Ferrari has set out to destroy the belief that hybrid vehicles must be low on power to achieve efficiency. The experimental vehicle by Ferrari, dubbed the HY-Kers, is a high performance car with enough bite to wear the Ferrari badge, yet still be labeled a hybrid. The HY-Kers debuted at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show to shocked spectators, whom were in disbelief that Ferrari would focus on a sports car emitting 30% less CO2 emissions. In addition, this show car represents Ferrari’s pledge to further reduce its lineup’s fuel consumption by up to 40%.
Enthusiasts of the Ferrari brand at the show were quickly assured that just because the HY-Kers is green doesn’t mean it doesn’t live up to the performance of other models. The HY-Kers is based on the Ferrari 599 model and will offer extreme performance through a pairing of traditional engine technology and batteries. Although admittedly battery technology isn’t where it needs to be yet, they have announced to offer a hybrid sports car in the next 3 to 4 years.
The HY-Kers on display at the auto show featured the traditional V12 engine, but paired with a lithium-ion battery pack. The Duracell’s were placed underneath the drivers floor board and were reportedly air cooled. Keep in mind the battery pack was only used under light load, like traditional city driving, but the V12 was on tap for when the drivers foot gets too heavy.
Engineering a high performance car out of batteries is a huge challenge Ferrari is willing to undertake. The first issue being tackled was the additional weight provided by the lithium-ion battery, which added over 200 lbs to the standard Ferrari 599 weight. Like other electric hybrids, the HY-Kers will utilize regenerative braking, which uses kinetic energy to recharge the battery and automatically shuts the gasoline engine down. It’s not a problem, but with the speeds the Ferrari is capable of, plenty of regenerated power should be on tap.