Go back just a few years ago, and you'd easily conclude that Ferrari and hybrids would go together about as well as ice cream and pickles. But a lot's changed since then, and Ferrari is making no secret of the fact that it's developing hybrid powertrains of its own.

The first system it developed is the Kinetic Energy Recovery System, a type of regenerative braking device developed with its sister company, Magneti Marelli, for use in Formula One. That lead to a similar system installed in an experimental version of the 599 called the HY-KERS concept displayed at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show. More recently reports surfaced that Ferrari had patented a more conventional hybrid powertrain system, leading to speculation that the KERS type had been abandoned for road-car use – most poignantly in the upcoming successor to the Enzo. But while Ferrari apparently pursues development of that more conventional hybrid system, it appears that its next mid-engined V12 hypercar will adopt an evolution of the HY-KERS system displayed on that green 599 two years back.

A revised HY-KERS system has just been announced by Ferrari at the Beijing Motor Show, where the Prancing Horse also marked the Asian debut of its new F12 Berlinetta. Ferrari says the new system – installed on a V12 engine mounted amidship – is more effective than the one that preceded it, bringing emissions down to 40 percent of what a conventional engine with the same output would produce (compared to a 30 percent reduction from the previous incarnation), all while bringing engineers closer to their target of producing one kilowatt of energy for every kilogram of weight the system adds.

As for the F12, Ferrari has revealed that its latest supercar set a lap time at Fiorano of one minute, 23 seconds, making it the company's quickest road car yet: a full second quicker than the 599 GTO it replaces, and about two seconds quicker than the Enzo, the 458 Italia and the 430 Scuderia. With that kind of progress, we can count on the new hybrid V12 hypercar to set an even quicker time still. Scroll down for the press release and video clip.

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Success for Ferrari at Beijing Autoshow. Huge crowds on the stand to see the F12berlinetta and the HY-KERS

Beijing, 23th April 2012 – After a hugely successful unveiling at Geneva, the F12berlinetta, the first in a new generation of Maranello's flagship12-cylinder cars, makes its Asian debut at the Beijing International Motor Show. The event will also host the world premiere of the evolution of the HY-KERS concept, coupling hybrid technology with mid-rear architecture to cut fuel consumption and CO2 emissions on the combined cycle by 40 per cent whilst boosting performance.
The F12berlinetta is the most powerful and high-performance road-going Ferrari ever. Powered by a truly exceptional V12 engine, it is built around an evolution of Ferrari's transaxle lay-out and features cutting-edge components and electronic controls. The F12berlinetta also boasts extremely advanced aerodynamics and a design that exudes an innovative yet classic beauty.

The car's wheelbase is shorter, its engine and driver position are lower and a new suspension and gearbox layout has yielded a more compact tail section. The result is a shorter, lower and narrower car than the previous V12 coupé. It also boasts perfect weight distribution (54% over the rear axle) and a lower centre of gravity further back in the chassis.

With a Fiorano lap time of 1'23'', 0-100 km/h acceleration in 3.1 seconds and 0-200 km/h covered in 8.5 s, the F12berlinetta delivers absolutely benchmark performance. The handling balance achieved ensures maximum driving involvement even at low speeds, a feature thus far the sole domain of mid-rear-engined cars. The sporty handling is equally nimble and responsive on the road as on the track.

Great attention was paid to reducing fuel consumption and emissions which have been slashed by 30 per cent, with the result that the F12berlinetta tops its segment in terms of efficiency with 15l/100 km and 350 g/km of CO2.

The other important unveiling at Beijing is the evolution of the HY-KERS project adapted to a mid-rear engine layout. The powertrain on display consists of a 12-cylinder engine and dual-clutch gearbox coupled to an electric motor. A second electric motor is dedicated to the auxiliary systems and is located in front of the V12. The two electric motors are connected to the batteries which can be positioned in the car in line with the available space and final configuration.

The objective of this configuration is to create a sports car that, thanks to the integration with the electric motors, increases power while at the same time reducing emissions. The KERS features new, smaller and lighter electronic components which come close to achieving the declared target of 1 KW per kg of extra weight added by the hybrid system.

Technological transfer from F1 was fundamental to the design, engineering and construction of an innovative electric motor used to optimise the car's longitudinal and lateral dynamic characteristics, namely torque management, traction control and brake distribution, to the benefit of sportiness and driving pleasure.

The HY-KERS' electric motor delivers power using one of the gearbox's two clutches and is mated to one of the two main shafts. The result is instantaneous, continuous power delivery between the electric motor and petrol engine. During braking, the electric motor acts as a generator, using the kinetic energy from the negative torque to recharge the batteries. This crucial task is managed by a dedicated ECU, also F1-derived, which not only controls the electric motor, but also governs the power to the auxiliary systems (power steering, brake servo, air conditioning, onboard systems).

Work on the system has now reached the end of the experimental phase and the development phase will commence in the coming months. With the same nominal power output of a normal ICE, the HY-KERS system will enable Ferrari to reduce emissions by 40 per cent over the combined cycle.

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