Ferrari could be working on its own super-performance version of Fiat's Multiair valvetrain technology, which effectively allows the cam profile to be altered dynamically through hydraulic actuators. Leaked documents indicate that Ferrari is developing a high-performance V8 engine with the Multiair valvetrain arrangement. Ferrari laid out the system in two-dimensional illustrations, which may indicate Formula 1-like air control over the valves in addition to the Fiat’s electro-hydraulic actuators. F1 engines can spin over 20,000 rpm by using air to actuate the valves.
Ferrari could have a small displacement, high-revving V8 in the future as the springs are unable to handle those valve speeds. By divorcing the operation of the valves from a specific cam profile or engine speed, the Fiat Multiair system can be more efficient over a wider range, boosting combustion efficiency and power, and at the same time saving fuel. This also cuts the parasitic loads on the engine by lessening the pumping losses. When the technology is applied to small engines, there would be better low-end torque, more top-end horsepower, and more overall horsepower. Alternatively, the system could be tuned for efficiency exclusively.
Below is a video which explains how Fiat’s Multiair technology operates. It won the prestigious “Engine of the Year” award in the best new engine of the year category for 2010.