Ferrari to Introduce More Hybrids
Ferrari is following a growing trend by automakers to offer high-performance cars with reduced emissions. BMW has just showcased the i8 plug-in hybrid supercar while McLaren has been rumored to also have a hybrid supercar in the works. This is clearly the result of political pressures being placed on both automakers and the motorsports industry to make more environmentally friendly products. Formula 1 has opted to downsize their engines in an effort to reduce emissions; NASCAR has been considering using an ethanol fuel over the current high-carbon dioxide producing mixture. It’s safe to say that the automotive landscape that we have became familiar with is about to change. The need to test the eco-friendly concepts out on high-end supercars makes sense due to the fact that customers who purchase high-end supercars tend to be less price sensitive, and more willing to pay for additional technology. A clear example of this is $845,000 clean air production version of the Porsche 918 Spyder that has just been released.
By adding two electric motors to the already 798-horsepower 6.3 liter V12 gas motor of the LaFerrari, Ferrari was able to achieve 949 horsepower with a 0-60 in less than 3 seconds with a top speed of over 218 mph. This completely contradicts the classic logic that an electric car or hybrid will be good for the environment but bad for horsepower. Supercar manufacturers have found a way to deliver higher horsepower than what is possible in a gas motor while delivering a considerably more eco-friendly product. Transforming the perception that all hybrids are wussy little “smart cars” with no balls into masculine high-performance machines that kick ass. This upswing in horsepower is match with an extremely limited production line designed to increase Ferrari’s profitability by offering high-end customized versions of its vehicles while restricting their availability to enhance the brand’s reputation for exclusivity.
Ferrari Chairman Luca di Montezemolo has confirmed to Bloomberg that Ferrari has plans to introduce and develop more hybrid models in the future. Luca di Montezemolo was careful to ensure that Ferrari tailors production to meet customer demand. Even though di Montezemolo did not give any details on what hybrid models to expect, Ferrari CEO Amedeo Felisa has previously stated that the technology used to create the LaFerrari was engineered to be compatible with all future Ferrari models.
“I’m not saying when, but it is possible that this technology will be on all Ferrraris,” Felisa said in a March 2012 interview with Autocar. “It has been designed to fit all our future architecture, and if we go ahead it will be fitted as standard. It is not the sort of thing you offer as an option.”
The LaFerrari represents a huge step up in powertrain technology for the Maranello based manufacturer. Luca di Montezemolo has confirmed that the LaFerrari was not a one off, rather the first piece in an intricate strategy to meet the growing demand for clean air technology while still delivering the quality, performance and exclusivity that has made the prancing pony one of the most distinguishable brands on the market today.