Ferrari Hybrid Heads to Geneva

Ferrari 599 GTB

Ferrari will show its first hybrid production car this March at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show. The high-end hybrid specimen will be a gas-electric version of the carmaker’s eye-popping 599 GTB. It will also be the world’s first ready-for-market exotic hybrid.

The exact specs will not be known until the car is unveiled, but it will most likely unite a lithium ion battery pack with a pair of electric motors fixed at the rear axle, along with Ferrari’s outlandishly powerful 600-plus horsepower V12 engine. Other fuel-saving features will include start-stop capabilities and Formula One-based regenerative braking technology known as KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System). Fuel economy is expected to increase by about 30 percent over the non-hybrid 599 GTB. In other words, it will go from about 9 miles per gallon to about 12 miles per gallon.

The World’s Fastest Eco-Cars

The days of fuel economy only coming in small, slow and stripped-down cars are over. Every major auto show these days brings the unveiling of another green super car using hybrid or electric car technology to conserve fuel while delivering Ferrari-like performance.

Nobody expects the Ferrari 599 GTB to save the earth from global warming—especially when you consider how few Ferraris there are, and how little they are actually driven by their owners. Ultimately, this move serves more as a sign of the times and a testament to technology, rather than having any kind of tangible impact on the environment. “It sends a message,” said Ben Davis, roadtest producer for PBS’ MotorWeek. “It’s a ripple effect that starts at the upper echelon of the auto industry, and echoes a theme that green is good.”

Reports of Ferrari testing a hybrid powertrain first surfaced in June 2009, but details were sketchy. Ferrari’s plans to reduce carbon emissions have been making news for the last few years, mainly due to Europe’s resolution for more stringent emissions standards to take effect in 2012. Still, it is unclear what route Ferrari and other ultra-luxury brands will take. Hybrids are just one possibility in a field of options that included diesels, electric cars, biofuels, and hydrogen. Ferrari may explore these other areas, but gas-electric technology is the carmaker’s first concrete initiative on the green front.


  • DownUnder

    Now Ferrari joined the race, so hybrids can’t be a crock of sh..!

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  • Dave Phoenix

    This is just the beginning of a new wave of high-end hybrid sports cars.

    Hybrid is the 21st century turbocharger, providing additional boost without increasing engine size. In some aspects, hybrid is an improvement over traditional turbochargers as electric motors provide 100% torque, even at zero RPM’s.

    This is the aftermath of using hybrid technology in racing circuits including Lemans and Formula 1.

    Be prepared to see a lot more of these vehicles in the future….

  • michael Rosenthal

    100% torque at zero RPM? How?

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  • Repossessed cars

    Hybrids in general have a great future in the US, since the President’s plan to have 1 million of them in the streets by 2015. Models like this will help make them “sexy” for the masses.

  • geremy

    Well well well, Ferrari couldn’t stay away from environmental awareness. You are right, nobody expect Ferrari to save the world but a green Ferrari is a clear message for everyone. I hope I’ll see the car at New York auto dealerships this year, I am sure it already has lots of fans.

  • calvin

    @michael Rosenthal:

    Torque is a measure of angular force, not velocity, so you can have torque at any RPM range, including 0 RPM.

    Just like I can exert 100 newtons of force on a building while neither the building nor myself are moving.

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