MILAN: Ferrari SpA will turn to fuel-saving hybrid technology to create its most powerful and expensive model, showing that even elite performance cars are under pressure to get greener.
The Italian automaker’s first hybrid, dubbed the F70 in trade press and blogs, will probably surpass the 660,000-euro (US$850,000) price of the limited-edition Enzo, said a person familiar with the matter.
Using technology developed for Formula One racing, the model will combine two electric motors with a 12-cylinder gasoline engine to produce more horsepower than any previous Ferrari, while cutting fuel consumption 40%.
The model is part of a wave of green supercars as high-end automakers step up efforts to make their models environmentally palatable, while still maintaining or boosting performance. As more models become available and emission rules tighten, sales of hybrid supercars may surge from less than 100 this year to more than 2,100 in 2015, according to IHS Automotive.
Porsche AG, which currently sells hybrid versions of the Cayenne sport-utility vehicle and Panamera four-door coupe, plans to start deliveries next year of the 768,000-euro 918 Spyder. The top-of-the-line Porsche sports car will combine a 500-horsepower engine with 218-horsepower electric motors to hit a top speed of more than 320 kilometers (199 miles) per hour.
Bayerische Motoren Werke AG will roll out the i8 plug-in hybrid in 2014. The BMW supercar will be able to drive up to 35 kilometers on electric power and accelerate to 100 kilometers per hour in less than 5 seconds.
The Ferrari hybrid will go on sale starting next year, with the U.S. likely to be the model’s biggest market. (Bloomberg/T05)