Calling it an experimental vehicle but admitting that a production version is pretty much in the cards within the next three to five years, Ferrari showed its 599 HY-KERS Concept. This bright-green, high-powered hybrid variation on its existing 599 GTB Fiorano model reportedly sacrifices nothing in the way of overall performance. However, its gas/electric powertrain system provides a solution that will help Ferrari comply with future CO2 emissions standards, particularly in terms of the tough European urban cycle requirements.
Calling upon experience it's gained in racing, Ferrari engineers created a dual-mode package that's both light and compact. It matches the 599's existing 612-hp V12 with a high-tech, house-designed electric motor/generator that develops in excess of 100 horses -- an amount calculated to completely offset the additional 220 pounds of system weight. Fitted with a unique cooling and lubrication system that maximizes its efficiency under all operating temperatures and loads, Ferrari says it actually enhances the car's straightiline and lateral dynamics, improving both traction and brake balance. The motor is fed by flat Lithium-ion battery modules mounted beneath the floorpan to further optimize balance and actually lower the HY-KERS's center of gravity compared to a standard 599 GTB. To effectively channel output of the gas-electric system to the rear wheels, this hybrid variant replaces the production 599's six-speed dual-clutch automated-manual transmission with the paddle-shifted seven-speed F1 alternative gearbox used in the 458 Italia model.
Like other Hybrids, the Ferrari 599 HY-KERS relies on regenerative braking to top off charge in the battery packs. While Ferrari offered no information as to how far this greener GT can travel in pure EV mode nor how the HY-KERS system directly impacts fuel economy, its did say the package reduces CO2 emissions on the European ECE+EUCD combined test cycle by 35 percent, which would imply a similar level of improvement in the car's overall mpg marks.