Orange County – A new patent filed with the European Patent Register gives a glimpse at what is on the horizon for Ferrari. In several filings dating back to as early as January of last year, the Italian sports car manufacturer details its plans for a hybrid vehicle with a front engine. The title of the first filing, “Storage system for the storage of electric energy for a vehicle with electric propulsion” is the most telling and makes it clear that Ferrari is at the very least, seriously considering adding a new hybrid car to its lineup.
The patent filings come on the heels of the unveiling of Ferrari’s new ultra-luxurious LaFerrari, a $1.3 million dollar limited edition hybrid that will only have 499 in total production. The new “supercar” as it has been dubbed, is a “mild hybrid” that allows the car engine to turn off while stopped and then (very) quickly pick up again when restarted.
The front engine setup described in the new patent filings has led many to believe that the new hybrid may take the form of a grand tourer model, which would likely be more appealing to a broader market base. Grand tourers are typically high performance cars that can go long distances while maintaining lofty speeds. This would make sense for a Ferrari hybrid, which with the addition of electric power, might be able to add hundreds of miles to its range. Since the LaFerrari is so expensive and will be limited in production, the new filings reveal the possibility of a more accessible hybrid Ferrari, and perhaps one that uses more electric technology.
The mention of additional electric powered cars comes as somewhat of a surprise to Ferrari enthusiasts, due in large part to Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo going on record to say that, ” We will never manufacture an electric car as long as I’m chairman.” Then, recently, just as all hopes of anything electric in Ferraris was eliminated, di Montezemolo noted in an interview that, “I don’t believe in the electric cars, but I strongly believe in hybrids.” Clearly, that sentiment is taking shape as the new Ferrari patents reveal an unquestionable interest in adding more hybrid models by the gold standard Italian sports car maker.