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.