Not even Ferrari is safe from a future of electric cars.
Speaking to Auto, the official magazine of the global motorsport governing body the FIA, Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne has admitted the Italian brand is preparing for a future with more hybrid and even fully electric models. He revealed an important step in that process could be an entry into the all-electric Formula E racing series that has already attracted entires from Audi, Jaguar, DS/Citroen and BMW with Mercedes also interested in joining.
“We need to be involved in Formula E because electrification via hybridisation is going to be part of our future,” Marchionne told Auto.
“Hybridisation is crucial to Ferrari. There is no denying that regulations put us under pressure, but we could reach those targets in other ways.
“The challenge is to benefit from hybridisation not just in terms of emissions reduction, but also performance. We have already developed a hybrid supercar, LaFerrari, and on future Ferrari models we will leverage new technologies as well as electrification.”
Marchionne has previously spoken about Ferrari’s reluctance to get involved in Formula E until it does away with mid-race car swaps and allows more technical freedom. Those changes are coming in future years so don’t expect an electric Ferrari team until 2020 at the earliest.
The news comes at the same time Formula One’s rulemakers are considering abandoning the current petrol-electric hybrid engines for the 2021 season. The current engine manufacturers Ferrari, Renault, Honda and Mercedes-AMG along with representatives from other car makers not currently involved, including Volkswagen Group, agreed in principle to simpler, louder and more powerful engines.
But FIA president Jean Todt has ruled out a return to V10 and V12 engines saying it would be socially unacceptable. He said the new regulations must remain relevant to future road car technology.
The exact specifications of the new engines are likely to be decided by 2019 in order to allow introduction for the 2021 season.