FERRARI has gone public with plans to introduce an electrified model to the prancing horse range, with a V8-electric hybrid to join the ranks as early as next year.
British car website Autoexpress scooped the news from Ferrari chief executive Sergio Marchionne, who said: “A Ferrari V8 hybrid is coming for 2019. The test mules are around now.” However, he stopped short of confirming what vehicle would pioneer the powertrain.
Current Ferrari F154 V8 engine from a 488 GTB
The timing suggests Ferrari’s first SUV (or ‘FUV’ – Ferrari Utility Vehicle – as coined by the company) will be the most obvious candidate to roll under V8/electric mumbo, with the GTC4Lusso-based high-rider arriving about the middle of the year.
It won’t be the first electrified Fez; the LaFerrari took that credit in 2013 with an electric motor bolted to its V12. However, Marchionne said the new V8 combination “needs to become more of a traditional hybrid to fulfil a different role”.
That different approach to electrification could include plug-in charging and an extended pure EV range, while the LaFerrari super-coupe and convertible were hell-bent on performance with tech more closely related to F1 cars.
It is also likely the combustion element of the unit will be closely related to the relatively recent turbo eight-cylinder engine powering the California T, GTC4Lusso and 488 in various states of tune.
Even with a detuned version of the California’s circa 415kW 3.9-litre V8, electrification should boost output and equip the as-yet unnamed Ferrari SUV with more than enough performance to do battle with other hi-po all-paws.
Rivals from the low-emissions camp include the recently revealed Bentley Bentayga PHEV and fully electric Tesla Model X, but on performance and luxury stakes alone, Ferrari will also fight the Rolls-Royce Cullinan and Aston Martin’s DBX-based contribution when it is revealed.