recent report indicates that Ferrari wants to do what's necessary to keep the V12 engine in its lineup. These patent images specifically shot a 12-cylinder powerplant. This suggests the idea in the company's description is one possibility for creating a more efficient version of this potent mill.