By this point just about every enthusiast with an internet connection knows what Mike is up to. But, if for some reason you don’t, the TL;DR summation of his plans is this: Ferrari 2.9L F10 V8 out Honda K24 in. With that being what Mike’s doing, some might wonder, why?
Personally, I don’t think any explanation further than “it’s a hot rod” is required, but Mike has provided ample justification on his YouTube channel.
Any gear-head capable of looking at things objectively can acknowledge that the Honda K-series engine is rapidly become the go-to, swappable, small displacement motor. Similar to the allure of the LS V8, these four cylinders are workhorses in any trim. Honda put them in an extremely wide variety of vehicles in configurations from 150hp to 212hp.
The motors can be had for a song, and as a very well understood platform, can putter along dutifully for decades, or set fire to any tire you throw at it with a bit of fettling.
If after watching the video above you still don’t think a K24 is the perfect motor for this car, then I’d love to hear your justifications in the comments section. Seriously, aside from upsetting the ‘purity’ of what Ferrari has built, this swap makes perfect sense.
A K24 in its most potent factory trim, untouched, makes 200hp. According to Ferrari, when new the F106 2.9L V8 made about 202hp. Factor in the mentioned weight savings of just swapping driveline for driveline and, if you’re building a race car (which Mike is) the math is simpler than 2+2.
Mike is of course adding a multiplier to this equation via forced induction. A Garrett G35-900 will be used initially for goals of 600whp, and then a G42-1200 for closer/hopefully above 1,000whp.
It is entirely possible to wake up the Ferrari motor, but to quote Mike: “I may have a Ferrari but I don’t have Ferrari money.”
‘More than you can afford, pal’ isn’t a cliché quote for nothing.
To carry the mathematical analogy an increment further, if an awkward remainder is left anywhere it’s in the fabrication. But Mike isn’t the type to cry during long division – he’s already successfully done much of the heavy fabrication lifting himself.
Further still, in a stroke of sheer DIY brilliance, he is attempting to limit the number of one-off components used to complete the driveline. When you’re building a race car, anything you can lift out of a catalog is a bonus.
Again, unless you are staunchly opposed to practicality, this swap makes plenty of sense. The fact it’s upset multiple, fairly active hornet’s nests of purists is just a bit of a bonus.
Of course, Mike is also changing the car from a visual perspective opting to fit a Liberty Walk kit along with yet-to-be-revealed motorsport wheels.
These decisions might stir up controversy (angle grinders into Ferrari tin usually do) but for Mike’s purposes more traction is required, and Liberty Walk just to happens to make one of the best looking kits for the car.
Unlike many modified Ferraris featured in automotive media, this car will be driven with intent, regularly, upon completion. Competing in Global Time Attack 2021 is the goal, one minute and 40-second laps at Buttonwillow being the install call out. Mike has no illusions the Ferrari will be immediately competitive – it is just another one of his automotive experiments after all – but once the car reveals its failings the idea will be iterated upon.
If it becomes an all-out race car, then it becomes an all-out race car, but if it dances on the street/track border that is cool too.
During our interview, Mike said car building should be fun, and watching his progression on YouTube it’s abundantly clear he’s having much more fun than coloring outside the lines that those dead set on coloring within.
Photos by Keiron Berndt
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