Ferrari is currently working on a hybrid supercar and there is solid proof that this green project is well under way.
Following the global pressure to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of cars, the manufacturers are working on technologies to make cars more environmental friendly. For example, Porsche is to use more hybrid drivetrains and lightweight materials to improve the efficiency of its vehicles. Lamborghini is aiming at weight reduction via the extensive use of lightweight materials.
Ferrari is working on a green supercar as well. The firm’s goal is to develop hybrid technology to get its fleet average CO2 emissions down to around 240g/km by 2018, a significant reduction from last year’s figure of 310g/km.
Ferrari 599 GTB Hybrid
At the 2010 Genève Auto Salon the Italians presented the Ferrari 599 GTB Hybrid. This experimental vehicle is an example of how the Italian manufacturer is approaching the development of hybrid technology into its future products. The Maranello based company has also filed a patent for a four-wheel drive hybrid vehicle.
We have already seen the Ferrari California equipped with the HELE-system designed to reduce C02 emissions without taking away from the joy of driving a prancing horse. This system results in a 23 percent reduction of C02 emissions.
The successor of the California is currently being tested. One mule was spotted in vicinity of Stuttgart, see the pictures at Autocar.co.uk. The car spied testing looks at first glance to be a mule for the upcoming 599 which will be unveiled in 2013. But do not let the appearance of the testcar fool you. For example, the Enzo prototype was disguised as a 348.
A closer look reveals this is actually a California. The California’s headlamps, wheels, chromed wheel nuts, folding metal roof shutlines, brake caliper position and distinctive instrument binnacle can all be seen.
Ferrari California equipped with the HELE system is designed to reduce C02 emissions.
A remarkable fact was that this car was equipped with a German registration plate. These plates show the place where the car carrying them is registered and this Ferrari mule was registered in Stuttgart, home of the world’s largest supplier of automobile components Bosch, which is thought to be helping Ferrari with the engineering and software set-up.
As noticed by Autocar, the revised arrangement of the test mule’s exhaust pipes is an important new detail. While the standard California stacks its twin rear pipes on top of each other, the test mule has two pairs of side by side pipes. This may be linked to new routings for the exhausts, dictated by the hybrid powertrain and its space-consuming battery.
This system would a further development of the one used in the 599 GTB Hybrid. The flat lithium-ion batteries are positioned below the floorpan. The result is a center of gravity that is even lower than in the standard car. The electric motor produces more than 100hp. Under braking the electric drive unit acts as a generator, using the kinetic energy to recharge the batteries.
More details about the Ferrari mule and the green future of the prancing horse are scarce, so stay tuned for more news!