The "big news" from Ferrari this week was the official launch of its 2010 F10 Formula One racer at the factory in Maranello. But during his comments to the assembled racing press, Ferrari boss, Luca di Montemezolo, also confirmed that the automaker will present a prototype of its long-rumored first hybrid model in Geneva. Based on the current 599 GTB Fiorano seen here, the new 599 Hybrid is expected to see production in the near future, although exactly when that will be was not specified.
Montemezolo provided no mechanical details on this new 599 Hybrid variant. However, previous news leaks and a new report in the Italian auto magazine "Quattroroute" indicate it's likely to be a "mild-hybrid" design that supplements the car's standard 6.0-liter, 612-horsepower, V12 gasoline engine with an electric motor located in its rear transaxle. In addition to a custom Lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery pack, the car is also believed to incorporate start/stop technology and employ a form of regenerative braking that borrows from the KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) initially developed for the F1 team. The hybrid package is rumored to help increase the 599's fuel economy by 30-35 percent beyond a base model's 11 city/15 highway mpg.