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Ferrari 599 hybrid

By John Carey, 16 Mar 2010 Features


High-voltage supercar

Hybrid tech’s green image is about to get a big red go-fast stripe, with news that Ferrari’s first petrol-electric powered road car will be revealed at the Geneva motor show in early March.

According to Italian media, the 599 ibrido (that’s Italian for hybrid) will be labelled a concept, but Ferrari executives have made no secret of their interest in putting petrol-electric power into production.

While massively cutting city-driving fuel consumption, the compact parallel-hybrid system will apparently also slightly improve performance and handling, according to a report in respected Italian monthly Quattroruote.

The 599 hybrid reportedly uses electric motor technology loosely based on the company’s Formula One KERS (kinetic energy recovery system).

Max power of the electric motor is thought to be around 30-35kW, with its power coming from a 30kg lithium-ion battery pack, recharged solely through energy recovered during deceleration and braking.

Total weight of the system will be approximately 50kg. Like the other hybrid system components – electric motor, cooling system, electronics – the battery pack snuggles beside the 599’s rear-mounted transaxle, a location which may improve the car’s weight distribution.

The 599 hybrid, which will also feature a stop-start system, won’t be able to run in pure electric mode. However, Quattroruote estimates a cut of 35 percent in urban fuel consumption. As the regular V12’s urban thirst is a massive 27.0L/100km, this represents a saving of almost 9.5L/100km.

An improvement over the petrol 599’s 0-100km/h time of 3.7sec is also expected for the hybrid. The electric motor will be used not only to boost low-end torque, but also to fill in the interruption of V12 power while the sequential six-speeder swaps ratios.