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2016 Geneva Motor Show: Hybrid Ferraris ‘inevitable’

By Alex Inwood, 08 Mar 2016 Events

2016 Geneva Motor Show: Hybrid Ferraris ‘inevitable’

Ferrari boss confirms hybrid future, but rules out a rival for Porsche’s Mission E

A FLEET of hybrid-powered Ferraris is just around the corner.

Ferrari boss Sergio Marchionne has revealed “it’s inevitable” that future Ferraris will ditch conventional drivetrains for hybrid power to improve efficiency and performance.

Currently Ferrari has only one hybrid model in its stable – the 708kW/900Nm LaFerrari supercar.

“I think it’s inevitable that Ferrari will have to go hybrid at some stage,” Marchionne told Wheels in Geneva. “Apart from the fact that it’s going to continue to be a mainstay of Formula One, it’s something that both Mercedes and ourselves consider to be crucial to the development of the sport moving forward. That knowhow is in some way working its way into the production car side of things.

“Obviously the level of sophistication associated with a Formula One car is not required on the passenger car side, but the intrinsic knowledge of how to do this and how to do it well is in the house.”

Marchionne said the success of the LaFerrari, which combines a 6.3-litre V12 with a 120kW electric motor, proves that performance hybrids have a future. His comments also follow recent reports that Ferrari has filed a patent for a new modular architecture to underpin future hybrid models.

Ferrari -at -Optic -2000“If you’ve driven that car [LaFerrari], you will realise that over the past 10 years we have gone through a quantum leap in technology, a lot of which is attributable to the ability to combine electrification with combustion,” he said. “Hybrid technology has the added benefit of making cars greener, but fundamentally it’s also designed to improve performance of the vehicle and take it to another level of performance.”

Ferrari won’t, however, move further down the electrification path and build an all-electric model to rival the likes of the upcoming Porsche Mission E.

“With Ferrari, sound is an integral part of the machine,” said Marchionne. “Last time I drove a Tesla, unless I turned on the radio, I knew ‘this is definitely not a Ferrari’. We don’t do that.

“Combustion is going to remain an integral part of what we do, in combination with other technology. It needs the sound so it needs to be combustion driven.”

One piece of emerging technology that Ferrari will never use is any form of autonomous driving tech. Marchionne was adamant on this point.

 “Over my dead body,” he said. “You’d have to shoot me first.”