Two years ago, Ferrari chairman Sergio Marchionne said the idea of the company making an electric supercar was “almost an obscene concept.” That isn’t happening yet, but speaking to Bloomberg, Marchionne said the company’s upcoming series-production hybrid will be able to run in total silence. So, you’ll soon be able to get an electric Ferrari experience.
Marchionne’s comments are in response to this video of a prototype testing “very quietly,” in his words, at Ferrari’s Fiorano test track. He confirmed that this prototype isn’t an all-electric car, but hinted that it’s “a Ferrari you could run silently.”
The hybrid prototype spotted testing seems to us like it’s the successor to the 488, which will probably arrive next year. Marchionne promised last year that Ferrari’s first hybrid V8 would arrive in 2019, and the 488 is reaching the end of the line. With its mid-engine V8 cars, Ferrari typically releases the final, hardcore version a year or two before the successor arrives.
Full-electric operation would represent a big shift for Ferrari. The company was once adamant that the hybrid LaFerrari doesn’t have an all-electric mode—though video evidence argues the contrary—unlike its rivals, the McLaren P1 and Porsche 918. An EV mode reflects Ferrari’s changing goals. The LaFerrari’s kinetic energy-recovery system was only used to boost performance, while its future hybrid systems will help reduce emissions and increase fuel economy too.
A brave new world is taking shape for Ferrari, and it seems like we’ll get our first glimpse next year. It could be very quiet.