The Ferrari 599 KERS Hybrid
Ferrari, famous for red blooded, roaring racing machines is beginning its evolution towards sustainable sports cars with the Ferrari 599 Hybrid pictured above and below. The car uses a Formula 1 derived KERS (kinetic energy recovery system), which in layman’s terms means it collects power otherwise lost during braking and makes that same power available through a “boost” button when you most need in, namely, when you are coming out of the corner you just braked into. The Ferrari uses a lithium-ion battery array positioned low on either side of the driveshaft and an electric rear transaxle (pictured below) to provide the KERS boost, imagine having a high performance electric NOS system installed that would save about 30% or 17L per 100kms of fuel consumption.
Now there are people who think it is heresy for a company like Ferrari to build gas/electric hybrid cars but these people are invaribaly idiots and are probably the descendants of the same crowd of people who refused to give up their horse and cart when the original automobile came along. Electric motors are actually perfect for racing, there is no heavy gearbox, the motor provides 100% of it’s torque 100% of the time and it is significantly lighter than a gasoline engine on a weight/horsepower scale. The issue slowing adoption is battery life and until we see the breakthroughs in lithium-ion/lithium-titanate or some other as yet unknown technology we will see significantly more gas/electric hybrid high performance cars being released rather than pure electric sports cars like the Tesla Roadster and the Lightning GT. I for one tip my hat to Ferrari and I can’t think of a single rev-head friend who would turn down the opportunity to have a little red electric “boost” button within thumbs reach on his steering wheel.