Italy Fights for the Mechanical Soul of Ferrari & Lamborghini
Emissions regulations have supercars in their sights
Ask anyone who’s even mildly into cars what makes a car like Ferrari or Lamborghini special, more often than not we’re willing to bet that the answer is the sound. The roar of a highly-strung performance engine is music to some. That sound imparts a feeling that the car is a wild animal bucking and struggling against chains that can barely contain it. A sound born of a gasoline-fed internal combustion engine, a sound that due to the inexorable march of electrification might soon be as extinct as the dodo.
But not without a fight it seems. As the European Union (EU) looks to phase out the traditional combustion engine over the next couple of decades, Italy has taken to resisting the measures on behalf of some of its most popular supercar exports seeking to exempt them from the push.
Italy’s current government is said to be in talks with the EU to shield iconic small-volume manufacturers from the new legislation citing the economies of scale principle as their main argument. This means that since manufacturers like VW and Renault may find it easier to spread the costs involved in converting their hundreds-of-thousands-of-units-per-year production lines across those vehicles, niche businesses like Ferrari or Lamborghini that produce fewer than 18,000 cars per year combined would find it much more difficult to do the same.
So what does all this mean for us car lovers? Should Ferrari simply put up or shut up? Well, it’s a bit too complex an issue than simply saying yes or no. But we will say this: you can’t serve just lettuce and tomato on a brioche bun and call it a cheeseburger.
Meaning that the internal combustion engine is to a Lamborghini what the meat and cheese is to a burger. You can’t really have one without the other without losing the essence of what defines it as something in and of itself. Don’t want to get all Kantian here, but yeah, this is a big deal.
We do think it is noble and necessary to do what is needed to reduce emissions and prevent further degradation of the planet’s environment. But it’s one thing to tell Ford or Honda to stop using an internal combustion engine and have a reasonable expectation that they can and would.
But the Honda Civic isn’t quite the same thing as a LaFerrari is it? It should not be considered as such because of the low volume of LaFerraris built compared to Civics. Consider that since 2017 Honda has sold almost 140,000 Civics in Europe, so it’s safe to say the majority of that number are still on the road. Over the same period Lamborghini has sold fewer than 7,000 total cars.
Now we don’t claim to be Neil DeGrasse Tyson over here, but reducing the impact the bigger manufacturers are making will go further hitting emissions reductions than nerfing the angel wing-giving sound of the new Countach.
Related: How Will Porsche Stay Popular in an All-Electric Future?