Ferrari's first series production hybrid now has a debut date.
Ferrari Chairman Sergio Marchionne has been famously pessimistic about fully electric supercars. After all, Ferrari is synonymous for treating our ears to the sounds of aggressive V8s and V12s, so an all-electric prancing horse is surely the definition of blasphemy. But then came a bombshell: the Italian automaker is working on a high-performance SUV in response to the Lamborghini Urus, followed shortly by news the Ferrari SUV will be paired with the company’s first all-electric supercar.
“If there is an electric supercar to be built, then Ferrari will be the first,” Marchionne said at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year. “People are amazed at what Tesla did with a supercar: I’m not trying to minimize what Elon did but I think it’s doable by all of us.” But before you start worrying that the Italian automaker is waving goodbye to the internal combustion engine, an electric supercar won’t be joining Ferrari’s line-up any time soon. Initially, Ferrari was planning to launch its first pure EV as part of its 2018-2022 strategy plan, but Marchionne confirmed at the automaker's annual meeting that it won’t launch until after its next business plan ends in 2022.
We won't see Ferrari’s fully-electric supercar until 2023 at the very earliest. Why the sudden change? Marchionne believes an EV is not relevant to Ferrari right now, although Automotive News reports the company’s 2019 annual report mentions “pure electric cars may become the prevalent technology for performance sports cars thereby displacing hybrid models.” Speaking of which, Marchionne admitted Ferrari needs to add more electrified cars with gasoline-electric powertrains to its range, but the company can’t decide which current model should be electrified first.
We’ll find out at the 2019 Frankfurt Auto Show, where Ferrari will unveil its first ever series-production hybrid model following the limited-run LaFerrari and Aperta. According to Bloomberg, testing of Ferrari’s upcoming gasoline-electric hybrid model is already underway. Marchionne told the publication the car can “run silently,” implying that it has a pure electric mode. He added the hybrid powertrain will eventually be available as an option on all new models after the car’s debut in 2019, and will be the only drivetrain for the company’s first ever SUV, which Marchionne said will be the fastest on the market.