Almost daily we see another major automotive brand announcing a battery-electric power initiative aka EV. But, not at Ferrari.
The Italian Supercar maker is determined that there will be no silent surge of power in its near future, even as Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Porsche, and BMW all have committed to building exhaust-free electric cars.
The 70 anni company will instead follow the lead of its Formula 1 program to downsize its engines and mate them to fast-discharging hybrid power, while sneering at it whispering rivals.
“We would not follow to develop a fully electric car,” Ferrari’s CTO, Michael Leiters, said at the Paris Auto Show, where the company’s centerpiece was the LaFerrari Aperta, the roadster version of its hybrid exotic with a V-12 plus an electric motor.
“We are convinced that it’s right to have a hybrid car because, for us, the sound is a very crucially important characteristic of a Ferrari, and our customers want to have this. Definitely for us also, the electric technology is interesting, not for reducing emissions but for increasing the performance of the cars,” Mr. Leiters said.
“Electric technology is interesting, not for reducing emissions but for increasing the performance of the cars.”
Ferrari has capped its annual manufacturing capacity at just 10,000 by Y 2020.
Many of its high-powered cars lock very low annual mileages.
“For us, it’s important to have the right combination, with engine and battery power,” Mr. Leiters sayd. “There’s a lot to do. For us, today, the weight of batteries is still too much to have a highly dynamic and highly agile car,” he said,
“We are convinced that at a certain time there will be a step forward also for Ferrari with a hybrid car.”
All European manufacturers are developing both positions and contingency plans to respond to tightening EU emissions regulations for Y 2020, which even apply to Ferrari.
At the Paris Auto Show, neither Mr. Leiters nor Ferrari’s product marketing director, Nicola Boari, would rule out a return to V-6 power, coupled with an electric motor for the 1st time since the 1974 Dino, positing it as a potential response to the coming European regulations.
Ferrari has downsized its powerplants in other Supercars in recent years, with the wailing 9000-rpm 458 V-8 giving way to a 3.9-liter twin-turbo engine, a variant of which now sits in the GTC4Lusso T, in an engine bay that formerly housed only a V-12.
“I don’t like to cover our future right now, obviously, but, yes, battery technology on electric cars and so on is going ahead very fast, and you can see quite bold steps in regard to power and capacity,” Mr. Boari said.
“Obviously, if you’re thinking about a hybrid car, the reality is that you will have extra weight, and you have to accommodate that. You have to find a solution that is more compact than today and weighs less than today. You also have to think more about downsizing; 8 cylinders, or 6 cylinders, or whatever—it makes sense.”
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