Ferrari hybrid coming in 2019, possibly in SUV form

Ferrari 812 Superfast, 2017 Geneva Motor Show

Ferrari 812 Superfast, 2017 Geneva Motor Show

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Waves of change are set to crash over Ferrari in the next couple of years. The Italian marque's chairman and CEO, Sergio Marchionne, confirmed Ferrari's first V-8 hybrid will arrive next year, and the timing suggests it could debut in the brand's first SUV.

Both the hybrid and SUV stray away from Ferrari's typical sports car and supercar purist products, but Marchionne admitted the hybrid will ensure it adheres to new European Union CO2 emission targets coming in 2021, Autocar reported on Tuesday. The hybrid system will not mimic the LaFerrari's F1-inspired system, which boosted performance without an efficiency gain. Marchionne said it will be a traditional hybrid setup.

Right now, Ferrari is exempt from CO2 standards since it produces less than 10,000 cars annually. However, with the addition of the SUV, Ferrari production will increase and it will very likely face the regulations.

If the SUV does serve as the V-8 hybrid's debut model, it will almost certainly take the form of a plug-in hybrid and directly rival the Lamborghini Urus, which will also feature a plug-in hybrid variant in the not-so-distant future.

The Ferrari chief suggested the hybrid V-8 won't erode the brand's characteristically refined and powerful powertrains, either. When asked if the electrified powertrain will result in a loss of character over a V-12 engine, he said, "Have you driven a Ferrari hybrid? When you do, I'm sure you won't miss a V-12."

Marchionne previously said its SUV would debut no later than 2020 and prototypes already exist. As for the design, Marchionne said in January that "It will look like whatever a Ferrari utility vehicle needs to look like, but it has to drive like a Ferrari," ensuring loyalists it will absolutely embody the brand's famed sporty and engaging driving character.

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