Marchionne: Electric Ferrari would be 'obscene'

Ferrari GTC4 Lusso, 2016 Geneva Motor Show

Ferrari GTC4 Lusso, 2016 Geneva Motor Show

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Fiat Chrysler Automobiles [NYSE:FCAU] CEO Sergio Marchionne, also Chairman of Ferrari [NYSE:RACE], isn't the biggest fan of electric cars, but he's particularly unenthusiastic about an all-electric Ferrari.

"With Ferrari, it's almost an obscene concept," Marchionne said at this week's 2016 Geneva Motor Show.

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Marchionne said there will never be an electric Ferrari because engine noise is such an important part of the Ferrari driving experience. Near-silent electric powertrains just won't cut it in a car wearing the Prancing Horse badge, Marchionne said. Discussing a recent drive in a Tesla Model S, the FCA CEO told reporters that he was bothered by the car's quietness.

There will never be an autonomous Ferrari either, Marchionne said, because Ferrari is fundamentally about driving.

"You'll have to shoot me first," he said.

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That's a position shared by Porsche, although CEO Oliver Blume wasn't quite so dramatic when asked about it last month by Reuters. He said that "one wants to drive a Porsche by oneself," and that the experience should be prioritized over things like connectivity. Porsche is committed to electric cars, though. Granted, its Mission E sedan isn't a direct rival to anything Ferrari may build, but Porsche isn't the only high-end carmaker considering electric powertrains.

As part of its Track 22 six-year business plan, McLaren is investigating building an all-electric supercar as its next Ultimate Series model. This would be the replacement for the P1 hybrid, but so far McLaren isn't making any commitments. Speaking in Geneva, CEO Mike Flewitt said the company would have to make sure an electric car would be as exciting as its current products, and global marketing boss Jamie Corstorphine said an electric car isn't commercially viable right now.

For more from the Geneva Motor Show, head to our dedicated hub.

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