EXCLUSIVE: Ferrari Two-Stroke Opposed Piston Hydrogen Engine

Ferrari indicates it could pair the two-stroke opposed piston engine with electric motors driving the front axle.

Ferrari continues to explore hydrogen-powered drivetrain solutions, patent documents discovered by AutoGuide.com indicate Ferrari is looking at a two-stroke 3- or 6-cylinder opposed piston engine powered by hydrogen.

The cylinders are shared by a pair of crankshafts–one at each end–with the pistons pumping towards each other on the compression stroke. This means a 3-cylinder engine would have 6 pistons and a 6-cylinder engine would have 12. The two spark plugs will be mounted in the middle of each cylinder, eliminating the need for cylinder heads.

From the look of things, Ferrari is using the flat piston layout to help make room for large hydrogen tanks that will sit above it. There are even provisions made in the document for electric motors to power the front wheels, think hydrogen-powered SF90.

The opposed piston engine and transaxle assembly. Note the centrally mounted wheel between the crankshafts providing input to the transaxle.

Things only escalate in complexity from there. The filings indicate there will be a flywheel and clutch at each crankshaft which drive a toothed wheel mounted between them which spins the input shaft. Arguably the most conventional part of this whole design is the 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. The transmission will sit behind the mid-mounted engine and below the differential, not unlike some production Ferraris.

Powertrain aside, Ferrari’s filings are very open-ended. It’s tough to say that these are anything more than concepts at this point, but the presence of two hydrogen-powered patents for drivetrains does indicate that Ferrari is seriously studying alternative fuels to help keep combustion alive.

Become an AutoGuide insider. Get the latest from the automotive world first by subscribing to our newsletter here.

The opposed piston engine when viewed from the rear. Each side of the cylinder has an intake runner and spark plug.
Chase Bierenkoven
Chase Bierenkoven

Chase is an automotive journalist with years of experience in the industry. He writes for outlets like Edmunds and AutoGuide, among many others. When not writing, Chase is in front of the camera over at The Overrun, his YouTube channel run alongside his friend and co-host Jobe Teehan. If he's not writing reviews of the latest in cars or producing industry coverage, Chase is at home in the driver's seat of his own (usually German) sports cars.

More by Chase Bierenkoven

Join the conversation