Mike Stevens | Mar 5, 2010

FERRARI HAS UNVEILED its first hybrid concept at Geneva this week, in the form of the 599 HY-KERS vettura laboratorio (Italian for 'experimental vehicle').

Based on technology developed through its Formula 1 programme, Ferrari has developed a hybrid system that pairs a 40kg, 75kW electric motor with its 6.0 litre V12 engine and seven-speed F1 dual-clutch transmission.

According to Ferrari, the HY-KERS concept's CO2 emissions are 35 percent lower on the combined cycle than with the regular 599 GTB Fiorano.

Powered by batteries positioned along the floorplan of th HY-KERS - thus maintaining an ideal weight distribution - the electric motor kicks in during acceleration, adding torque at launch and in overtaking manoeuvres.

Under braking the electric drive unit acts as a generator, using the kinetic energy from the negative torque generated to recharge the batteries.

Ferrari says that power from the electric motor and the V12 petrol engine is combined seamlessly, thanks to the electric motor working through one of the transmission's two clutches, engaging just one of its two primary shafts.

The electric motor can also operate as an all-electric drivetrain for the HY-KERS, depending on speed and engine load.

While the 599 HY-KERS is purely a concept, Ferrari Chairman Luca di Montezemolo confirmed at Geneva this week that the company aims to offer a complete hybrid line-up within the next three to four yeas.

“This is the first step of a long project and we want within three years, maximum four, to have a hybrid Ferrari car ready for every single product of our range. This is our goal, ” Montezemolo said.

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