The times, they are a changin', and even Ferrari is being dragged into the hybrid scene. We brought you news recently that, during the debut of Ferrari's 2010 F10 Formula 1 race car, CEO Luca de Montezemolo revealed that a hybrid version of the 599 was in the works, and today we have full details for the car following its debut at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show.
Dubbed the Ferrari 599 HY-KERS vettura laboratorio, the latest “experiment vehicle” from the legendary Italian sports car company is claimed to reduce CO2 emissions by as much as 35 percent on the combined European cycle when compared with the regular 599 GTB Fiorano on which it’s based.
Using technology derived from its Formula 1 efforts, Ferrari has developed a compact electric motor that bolts onto the rear of its seven-speed F1 dual clutch gearbox. This electric motor is rated at 100 horsepower and is powered by batteries positioned below the floorpan of the car. In this arrangement, the weight distribution of the 599 has not been altered. Not only does this layout not affect dynamic performance, it actually improves it, by lowering the centre of gravity. Cockpit room and luggage space are also unaffected.
The motor is designed to cut in during acceleration, providing instantaneous torque when moving away from a standstill and during overtaking manoeuvres, with torque control a function of grip, gear and accelerator pedal angle. Depending on vehicle speed and engine load--for example in slow city driving--the hybrid system can also function as a full-electric drivetrain.
The motor operates through one of the transmission’s two clutches and engages one of the two gearbox primary shafts. Thus power is coupled seamlessly and instantaneously between the electric motor and the car’s 6.0-liter V-12. Under braking the electric drive unit acts as a generator, using the kinetic energy from the negative torque generated to recharge the batteries.
Energy from the V-12 engine is further conserved by running ancillaries such as the power steering, power-assisted brakes, air conditioning and other on-board systems off the batteries instead of directly by the engine.
While the 599 HY-KERS is strictly a concept, Ferrari claims that the technology represents just one possible solution for the future and can be applied to all its models, whether they are V-8 or V-12 powered.