Ferrari hybrid V8 arriving next year, could power Ferrari SUV

Expect it to improve both performance and fuel economy

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Ferrari CEO Sergio Marchionne told Auto Express that the world can expect a V8 hybrid from Maranello next year. He said, "The test mules are out now," but what he wouldn't tell the Brit mag is where that V8 hybrid will go. Everything else in Ferrari's lineup has been recently introduced or refreshed save for the 488, but the 488 is just two years old. With all of the current cars ruled out, the bettors wager on the hybrid V8 appearing in the Ferrari SUV that's also due next year.

We've no idea how Maranello engineers will structure the electrical assistance, but Marchionne indicated "more of a traditional hybrid [than the LaFerrari] to fulfill a different role." That means a strictly performance-based kinetic energy recovery system likely steps aside for one that will "yield additional performance" as well as better fuel economy. In further comments to Top Gear — where he expressed a touch of disappointment in the firm's GT car designs and the possibility of a 250 GTO continuation — Marchionne said, "The hybrid element will be much more of a mainstay of the powertrain than it was in the LaFerrari." Look out for plug-in charging and some kind of all-electric range. If all of this speculation holds up come 2019, it also means the Ferrari SUV will reverse its competitors' playbooks — the Bentley Bentayga and Lamborghini Urus, for instance, established themselves with their mightiest powertrains, then got around to plug-in hybrid models.

A hybrid SUV would be smart, as we're coming up on an emission target escalation in 2020. Those targets only apply to carmakers selling more than 10,000 units per year, Ferrari sold nearly 8,400 cars last year and aims to crack 9,000 sales this year. The SUV will certainly put the Prancing Horse over the 10K barrier, and as a volume seller, relatively speaking, will make a worthwhile contribution to emissions values.

Of course, you have to write Marchionne's quips in pencil, because they're prone to revision. It was only two years ago when Marchionne answered a question about the mere possibility of an SUV with, "You have to shoot me first." Later that same year, Marchionne said every Ferrari sold from 2019 onward would have some sort of hybrid element. The updated pronouncement changes that plan; Auto Express wrote that Marchionne "confirmed that more Ferraris powered solely by internal combustion engines will be launched in the coming year." It was also two years ago when the CEO told Reuters that there were cars in the pipeline developed to be daily drivers, which also sounds like the perfect brief for a hybrid V8.

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