Ferrari already working on a hybrid supercar

Article by Christian Andrei, on July 18, 2011

Even supercars are turning greener. Italian automaker Ferrari is planning to present its hybrid supercar soon. At the 2010 Geneva motor show, it revealed the Hybrid Concept that had been based on a standard 599. To go eco-friendly, Ferrari is aiming to develop hybrid technology that would bring down its fleet average CO2 emissions to about 240g/km by 2018.

This would be a significant drop from the figure last year of 310g/km. Autocar said that there are rumors that German giant Bosch is assisting Ferrari with the engineering and software. A 100 kg-weight was added to the 599 in the Hybrid Concept shown in Geneva due to the hybrid electric equipment.

However, Ferrari asserts that there was an improvement in its on-road performance. It can accelerate from a standstill to 100 mph (161 km/h) in 10.4 sec, faster by 0.6 seconds. It’s interesting that the center of gravity of the 599 concept is unchanged. Ferrari is also planning to develop an ultra-fast traction control system that works by reversing the electric motor’s torque instead of cutting the engine power.

In addition, the “electronic torque control” system can provide small torque inputs when accelerating. It has yet to be confirmed if Ferrari will use all of these mentioned features but regardless, this hybrid supercar is expected to have an impact on the supercar market.

Ferrari is taking the wraps off its HY-KERS vettura laboratorio at the at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show. Derived from the 599 GTB Fiorano, the Ferrari HY-KERS vettura laboratorio could cut down carbon dioxide emissions by around 35 percent on the combined cycle (ECE + EUDC). This technology is a result of Ferrari’s intensive research as well as experience in Formula 1 and could someday be used in all future Ferrari vehicles.

With this project, Ferrari wants to ensure that it is well-positioned to be adherent with carbon emissions regulations in the future, especially in terms of the urban cycle. It has been noted that the sports cars – powered by high revving engines with max efficiencies – can be used in city driving since urban cycle typically entails low revs and low engine loads. The new Ferrari hybrid transmission on the HY-KERS vettura laboratorio features several original elements. For this model, the batteries were placed on the floorpan and the compact electric motor was coupled to the rear of the F1 dual-clutch transmission.

This positioning did not affect the vehicle’s weight distribution and its dynamic performance. It also did not affect the roominess of the cockpit and the luggage space. On the other hand, this layout lowered the car’s center of gravity. Ferrari's motorsport experience proved to be useful in the design, engineering and production of the car’s electric motor, which has the ability to generate over 100 hp. In addition, Ferrari’s F1 experience proved to be helpful in certain features of the HY-KERS vettura laboratorio, including its algorithms and control logics that control the torque, traction and braking distribution functions.

While the energy consumption technology found in the HY-KERS could be adopted on future models, Ferrari remains committed in improving its vehicles and hiking their overall efficiency. Thus at Ferrari, research is also being done to make vehicles lighter, reduce their drag and enhance the rolling resistance of their tires, as well as reducing engine friction to increase efficiency.

Interestingly, Ferrari's research into cutting energy consumption does not just involve its cars, but also on different production methods used at its facility in Maranello where it performs the entire manufacturing process.

Throughout 2010, Ferrari plans to reduce carbon emissions by 30,000 tons (minus 40 percent) and Particulate Matter (PM) levels by 65 percent. This feat should be achievable with the carmaker’s photovoltaic system and largest tri-generation plant – producing electricity, hot and cold water. Moreover, this reduction means that Ferrari will be able to comply with the objectives of the Kyoto protocol a full 10 years ahead of schedule.

Topics: ferrari, hybrid, supercar

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