Ferrari’s first real hybrid will arrive in 18 months.
Before you start screaming about how the LaFerrari was already, totally a hybrid, hold on smarty pants. Sure, it used electric power to deliver an extra performance punch, but it was more like a Formula 1-style KERS system where stored energy was used to accentuate the internal combustion motor by delivering targeted gobs of torque. This time, there’s a proper battery electric hybrid vehicle coming and in proper Ferrari style, it's coming with a V8 and everything.
Company boss Sergio Marchionne confirmed the plan to Autocar at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show. Ferrari needs a traditional hybrid model to fulfill the compliance role in the face of the European Union’s CO2 emissions targets, which will continue to rise sharply. It’s not clear which model Ferrari wants to hybridize, but the timing suggests Marchionne is talking about the highly-hyped Ferrari not-an-SUV, which is rumored to arrive at some point next year. “We’re going to embrace electrification and make it a mainstay,” Marchionne added.
Sergio also explained the company is currently exempt from CO2 targets because it makes fewer than 10,000 cars, but added: “Once we have more than that, it will be an issue. But I think with the hybrids we will be fine.” Marchionne has long stressed that Ferrari needs to increase the number of cars it sells annually after the company spent many years artificially limiting the number of cars it made in order to spur demand. The car is likely to adopt a conventional plug-in hybrid system in order to offer a limited amount of pure electric driving while lowering CO2 emission targets. The new model, should it be an SUV, will directly rival Lamborghini's Urus plug-in hybrid, which will arrive in showrooms before 2020.
Ferrari was mum on details, but Marchionne couldn't resist a bit of boasting. When asked if a hybrid powertrain meant a demise of character compared to the V12, Marchionne shot back: "Have you driven a Ferrari hybrid? When you do, I'm sure you won't miss a V12." Regardless, he also promised Ferrari would always sell cars with proper engines, even if that means selling them alongside a rapidly expanding offering of hybrid models.