As Ferrari transfers into the future, so will its engines. The first step was turbo-charging, but now soon there will be electric assist on Ferrari’s V8 and V-12 range. The 12-cylinder engine is not likely to spawn turbos in the immediate future. Ferrari insiders say the logically aspirated 12-cylinder will survive in non-turbo form, but all of the engines will get electrification. Ferrari’s new hybrid drive system or KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) is likely to employ a new type of battery pack that uses individual cylindrical cells networked together. This system, it is said, allows for better cooling through greater separation between cells. And the safety net is higher as well, as the entire pack can be disconnected automatically to prevent a short, say after an accident. The other difference between the KERS on the LaFerrari and this one is that this drive system will have the ability to function as a full electric for a limited number of kilometers, probably around 50km or less.
The focus of the electric system, however, will continue to be enhancing performance and not improving fuel economy. Initial work is also underway on a hybridized version of Ferrari’s award-winning twin-turbo V8. While there is no clarity on the type and the size of the batteries that are likely to be used or the launch date, the electric drive system could use three motors, one in the rear and two in the front. The system is similar to that of the Honda NSX, where a single powerful (around 75hp) electric motor will sit in between the engine and dual-clutch automatic gearbox. This won’t be the only electric motor. There are likely to be a pair of less powerful ones up front as well; which will mean the 488 replacement could have some sort of all-wheel-drive system. What’s not clear, however, is if this system will see the light of day either on a limited-run or a regular series production car. What’s not clear, however, is if this system will FIRST see the light of day either on a limited-run or a regular series produciton car.