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Ferrari 612 replacement test mule - Click above for high-res image gallery

It's long been suspected that Ferrari was hard at work developing a hybrid powertrain for its line of supercars and grand touring machines, especially since a series of patents were unearthed proving that the Italian automaker had at least sketched plans for such a system. Still, Ferrari had never confirmed such rumors.

That is until now, at least according to Autocar. An unnamed source tells the British magazine that the hybrid drivetrain will debut on the next-gen 612 (could the recently-spotted long-wheelbase 612 be a hybrid mule?) with a pair of torque-laden electric motors that will be connected to the front wheels. Ferrari's traditional V12 or possibly a turbocharged V8 engine would send power to the GT car's rear wheels.

As befitting an automobile wearing the coveted Prancing Horse badge, Ferrari is said to be using the system to benefit handling and not to improve fuel efficiency. Whatever the case, we'll surely know more by 2014 or so when Ferrari is actually expected to have the hybrid ready for production.

[Source: Autocar]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Luca's talked about using more modern technology for better fuel consumption (not sure if he said anything specifically about hybrid) and the F1 cars already use KERS. This kind of setup sounds better than tinkering with the basic engine, which really is choice. Unfortunately, it sounds like the kind of complexity that the Japanese and German car makers traditionally handle better than the Italians.

      Best of luck to them, though, for anything that might save the 612.
      • 5 Years Ago
      dude. it's gonna be a sedan. I'm calling it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      How exactly would a hybrid system improve handling again?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Again, why would a 600hp RWD car need more than 600hp to the rear wheels? It seems pretty obvious that it wouldn't.

        Just forget the word 'hybrid' for a second and it makes sense.

        Take a boat with one fixed screw (gas) and one screw on a pivot (electric).

        If both screws are pointed in the same direction, the boat goes faster.

        If the electric screw pivots, the boat turns faster than if it just had a rudder.

        But in no way do the electric motor and the gas motor need to feed off of each other for this concept to work.

        Not a direct comparison, but it works for the car too.

        If both motors (gas and electric) connected to different wheels are going in the same direction, the car goes faster.

        If the electric powered wheels pivot, the car corners faster than if it were just a RWD car.

        But in no way do the electric motor and the gas motor need to feed off of each other for this concept to work.

        So just forget the word 'hybrid' in this conversation and it should start to make sense.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Because this will add a crapload of weight, and all of it on one end of the car. The weight would not be comparable to a transfer case like Subaru or Audi employs since you would need that hardware in addition to batteries and motors. It also doesn't have the ability to vector the torque from the front to the rear like a traditional AWD system, thus making it rather limited in its use. For most of the time, the front motors won't even be running, so it would essentially be dead weight.

        List of benifits of a hybrid system by significance (notice handling isn't on there)
        1: appearing green
        2: actually saving fuel
        3: acceleration
        • 5 Years Ago
        Why would it vector torque from the front to the rear on a RWD car?

        This is an ATTESA-like system that is full-time RWD until the front wheels correct oversteer.

        If the front wheels jump in to correct oversteer, then you can get
        your right foot in it earlier out of corners.

        Imagine if you could just floor an SL65 AMG out of every corner, no
        wheelspin, no oversteer, no understeer, no traction control
        interfering and cutting power.

        Just grip and go. 700 or so lb-ft straight to the road past the

        If Ferrari does it right, nothing in its class should touch it.
        It'll be a step up from the Veyron.
        • 5 Years Ago
        This is an inefficient system. In a normal hybrid system, the electric assist does just that, assist the engine. In this, the power is doing directly doing to the wheel. That means that each corner can only go below full power where as in the other setup, the corner without grip can send power to the ones with. So if the car has 600hp total, the front can never get more than the electric motor and the rear never more than the gasoline engine. Since the front motors will be off 90% of the time, this just seems pointless.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @timwang2006 awd, sounds like the sorta system used in the old cubes, no batteries (or minimal), just enough power to drive the front wheels when needed. anywho, audi proved decades ago what awd will provide in terms of handling etc... but like everyone's saying, there's no need for a ferrari to have such a system.
        • 5 Years Ago
        How would it not? Consider a FF layout with electric motors to the front wheels. You have your typical FR engine layout, or F-MR like Honda's S2000.

        This isn't a new idea. When Nissan was talking about creating the R35, about 6 years ago, the talk was an all hybrid ATTESSA successor, Cosworth developing the engine, 3.2 liter displacement, etc...That was before Nissan stroked the VQ35.

        The weight would be comparable to a transfer case like Subaru or Audi employs, but without the mechanical losses associated with a typical AWD system.

        Again, how would this NOT be beneficial?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hybrid Ferrari's and green (environmentally benign) Bentleys will not save the world from global warming.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Probably not, but with the way gas prices have been fluctuating it's a good step to be researching alternatives now before it's a big problem.
      • 5 Years Ago
      man.. i dont know what to say.. but not gonna hold m breath
      • 5 Years Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      I happen to think the McLaren looks like a crappy Saleen
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm having a worse and worse time telling Porsche and Ferrari apart these days.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The Ferraris ALONE will not, but Ferrari could serve as a role model and show the world that you can be green, sexy, and fast all at the same time.
      It is possible. Companies are doing it. But is costs money to develop new technologies so they drag their feet.
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