Heard the one about the horsepower race being dead?

Around four years ago it was a theme that was all the rage among supercar manufacturers staring down the barrels of emissions regulations. Instead, they started talking about efficiency and technology being key.

And now, here we are at the Geneva motor show, to see the new Ferrari F12 Berlinetta, the fastest ever Ferrari road car, with 730bhp, and a 0-62mph time in just 3.1sec and 0-124mph time in just 8.5sec.

So why the change in heart?

"We have simply moved on," shrugged Ferrari CEO Amedeo Felisa when I asked him. "We set our emissions reductions commitments five or six years ago and we are keeping them. But our engineers have found ways of achieving that and raising power, so we have the perfect solution."

In fact, the F12 emits 350g/km of CO2, 16% down on the current generation 599 and 30% down on the launch model 599.

And, emissions aside, those figures are far from a coincidence. Even Felisa hints that his team was spurred on by the achievements of the Lamborghini Aventador.

"Last August we were thinking of launching with around 710-720bhp but then we thought it would be correct for Ferrari to have the best figures, even with our GT car. There is plenty of capacity with this engine to have more power, so we decided to go up a bit. Now our GT has more power and better acceleration times than the Lamborghini. In fact, our car is also lighter than theirs, without the use of carbonfibre."

So, the horsepower race is alive and well. And mark Felisa's references to the pace of Ferrari's "GT car". There is, you suspect, plenty more in hand for whatever (sportscar) projects may lie in the future.