Report: Ferrari Wants More F1 Tech To Trickle Down

Color us a bit puzzled: Ferrari president Luca de Montezemolo says he would like the Italian supercar maker to include more technologies from Formula One racing in its road cars. The puzzling part: Ferrari is arguably already the leader in doing just that.

de Montezemolo told Automotive News Europe that he is looking to Formula One as a source of budding technologies, especially pointing to the concept of the Kinetic Energy Recovery System that has been featured on some F1 cars this past season. The KERS system uses either a battery, supercapacitor, or flywheel to capture energy under braking and release it during certain acceleration or passing maneuvers. It’s directly contributed to a few pole positions and race wins since it was introduced in 2009.

While KERS isn’t featured on any of Ferrari’s current road-going offerings, the craftsmen in Maranello did craft a KERS-equipped 599GTB Fiorano for the 2010 Geneva Motor Show. It’s rumored that the HY-KERS system from that car should make its way to a future Ferrari model, although it’s unclear exactly which.

de Montezemolo’s comments make complete sense -- a company that spends as much as Ferrari does on F1 technology would do well to make money from shoehorning it into consumer cars -- but the puzzling part is that today’s Ferrari sports car already has a considerable amount of F1 tech in it.

Take the Ferrari 458 Italia, for instance. It gains a semi-automatic transmission with paddle shifters, an evolution of the technology that started in F1 (earlier Ferraris featured automated manual transmissions, while the 458 uses a dual-clutch setup). The steering wheel features a manettino switch reminiscent of F1 steering wheels, and the car has other features like an electronically controlled differential, race traction control, carbon ceramic brakes, steering wheel-mounted turn signals, and a body tuned in a wind tunnel to produce downforce.

What features would you like to see in a future F1-minded Ferrari? Pushrod suspensions? Active rear wings? Perhaps a two-way radio that connects to Red Bull Racing headquarters? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)

I disagree with the comment above. KERS can be used in cars more effectively. In an F1 car the motor is smaller and can produce around 60 kilowatts of energy or 80 BHP. In the future imagine a car that simply does away with a engine and uses this setup. Of course you would not power a SUV but perhaps a smart car or mini
Guys...$18K Hyundais have 6 sp dual-clutch semi-automatic transmissions with paddle shift. BFD. Even the Italia's DCT is not used in racing, they use a third-party sequential shift transmission without paddles. Steering mounted turn signals are F1 inspired? You can buy HY-KERS road cars, they're called Priuses. A few cars already have active wings, these are as pointless as putting wings on a road car. Montezemolo is just trying to figure out how to justify the ridiculous prices they get for these FIATs. Most of the technology that makes a F1 car fast has no application to road cars.

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