Ferrari aims to have future models of its luxury sports line consume 40% less fuel by 2012 in response to the growing pressure on car makers to reduce CO2 emissions.

Amedeo Felisa, general manager of the Italian luxury sports car maker, told Reuters on the sidelines of the news agency's autos summit in Frankfurt that Ferrari wanted to reduce CO2 emissions from 400g/km per vehicle to 280-300 by the same target date.

"We have to face the challenge of reducing consumption but not affecting the performance of the car," he said. "Otherwise we move (away) from our position in the market and we do not want to do that."

Felisa told the news agency that Ferrari engineers were looking at everything from improving the performance of the engine to using lighter materials for the body of the car.

"The answer is efficiency," he said.

At its headquarters in Maranello last summer, Ferrari showed off the Millechili, a concept car that weighed less than existing models at 1,000 kg.

Ferrari, 85% owned by Fiat, invests 17% of its sales in research and development.

The European Commission is preparing legislation to require average CO2 emissions from new cars to come down to 120 grams per km by 2012.