Ferrari, Lamborghini Seek EU Combustion Ban Exemption, Porsche Fires Back

During the summer of 2021, the European Union proposed banning the production of new combustion engines by 2035. Italy has requested an exemption to the EU combustion ban. The country aims to protect its “niche” supercar manufacturers Ferrari and Lamborghini. The CEO of Porsche immediately fired back, calling decarbonization a “global issue” and insisting “everyone has to contribute.”

Commission considering 2035 EU combustion ban for all ICE vehicles

Ferrari 641, Grand Prix of Monaco, Circuit de Monaco, 27 May 1990. Ferrari 037 3.5 V12. (Photo by Paul-Henri Cahier/Getty Images). The EU combustion ban may affect engines in future Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Porsche supercars.
Ferrari Grand Prix V12 | Photo by Paul-Henri Cahier/Getty Images

In July 2021, the European Union proposed a 55% reduction in new internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles by 2030 and a 100% reduction by 2035. As a result, selling new internal combustion vehicles in the Union may be illegal after 2035. The EU Parliment still has to vote on the ban.

The proposed EU combustion ban would accelerate the current target: a 37.5% reduction by 2030. Additionally, the law would make the 27-country European Union the largest block of countries to pass a 100% ban.

The EU Commission’s proposal made headlines worldwide. However, it also drew criticism from European member countries and some attacks from automakers.

Italy seeks an exception for boutique manufacturers: Lamborghini and Ferrari

An engineer works on a Ferrari engine at the factory in Maranello, Italy. (Photo by �� Vittoriano Rastelli/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images). EU combustion ban may affect the engines in future Ferrari, Lamborghini and Porsche supercars.
Engineer works on a Ferrari engine | Vittoriano Rastelli/CORBIS/Corbis/Getty Images

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Supercars are one of Italy’s main exports. So it is not surprising that the European country is in talks with the European Union to write an exception into the proposed ban for the “niche” supercar market.

Roberto Cingolani is an Italian minister for ecological transition. He told Bloomberg, “There is a clear awareness about the need for a transition toward electric mobility.” Consequently, he touted Italy’s battery-producing “giga-factory program” as helping the transition.

Cingolani is also a retired director of Ferrari. He argued that Italian bespoke automakers produce so few vehicles, they have little impact on climate change. He called the industry “a niche.”

Cingolani revealed, “there is an ongoing discussion with the EU Commission.” Then, Cingolani said an exemption “is something we are discussing with other partners in Europe.” Finally, he concluded, “I am convinced there will not be a problem.” A European Union spokesman declined to respond to Cingolani’s comments

Lamborghini: for us, the V12 is ‘fundamental’

Lamborghini Miura p400s V12 in 1970 . By Simon Clay. (Photo by National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images) EU combustion ban may affect new ferrari, lamborghini, and porsche supercars.
Lamborghini Miura p400s V12 | Simon Clay/National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images

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No current Ferrari officials have responded to the proposed EU combustion ban. Fuel-efficient hybrid race cars have dominated Formula One since 2009. In 2013, Ferrari unveiled the first full hybrid Italian supercar: the La Ferrari.

Lamborghini’s Chief Technology Officer, Maurizio Reggiani, told The Drive he “The V12 is our heritage.” He then specified, “I believe what we sell is emotion, and part of that emotion comes from the sound of the engine.” He added, “For us, it’s fundamental to continue to use a V12 engine.”

Lamborghini has vowed to reduce CO2 emissions by 50% by 2025. Therefore, the manufacturer is pursuing more plug-in hybrid Lamborghini drivetrains.

Porsche CEO disagrees: ‘Everybody has to contribute.’

English motor racing driver Graham Hill, sitting in a Ferrari car at a performance garage at Sebring International Raceway, 1964. (Photo by Flip Schulke/Getty Images) EU combustion ban may affect new ferrari, lamborghini, and porsche supercars.
Race car driver in a Ferrari | Flip Schulke/Getty Images

Oliver Blume is the CEO of Porsche. In September 2021, he appeared in Munich. The automaker was debuting upcoming models at the International Mobility Show. Bloomberg asked him about the EU combustion ban. Blume did not seem worried and said, “electric in the next decade will be unbeatable.”

Porsche has nimbly pivoted towards electrification; the company’s electric sportscar, the four-door Taycan, was rated one of the most beautiful sedans of 2021.

When asked point-blank about an exemption from the ban for Ferrari and Lamborghini, Blume did not mince words. Instead, he said, “De-carbonization is a global question and everybody has to contribute.”

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