Ferrari is apparently hard at work developing a new platform that will purportedly have a hybrid powertrain as evidenced by a 488 doing silent rounds of the company’s Maranello testing facility.
Ever since someone in a remote corner of the world looked at electricity as a means of propulsion, the fate of the good old internal combustion engine was sealed. From being the sole design that powered millions of automobiles all over the world, and some that went beyond, the engine is fast being replaced by alternative, efficient powertrains that don’t need dinosaur remains to get from one place to another. Naturally, the pace at which the electric car world is progressing means that all the major and minor automotive firms around the world have to toe the line and come up with their own electro-mobility solutions.
Among these firms is Ferrari, which has a history steeped in explosive IC powertrains that not only produced massive power but also provided the aural pleasure associated with high-strung performance engines. With changing times and the advent of electric propulsion as a major alternative to the fuel-driven engines, the prancing horse needs to reassess its priorities and come up with supercars that can be hooked up to a charging point instead of a fuel line. And it seems to be doing just that, as can be seen from a video that has just surfaced on YouTube.
In this short clip, we can see a partially camouflaged Ferrari 488 going around the Maranello racetrack without producing any of the sounds we have come to expect from its mighty 3.9-liter V8. The car is seen manuevering around Turn 2 before stopping just ahead of the kink (Turn 1) that leads to the pits. From here, the test driver launches the 488, with the car rapidly picking pace without making a single sound. Although the launch wasn’t as fast as a Ferrari is expected to perform, it wasn’t slow either. Perhaps the test mule is running a hybrid powertrain under the hood? While there is no clear answer to this, the video is proof that the automaker is indeed hard at work coming up with its own distinctive alternate propulsion tech. Given that Ferrari’s Formula One car already employs an HY-KERS (Hybrid Kinetic Energy Recovery System), we can safely expect the tech to trickle down to its road-going models.
The 488 silently going round Maranello points to a few potential developments the company has in store for us. It could be that the next generation 488 GTB will come in as a hybrid, or perhaps Ferrari is just testing a hybrid powertrain on one of its bestselling models. But this testing seems to be redundant in the face of the hypercar LaFerrari that already is pretty advanced when it comes to hybrids. Another possibility is that the upcoming Ferrari SUV might start off with a hybrid powertrain which is being tested under the 488’s hood. This case makes a bit more sense considering that those cars that would play directly against the FUV (Ferrari Utility Vehicle) either already are hybrids or will gain a PHEV variant in the next few years.
Should Ferrari go hybrid? We would love to hear your thoughts on this.