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How Ferrari Engines Are Made

365 GT4 BB Rear-Engine V12

A Ford, a Buick, or a Mercedes-Benz will have many of its parts outsourced, but each Ferrari is made in the same place Ferraris have always been made: Maranello. And each Ferrari engine is hand-assembled to ensure the highest level of quality control. Each day at Maranello has 147 engines hand-assembled from parts that have been cast on-site.

Casting Ferrari Engine Parts

Ferrari vehicles take around three months to build, and the engine assembly is the first and most critical of the stages. To ensure the highest level of quality, engine components are cast in the in-house foundry. Aluminum is melted down in a furnace and poured into molds for the cylinder block, cylinder heads, crankcase, and valve casings. 

Although the engines are hand-assembled, this is the first stage where machine assistance is involved to ensure precision: the casting of the aluminum alloy is done by robots.

Rather than cast a solid block of aluminum and bore out the necessary pathways, cores of sand and resin are inserted into the die cast machine. When removed from the cast aluminum engine, those cores leave behind precision-designed channels. 

Robot Assistance in Ferrari Engine Assembly

Building out a Ferrari engine takes a level of care that should not be automated, but there are some jobs that are so intricate, require work so precise, that some assistance is required. 

In addition to the automated pouring of molten aluminum, a Ferrari engine’s valve seats require an extra robotic touch. A pair of robots nicknamed Romeo and Juliet fuse the valve seats that go into the engines. Romeo takes a cylinder head and gently warms it with compressed air while Juliet takes an aluminum ring and dips it into liquid nitrogen. The two parts are then joined together.

Producing the Crankshaft

Although Ferrari engines are hand-assembled, they are also built strategically. While the engine parts are being cast, the crankshaft is also being produced through an involved process that includes:

  • Rough Machining
  • Recovery Heat Treatment
  • Boring and Grinding
  • Nitriding
  • Final Grinding and Lapping

It can take about 25 working days to produce a crankshaft for a Ferrari. 

The Engine Assembly Unit

All finished engine parts arrive at the Engine Assembly Unit, where the cylinder block, cylinder heads, valves, and crankshaft are all combined to create an engine.

You’ll find 32 stations at the V8 assembly line, with the engine moving from one employee to the next — each trained and certified in their specific aspect of engine assembly. V12 engines are assembled separately from V8 due to their more complex design and the additional human attention required.

After leaving the Engine Assembly Unit, other elements are added (timing chains, the electrical system, the casing designed to protect the distribution). Then the engine is sent to the test bench to ensure it meets Ferrari’s standards before it moves to the assembly line to be mounted to the vehicle.

Mechanic Working on 365 GT4 BB Engine

Learn More with Ferrari Lake Forest

Ferraris are equal parts art and engineering, and to be the world-class vehicles they are, they require human involvement at every step. Contact us today to learn more about the care that goes into building your Ferrari — and our team of service experts can detail the high level of care that goes into maintaining your vehicle as well.

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