2010 Ferrari 458 ItaliaEnlarge Photo
Governments around the world are bowing to public pressure to reduce levels of greenhouse gases their respective countries produce, and more often than not, the first sector they look at is the auto industry. Here in the U.S. the government has imposed a tough 35.5 mpg fleet-wide fuel economy standard for 2016, while in Europe the government wants to put a limit on CO2 levels--something that could have disastrous effects for niche players like Ferrari. In fact, the changes have Ferrari so worried that engineers for both its F1 division and road cars are hard at work developing methods to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of its engines.
Ferrari’s management has maintained that any reduction of CO2 levels will not come at the cost of performance but recognize that it has a tough challenge on its hands.
Speaking at the 2009 Frankfurt Auto Show, Ferrari boss Amadeo Felisa has now revealed that the company’s first production hybrid model is likely to be fitted with a V-12 engine. However, he conceded that it will be some time until the model arrives as battery technology is not at the level Ferrari requires.
Felisa stressed that the V-12 engine is here to stay and that other plans for reducing fuel consumption, such as introducing equally potent turbocharged V-8 engines, won’t phase out the big mills anytime soon.
Earlier this year Felisa revealed that a concept based on Ferrari’s hybrid system was in the works, and is likely headed to the 2009 Los Angeles Auto Show. His comments came after the leak of some official patent filings revealing schematics for a four-wheel drive hybrid system. Furthermore, former Ferrari president Luca Cordero di Montezemolo also revealed plans for a 599 prototype testing Ferrari’s new hybrid technology.
Before any hybrid, however, we’ll see 'simple' fuel saving features, such as engine stop-start and more direct-injection technology, make their way onto Ferrari’s road cars.