Ferrari Is Making One Of Its Customers Jump Through Hoops To Get Parts For Their Twin
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Ferrari Is Making One Of Its Customers Jump Through Hoops To Get Parts For Their Twin

May 31, 2023

Ferrari welcomes customization, but an F12's customization journey toward a Twin-Turbo setup reveals several challenges.

Supercars are the pinnacle of automotive performance. But for the adventurous, the true thrill lies in pushing them further – in customization that transforms them into personalized masterpieces. From the pistons to the air intake, power and precision need to meet perfectly to align to the driver's definition of "controlled chaos" under the hood.

The Ferrari F12 is no exception. It's a marvel straight out of the factory. Yet, it beckons those who dare to the path of modification. Ferrari has always been open to customers modifying their supercars via their in-house Tailor Made personalization service—within certain boundaries.

Going beyond what Ferrari deems "tasteful" or tinkering with the mechanicals under the hood is a slippery slope. Many tinkerers and celebrities have been banned for life by Ferrari for not staying within these boundaries.

But supercars personalization comes with a premium. It requires a hefty wallet and demands a keen sense of knowing what you're doing. There’s an art and science to it. Even if a bank account can handle it, there's one more roadblock standing in the way of customizations: Ferrari itself.

While Ferrari does not like owners who ambitiously modify their supercars, it does help those who request sourcing rare and exclusive parts within its boundaries. However, the waiting list and cost of the part may be more than double when getting it from Ferrari.

A prime example of this is when DDE’s (Daily Driven Exotics) Mike wanted to get parts for his modification. He wanted to turn a stock Ferrari F12 into a Twin-Turbo build. For this upgrade, he found himself entering a world filled with challenges, something that clearly tested his determination and patience.

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Mike from Daily Driven Exotics was looking to push the already impressive Ferrari F12's performance even further. He wanted to upgrade the engine to a Twin-Turbo, offering more than double the stock horsepower (from 730 to 1,500+ hp).

The stock Ferrari F12 Berlinetta is already regarded as one of the most complete modern Ferraris. He was looking for more power and an engine that wasn’t fuel injection anymore, but port injection.

The stock F12 Berlinetta has a direct fuel injection system. The decision to replace the direct fuel injection system with a traditional port injection setup meant better compatibility with aftermarket engine management systems. The new build would then open the doors to a much wider array of tuning options.

However, when Mike called Ferrari to order parts, they didn’t have the VIN number of the car registered in their system. So, he had to take the car to them – to show that they really had it. This wouldn’t normally be a problem, but Mike had already stripped the car bare. That’s hoop number one.

For the build, he needed custom pistons and connecting rods. These would need to withstand the extraordinary stresses of forced induction and high horsepower applications.

With the vision set, the components selected, and the modifications planned, Mike presented his blank Ferrari canvas to the dealership. After the Ferrari staff inspected the F12's modifications and his list of parts, they were able to find a gasket set. There was only one left in the United States, so he had to hurry to secure it.

However, as is often the case with high-performance parts, the news came with a hefty price tag. Mike knew that a good price tag doesn't always mean a great deal. Being under a deadline and having no other option, he had to make the purchase. The staff told Mike that the set would have a seal or two missing, but he would be able to find those as he opened up the engine block.

But that wasn't the end of his problems. The offer for the pistons was equally remarkable. They were available through Ferrari, but the cost was a staggering $1,000 per piston. The prospect of replacing all of them in the V12 engine would obviously amount to $12,000.

RELATED:10 Reasons Why Every Gearhead Should Drive The Ferrari F12 Berlinetta

For Mike, though, this wasn’t the reason he declined the pistons. The main issue was that these parts were stock variations. Mike needed specialized pistons for port injection setup, so the $12,000 investment wouldn’t help.

As Mike delved deeper into the realm of Ferrari customization, he soon encountered another hurdle. With the gasket set and the original pistons ruled out, Mike had to now source specialized components to bring his Twin-Turbo F12 build to life.

It wasn't like he was modifying the car just for more legroom - like Shaq's Ferrari: he wanted performance.

While Ferrari had shown its willingness to cooperate, the quest for custom pistons and connecting rods led Mike on a different path. The challenge was that the stock pistons, even if acquired, wouldn't withstand the demands of the modified engine.

Forced induction and increased horsepower demanded components built to endure extreme stresses and pressures. The same was true for the connecting rods. While the stock connecting rods that he would pull out of the V12 engine would also fit, the primary question that Mike had was, “are they strong enough to handle how much power we're planning on making with this thing?”

If the stock rods broke mid-operation, the entire engine block would be trashed. That would be a much more expensive venture than simply sourcing new parts for the engine. Not only do the V12 Engines cost more than a house – like the Ferrari Enzo's V12, Ferrari has been adamant about keeping its V12 Engine alive. Killing the engine after modifications would mean getting on Ferrari’s bad graces – not only for the client but for Mike and his team as well.

This realization brought Mike to the pivotal decision of seeking out a reliable aftermarket partner. He had received an email back from an aftermarket piston and rod company; CP Carrillo.

RELATED: How Ferrari Plans To Keep Its Iconic V12 Alive Even After The 2035 ICE Ban

Amid the uncertainties and challenges that came with the Ferrari Twin-Turbo F12 build, Mike went to CP Carrillo for an estimate. They expressed that they could manufacture the parts he required. At this point, it wasn’t as much about cost as it was about finding the right high-performance components.

There was also the risk that installing an aftermarket part in the engine would anger Ferrari and force the car into "limp mode" if he wasn't careful enough.

As Mike and the DDE team stepped into CP Carrillo's facility, their objective was to find the custom pistons and connecting rods that would withstand the increased horsepower. CP Carrillo showcased its CNC milling processes and innovative precision measurement techniques for better manufacturing.

Since visiting Ferrari, there was an air of optimism surrounding Mike at this point. There was no need for the car to actually be there (even though Mike still had it in tow), hence eliminating hoop number one.

Mike discussed the specifics of their vision with Brenda, a representative of CP Carrillo. To shape the heart of the F12, they discussed compression ratios, pin positions, and materials. The team contemplated using a "round forging" design for the connecting rods. This would mean better structural resilience while achieving weight reduction. This would match the engine's requirements better.

CP Carrillo agreed to manufacture the customized components within eight to ten weeks. This eliminated hoop number two. This timeframe tested DDE's determination to meet the looming SEMA deadline. They also discussed the pricing.

CP Carrillo was ready to offer the wholesale pricing option to Mike:

That’s a total of $5,500. For the rods alone, the Ferrari dealership quoted Mike a staggering $13,000 and an additional $12,000 for the pistons. This helped Mike jump through hoop number three as well, reducing his total cost by $19,500. This sealed the deal, instilling confidence that he would be successful and may perhaps enter his Twin Turbo engine into the top-performing Ferrari Engines out there.

The challenges Mike faced faded, but Ferrari turned the modification journey into quite a difficult one for its customer.

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From the thunderous roars of high-performance engines to the subtle curves; Khizar is a writer immersed in the world of automotive elegance. His journey began in the pixelated streets of "Need for Speed II: SE," and evolved into a true automotive enthusiast. He eagerly explores everything from the inner workings beneath the hood to the emotions stirred by gripping the wheel.With a keyboard as his instrument, Khizar weaves intricate narratives that bring the automotive realm to life. From deciphering the complexities of engine mechanics to delving into the finer points of interior detailing, he is dedicated to dissecting every aspect of the driving experience across a broad range of niches. His articles are a breath of technical insights and heartfelt emotions, designed to resonate with fellow enthusiasts and newcomers alike.Fueling his curiosity is an insatiable thirst for knowledge and expression. Khizar relentlessly strives to stay on the cutting edge of the automotive world, meticulously researching the latest upgrades and trends. From classic icons to futuristic marvels, he is your guide to the diverse landscape of vehicles of all types and classes. He immerses himself in real-world experiences; whether it's getting his hands dirty in engine bays and undercarriages or capturing the gleam of sunlight bouncing off a meticulously waxed surface. Khizar fuses theory with practice; bridging the gap between the technical and the tactile.

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