Recently, I spent the morning at Ferrari’s Modena plant partly because the company wants to make a point of its green credentials.
Ferrari has spent the last few years completely re-building Modena, not only installing smart new production lines but also new buildings that consume less energy and 4000sq meters of solar panels.
However, the Italians have gone one step further and built their own mini on-site power station, which provides not only electricity but also cooled water and super-heated water.
Hard-hated and ear-defended, we were allowed into the bowls of the Modena power station to see an extraordinary sight.
At the heart of the operation are two more-than-room-sized V20 (yes, that’s 20-cylinder) engines. Each motor measures in at 769-litres and churns out the equivalent of 23,000bhp.
Powered by gas (and started up with compressed air), these engines are built specifically for power generation, run at a constant 750rpm and are said to be among the most efficient internal combustion engines in the world.
However, despite them being sprayed Ferrari red, the engines are actually made by Rolls-Royce. (That’s the aero engine company, not BMW’s flagship auto brand).
So every Ferrari, including the on-site manufacturing of the whole engine, is built with power generated by Rolls-Royce. I really hadn’t expected that.