Based on the success of the Ferrari LaFerrari hypercar, chairman Luca di Montezemolo told Bloomberg that Ferrari will pursue the production of more hybrid models. Although he ruled out the possibility of an all-electric Ferrari, di Montezemolo asserted that electric motors and battery packs will be on other future Ferrari cars.
"I don't believe in the electric cars, but I strongly believe in hybrids," he told Bloomberg in Italy.
Once seen only as a solution for saving fuel in mainstream cars, hybrid drivetrains have recently become the powertrain du jour for supercars and hypercars. The Ferrari LaFerrari has a 6.3-liter V-12 engine mated to an electric motor/generator, giving it a total output of 951 hp. Doing so provides several benefits: the LaFerrari can produce more power while using less fuel, and the electric setup also allows for a lower center of gravity, regenerative braking, and smoother acceleration.
Several other companies have followed the lead of the Ferrari LaFerrari hybrid system. The McLaren P1 combines an electric motor with a 3.8-liter twin-turbo V-8 to produce 900 hp. We recently drove the Porsche 918 Spyder, which has a hybrid powertrain consisting of a 4.6-liter V-8 and a pair of electric motors, resulting in a 0-to-62-mph time of 2.8 seconds. And in 2015, Acura will launch the new NSX with a hybrid system composed of a gasoline V-6 engine and a pair of electric motors. (The chart below highlights all of the models' specifications.) In other words, hybrid high-performance cars seem to be here to stay.
There's no word yet on how soon Ferrari might launch another hybrid model. For now, the only new product from Maranello is the Ferrari 458 Speciale, a hardcore track version of the 458 Italia that bows publicly next month at the Frankfurt Motor Show. However, the fact that all 499 copies of the Ferrari LaFerrari have already sold out -- at a cost of over $1 million apiece -- will likely encourage the Italian company to produce as many new hybrid cars as possible.
|Powertrain||Net power output||Price||Top Speed|
|2014 McLaren P1||3.8-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 hybrid system||903hp||$1.15 million||218mph|
|2015 Acura NSX||3.7-liter V-6 hybrid system||480hp (est.)||$130,000 (est.)||N/A|
|2014 Ferrari LaFerrari||6.3-liter V-12 hybrid system||951hp||$1 million (est.)||200+mph (est.)|
|2014 Porsche 918 Spyder||4.6-liter V-8 hybrid system||887hp||$845,000||213+mph (est.)|