The words ‘hybrid’ and ‘Ferrari’ are two words that I never expected to see in the same sentence during my lifetime, however that all changed in 2013 when Italian auto manufacturer Ferrari unveiled the absolutely crazy Porsche 918 Spyder and McLaren P1 rivalling Ferrari LaFerrari (F70). When Ferrari unveiled this mild-hybrid hypercar, it took the world by storm and even today the gorgeous LaFerrari still blows the minds of many petrolheads around the world. As any real petrolhead will no doubt know, the Ferrari LaFerrari (F70) was the very first Ferrari to feature hybrid technology, and due to this the Ferrari LaFerrari is also the most powerful Ferrari road car ever built.
I can ramble on about how good and technically advanced the Ferrari LaFerrari is, but the truth is this article is not about the Ferrari LaFerrari, instead it is about another hybrid Ferrari model. Now if you are a die hard member of the Tifosi, you will probably be having a heart attack after reading the above few lines but it is not all bad. Unfortunately many auto manufacturers have chosen to head down the electric/hybrid road, even supercar manufacturers like Porsche, Audi and McLaren have produced or are in the process of producing an all electric or hybrid vehicle and the end results have been pretty good. Despite trying to delay the inevitable Ferrari have been forced to bite the bullet and seems like they just have.
A few months ago I got a tip regarding a full hybrid Ferrari model, which was in its developmental staged and believed to be based on the V8 powered Ferrari 488 GTB. As expected, the global petrolhead community was full of rumours, what if’s and so on, however a few weeks ago spy pictures of this mystery Ferrari hybrid began to surface online. Numerous videos have also surfaced online of this mysterious Ferrari hybrid, with one video even catching the vehicle’s battery pack which is housed behind a mesh panel at the rear of the vehicle, while another video shows the hybrid Ferrari blasting around Ferrari’s Fioranotest circuit in just about total silence.
However, it seems that the mystery of the hybrid Ferrari has officially been solved. This comes after Ferrari CEO Louis Camilleri announced the future model during Ferrari’s investor call that reported results for the 2018 calendar year. According to an anonymous insider, the new model is set to feature a V8 hybrid powertrain and based on the spy photo’s featured in this article, we can see that the prototype looks extremely similar to Ferrari’s V8 flagship, the 488 GTB.
After seeing the numerous videos and spy photo’s of this new model in testing, I have noticed that the 488 GTB look alike test mule does feature a few exterior changes over a regular 488 GTB. These changes seem to come in the form of revised front and rear body panels, which seem to be even more aerodynamic than those on a regular Ferrari 488 GTB. However, now that we have seen the spy photo’s and videos, we have a fair idea of what to expect from the finished product which will most likely be a full hybrid version of the 488 GTB.
I did have some idea that a hybrid Ferrari was in the works, as prior to his death former Ferrari boss Sergio Marchionne announced that the iconic Italian auto maker was indeed working on a hybrid V8 powertrain, which was set to be introduced sometime in 2019. As expected, he failed to mention which Ferrari model this hybrid V8 powertrain would eventually power (that would have been too easy). However, Marchionne did promise that electrification would indeed “become a mainstay in our portfolio.” Of course this is not the only talk of a hybrid Ferrari, because the Italian auto maker has confirmed a hybrid option for their upcoming Purosangue SUV.
According to reports, Ferrari will introduce the hybrid mid-engined V8 supercar later this year. Reports also seem to suggest that this hybrid model will not be a special edition or a one off model, like the 488 Pista but will indeed be a regular production model available to anyone who is interested and has the cash to back up their interest. I have also read that the new hybrid V8 model will be more powerful than the 711 hp (530 kW) limited edition Ferrari 488 Pista, however we can’t confirm this at this stage. I also believe that the debut of this hybrid V8 model will take place at a dedicated event and not at any of the major auto shows which some publications are reporting.
Unfortunately at this stage there is no official indication to what the name of this new hybrid V8 supercar will be, and as expected pricing details have not been disclosed. However, we believe that Ferrari plans to begin deliveries in early 2020, which is really not that far away. I personally am not a big fan of hybrid and electric powertrains, but what can we do? Thanks to Volkswagen’s ‘diesel gate’ emissions scandal most of the worlds governments are forcing auto manufacturers to head down this path but its not all bad news. As the LaFerrari, Porsche 918 and McLaren P1 proved, hybrid means more power and more speed, which is perfectly fine with me.