Ferrari’s Next Flagship Will Be Mean, Green Hybrid
Supercar maker reveals 900-plus-horsepower hybrid engine as Enzo replacement.
Just a few years ago, the term “green supercar” seemed like an oxymoron. But with vehicles like the Tesla Roadster and the Fisker Karma already making appearances on the street -- at least in a few high-income zip codes -- saving fuel and going fast are no longer mutually exclusive.
Now signature super-car marque and perennial Formula One frontrunner Ferrari is set to enter the race with the follow-up to its previous crown jewel, the Enzo. The normally tight-lipped Italian automaker has hinted over the past few years about what to expect in terms of its next ultra-high-end engine. So it comes has no huge surprise that Ferrari used the occasion of this week’s Beijing Motor Show to reveal that its latest powerplant statement will be a hybrid -- albeit a Ferrari-style hybrid.
Ferrari had previously revealed a 599 GTB Fiorano concept at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show that employs the automaker’s Hybrid Kinetic Energy Recovery System. The version of the HY-KERS-equipped V12 revealed in China has been adapted to a mid-rear engine layout that tacitly designates it as an Enzo successor.
Equally unsurprising, and following in the Enzo’s footsteps, is that the hybrid system is the result of Ferrari’s F1 efforts. It’s comprised of two electric motors: one mounted between the seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox sends power to the rear wheels; the second provide juice to the car’s auxiliary systems, such as power steering, brake servos and on-board electronics. A lithium-ion battery pack (situated below the supercar's center line for ideal weight distribution) stockpiles power and is fed via braking.
The primary electric motor sends power to one of the twin clutches in the transmission when the throttle is pushed, providing effortless and efficient torque that can propel the supercar to an estimated 0-60 mph time of under three seconds. To increase grip, the electric motor is also likely to be the basis for a new torque-vectoring differential that incorporates traction control and electronic brake-force distribution.
As for the green aspects of an asphalt-eating supercar, Ferrari claims that the HY-KERS-equipped coupe will generate 10 percent more power and reduce emissions by 40 percent compared to a non-hybrid equipped V12. Ferrari says it’s also gaining ground on its goal of adding 1.34 horsepower for every kilogram (2.2 pounds) of motor and battery onboard.
The end result: A 900-plus-horsepower green supercar with a V12 that’s estimated to crank out nearly 800 horsepower, mated to an electric motor that produces another approximately 120 horses. So when Ferrari claims that its new flagship will be the fastest and cleanest supercar the company has ever built when it debuts later this year (and goes on sale in early 2013), its as likely a bet as another F1 constructor championship for the company.
[Source: Wired Autopia]
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