Is this a sign of the end-times? Ferrari, perrenial maker of fast and exotic sports cars, has finally caved to international pressure as governments the world over crack down on carbon emissions. The noble Italian carmaker has confirmed reports that it will be building a mass-produced (at least for Ferrari) hybrid vehicle utilizing the same KERS flywheel technology it uses in Formula 1.
KERS, or Kinetic Energy Recovery System, has become popular in various motorsports as a way to provide a significant power boost for passing. The systems are heavy and expensive, but not meeting carbon standards will cost Ferrari even more money as governments will levy heavy fines against any automaker whose cars are not up to snuff. Ferrari has been a leader in curbing its emissions…but only because they gave off so many emissions in the first black.
Up until now, Ferrari has been pretty anti-hybrid for production cars, though they have shown off some hybrid concept cars in recent years. But the reality of the world is catching up, and the reality is that hybrid cars don’t have to be boring. Porsche is doing a fine job of marketing hybrid sports cars, including one they plan on charging almost $800,000 for. Porsche hybrid sales are skyrocketing, and while Ferrari is doing fine, hybrid and electric cars are gaining traction among the wealthy and elite. Ferrari no doubt wants a slice of that green car sales pie.
No details have emerged on what shape the hybrid Ferrari will take, but it will add another awesome dimension to Ferrari’s lineup if you ask me. And I’m willing to bet it will carry a hefty price premium. Ferrari doesn’t do anything half-assed, and I have no reason to believe that a hybrid prancing pony will anything but awesome.