The quintessential Ferrari is red and features a V12 engine. Some people are convinced these big petrol powered engines will become extinct in the near future due to growing environmental concerns and regulations. But the unveiling of the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta ‒ the most powerful road car ever made by the Italians ‒ proved the V12 is here to stay.
Ferrari has secured the future for its V12 engines by integrating hybrid technology into their future cars. A regenerative braking system derived from Formula 1 will enable the Prancing Horse to meet the ever increasing CO2 targets without compromising too much on the layout of the engine.
The kinetic energy recovery system (often known simply as KERS) recovers the kinetic energy that is present in the waste heat created by the car’s braking process. It stores that energy and converts it into power that can be called upon to boost acceleration.
In an interview with Autocar, Ferrari boss Amedeo Felisa said:
We will roll out new technology that is there first and foremost to introduce a green factor to our cars and ensure that we can keep our product where it is in terms of CO2. Our hybrid system won’t just be about creating power, but saving energy, too. Yes, that technology is expensive today, but the road ahead is open and evolution will bring down the cost and weight disadvantages.
I’m not saying when, but it is possible that this technology will be on all Ferrari’s. 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 Italian manufacturer of supercars experimented with a hybrid drive train in the 2010 HY-KERS concept, which was essentially a one-off Ferrari 599 GTB equipped with a KERS system. It is likely a similar system will come with the successor of the Ferrari Enzo, signaling the first production car from Maranello to feature a hybrid system.
Besides combining hybrid technologies with petrol powered V12 engines, Ferrari is also considering six cylinder engines in order to meet the strict regulations. Amedeo Felisa said:
Why not six cylinders? It is far away in the future, perhaps, but it is clear perceptions have altered. Even in the US, where until a few years ago eight cylinders was the minimum, it is clear attitudes have changed. We have to think in that direction.