Ferrari's first hybrid revealed
Ferraris are traditionally red and powered by some of the most exquisite internal combustion engines known to man.
599 GTB Hybrid
At the Geneva motor show this week though, the fabled Italian supercar concern will be showing off a rather green (in more ways than one) 599 GTB.
At least that V12 engine is still in the place Enzo would have put it - behind the front axle, yet ahead of the pedals.
Everyone is doing it
Although the concept of hybrid power is still an anathema to most performance car fanatics, the idea of adding some electric power to placate environmentalist (whilst adding some overtaking shove) is gaining momentum.
Following Porsche’s second generation Cayenne (announced last week with full production hybrid technology), Ferrari is now following suit in principle (not yet in production) with a petrol/electric 599.
Exactly how traditional Ferrari buyers will react to this example of perceived brand dilution is unclear.
Total 599 hybrid output could run 530kW - nice. Consumption reduction pure conjecture at this moment.
More power, more weight too
Although technical details are still to be confirmed, the 599 GTB hybrid is expected to add a 74kW electric motor to the 6l V12.
The new powertrain should exact a 100kg weight penalty, which, in term of straight-line performance, is thought to be offset by the additional power available. The hybrid 599 is rumoured to be even swifter than a standard GTB.
Ferrari’s first hybrid concept car is expected to boast brake regeneration technology too, with power stored for short bursts of intense acceleration, actuated via a steering-wheel button. This set-up is similar to the 2009 season Ferrari F1 car’s KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System).
Is remains to be seen if the 599 hybrid will cue other hybrid performance car innovations such as stop-start internal combustion override and low-speed full electric drive.