Ferrari’s KERS hybrid road car (Pictures)

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Ferrari has revealed a concept road car using F1 KERS technology at the Geneva Motor Show.

The HY-KERS is based on a 599 GTB Fiorano but features a Kinetic Energy Recovery System similar to that used by the F1 team the F60 last year. Ferrari says the knowledge gleaned from running the technology in Formula 1 was used in the development of the car:

Maranello’s engineers also employed Ferrari’s track experience in the design, engineering and manufacture of this innovative electric motor which produces over 100bhp. The algorithms and control logics controlling the torque, traction and braking distribution functions are directly derived from Formula 1.
Ferrari statement

According to Ferrari the hybrid unit may be fitted to all its future road engines. Although the idea of a hybrid Ferrari may be anathema to sports car enthusiasts the company say there are practical reasons for the change:

This hybrid project is also aimed at ensuring that Ferrari will be in a position to comply with future CO2 emissions standards, particularly in terms of the urban cycle. City driving is traditionally where sports cars are most penalised as their engines are designed for maximum efficiency and performance at high revs, whereas the urban cycle involves low revs and low engine loads.
Ferrari statement

They are not the only F1 team to be using KERS in real-world applications this year. The Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid will use HERS technology supply by Williams Hybrid Power.

Although the F1 teams have agreed not to use KERS this year, as more of them become involved in finding consumer uses for the technology it may be only a matter of time before we see the devices back in Formula 1.

Ferrari HY-KERS concept pictures

Read more: Williams supply hybrid tech to Porsche

Image (C) Ferrari spa

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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48 comments on “Ferrari’s KERS hybrid road car (Pictures)”

  1. First Porsche, now Ferrari. I wish the manufacturers of high performance vehicles would just tell the greenies to get lost.

    1. Agree. Although I don’t mind if hydrogen was explored a bit more

      1. I heard Hydrogen has the potential to give explosive perfomance in supercars!!!

        1. Hydrogen is worse than current petrol!
          Research it and you will see it is for yourself.
          Pure electric is more efficient, cheaper, and easier to implement….
          Don’t be fooled by the whole emission = water stuff, it takes much more energy to make than what it saves.

          1. Eletric also takes much more energy to manufacture than it saves. Most Eletric is gotten from fossil fuel burning!

          2. Electricity needs to be produces by coal burning power plants and nuclear power plants which produce nuclear wastes…so…electricity isn’t necessary more efficient and cheaper…

    2. Mouse_Nightshirt
      2nd March 2010, 13:36

      I don’t see the problem. As a car enthusiast, all I see here is an extra 100 bhp when I put my foot to the floor. Green or no green, seems like a good thing to me!

      1. Same. Perhaps people have been listening to Jeremy Clarkson too much, but I have no idea where this “any green is bad” idea is coming from.

        Speaking of green, that car looks amazing in it!

        1. lol Maybe Clarkson probably does have some sway over people but not that many unless he’s speaking sense as I doubt the masses would blindly follow :P
          I just don’t like it esp in Britain as green agenda is used at every opportunity to squeeze taxes out of us which don’t really go towards green issues. There are also other ways, I think better ways than hybrids and electric. There is also the ongoing row about the actual climate change row which will be a sticking point for a few people.

          1. Mark Hitchcock
            2nd March 2010, 14:21

            The “climate change row” is a case of a very vocal minority (backed by large oil companies) trying to ignore the science and slow down progress as long as possible so that said companies can keep making money.

          2. Mouse_Nightshirt
            3rd March 2010, 1:02

            In terms of this car, the hybrid function allows you to avoid tax – less road tax an no congestion charge.

            It’s not all bad all the time.

        2. It’s nothing to do with Clarkson, I’m just against PR stunts which corporates, not just motor manufacturers, undertake to prove they are “green”.

          There is something fundamentally wrong with a 6 liter V12 petrol powered sports car pretending to be environmentally friendly.

          1. These gimmicks from the manufacturers just get worse. They must think we are all stupid.
            The BMW Active Hybrid X6 really takes the p**S. It still has its 400bhp 4.4litre lump in addition to 2 x electric motors, plus KERS. The eletric motor will run out of charge in …wait for it..1.4 miles. It will also cost over £90K and mpg is a staggeringly green 28.5mpg!
            Even the 3.5 diesel does 34.4 mpg. Is this all this “greeness” a joke or what?

    3. The Ferrari hybrid came before the Porsche.

  2. kers shouldn’t have been dropped from f1 in the first place, with it just being in f1 for one year, recovery of energy has been increased dramatically (more efficient), they are smaller and of a higher build quality.

    f1 designed kers systems are being implemented in wind turbines and more – tech like this impacts LOTS of areas and even single digit increases in efficiency makes a huge difference.

    3-5 years of kers in f1 would make huge differences in the performance of energy recovery devices, not only the devices, but storage of the energy would also evolve – another area of renewable energy that is lacking.

    tech companies have limited budgets, like f1 teams, however f1 teams have urgency and focus, its a race for them and 3-5 years in f1 is 20 years in the normal r&d world.

    1. I generally agree, but it was a costly thing and the last thing the sport needs is more costs. And at the end if the day, does F1 need to be relevant to road cars, abobe other considerations? Let manufacturers enter Le Mans or other sportscar series if they want a truly relevant base, and keep F1 about the racing.

      1. Apparently the engine manufactures still spent 90 million on their engines. If they would just knock that off for real they could save a whole lot more than what KERS costs them.

  3. Why do car manufacturers insist of making their greener eco cars green? We know it’s trying to be kinder to the environment but please don’t paint it green.

    1. Giuliano Vilela
      2nd March 2010, 10:05

      I second that, horrible choice!

    2. It’s not even a very nice shade of green! Mind, they were hardly going to paint it British Racing Green, were they?

      Come to think of it, if I ever buy a Ferrari, I know what colour I’m getting it in now :-)

      1. A dutch prince once had custom made the one and only british racing green ferrari.

        1. Accidental Mick
          2nd March 2010, 15:14

          I didn’t know it was unique! I was stuck next to it in a traffic jam on the M4 (England) a couple of years ago.

    3. VW have got the right idea, they just call green “blue”.

      1. Isn’t that because they don’t want to annoy the German green party?

      2. Bluemotion is the ecocars from Volkswagen

  4. Not that it will ever affect me, but as it is a hybrid will it not have to pay the congestion charge in London and will it qualify for lower car tax? I can imagine the Top Gear team claiming they are reviewing an eco car when they test this even though it is a Ferrari.

    1. Yep that’s right.

  5. I see nothing at all wrong with this. The F1-style KERS system is suitable for high performance cars, and they will have to start sooner or later or they will be left behind.

    Personally my gripe is that the KERS regs were too restrictive. This year could have been a great year for KERS, as if handled correctly they could have improved fuel efficiency and allowed a car to run lighter. With the refuelling ban, this could have made all the difference.

    The problem is the manual way it was implemented. If it was linked into the ECU, allowing it to smoothly be incorporated into the normal driving output of the car (even a little charging directly from the engine, not just under braking) it would have been much more useful. But the whole “power boost button” concept just reminded me of old driving games with the “turbo boost”, which always just irritated me.

    1. You don’t see anything wrong in Ferrari being coloured GREEN? Oh! come On!! You could equally colour the devil green too. :(

      As Keith said, if I were to buy a Ferrari, I know which colour. ;-)

      1. In my mind, ferraris only come in 2 colours – red and black. End of…

        Anyone caught respraying a Ferrari any other colour should be dragged outside and whipped with linguni.

  6. Let’s not forget the Porsche 918 spyder.

    Also, regarding hybrid supercars in general, I have no problem whatsoever with companies throwing resources into better fuel efficiency, as long as performance is not compromised I think it’s a no brainer, not to mention apt for the forthcoming F1 season…

    For the record the 918 can get around the nordschleife faster than a carrera gt and yet is also capable of better fuel economy than a toyota prius.

    link here

  7. It’s good to see that car manufacturers start to apply technology in order to make their cars greener. It’s good to see too that Williams and Ferrari have continued to develop KERS system. I think that Kers shouldn’t be just removed from the cars. I know that teams would spend too many time and money to develop it but give KERS at least more 5 years. And about the colour, I agree: Just don’t paint it green just because it’s supposed to be a hybrid car. In Ferrari’s case, paint it red. It’s better.

  8. Patrick ^FeRRaRi^ Westdorp
    2nd March 2010, 12:35

    Hello, The only thing that I want 2 say that’s a really nice looking car.


    Patrick from Holland

  9. I suppose you can only use the power boost for 6.6 seconds until you pass your garage.

    1. But be careful not to take a fuel hose with you!

  10. Ferrari and Williams may have benefitted from KERS development, but the major manufacturers never did, as they’ve been running much more expensive KERS programmes for years. And batteries are a lot heavier in real terms and HP-by-weight ratio than petrol, which is why they’re not much of a speed advantage on an F1 car.

    If F1 is serious about “greening” the sport they should allow teams to have a standard, restricted petrol engine, or let them develop hydrogen engines. 5 years of unrestricted hydrogen engine research in F1 will easily outstrip the benefits of KERS research.

    1. no way. petrochemicals are a source of energy, and hydrogen is a medium for energy. the energy contained in a hydrogen fuel is put there by refineries, which are powered by oil, gas, coal and uranium.
      that, and i think you’re overlooking the important part of KERS – energy recovery. at least 75% of the energy in petroleum goes out the tailpipe without moving the car. when you hit the brakes, 100% of that energy is wasted. wouldn’t you like some of that back? i know i do.

  11. KERS will come back with a vengeance no later than 2012. there might be a gentleman’s agreement to not use it in 2010, but don’t think the big teams have stopped development.

    back on topic:
    what’s wrong with performance cars equipped with electric-IC hybrid drivetrains? absolutely nothing. if only we could harness the power of clarkson’s hot air.

    1. I don’t think any driver could handle that level of (as Clarkson would say) POWEEEEEEEEEER!!!

  12. I’ve got Electric Six – Danger! High Voltage! stuck in my head now, oooops so do you!

    On a related to the story note thats some flat (in height) batteries:

    I remeber seeing technical sketches on one of the other sites of the Ferrari KERS pack being stubby and packaged around the fuel cell and removable, not flat and integrated like this, better weight distribution at the expense of ease of replacement… Very interesting.

  13. Ugh, what a horrible colour! Ferraris should be red! Like the idea of using KERS in road cars though, it did give F1 an interesting twist. I wasnt exactly a fan of it, but at least it provided oppertunities for overtaking.

    P.S: “The Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid will use HERS technology,” (just after 2nd quote.)
    I presume you mean KERS, or are porsche using some new eco-tech?

    1. Bartholomew
      2nd March 2010, 17:36

      Specially unnatractive are those black wheels !

    2. Why is it green? Red! or at very worst black, or white, or yellow!…. but green? I am sad…..

  14. Bartholomew
    2nd March 2010, 17:37

    Maybe they can also apply this technology to Chrysler, their brothers in the U.S.
    They need all the help they can get

  15. I expected them to be the first to come up with a project like this.In TOP GEAR whenever they previewed a Ferrari car I heard them saying “This Ferrari have …………… which Michael Schumacher have in his F1 car”

  16. Just a quick question:

    But don’t the hardcore environmentalists vandalise “environmentally unfriendly cars” like 4×4’s and sports cars when they are parkend in London? As nice a gesture as this is I don’t think they would bother to look for the KERS badge (I’m assuming it has some badge on it to show off the fact that it is nice to the environment) on the back of this before keying it.

  17. Since Ferrari plans to put a KERS option in every line of their cars within four years, per Luca, the anti-greenies have a heavy course of complaining ahead of them.

    Luca knows that hybrid powertrains are used to more effect in terms of performance, not economy— A prius migh get 30% less consumption than my gasoline-powered car on the highway, but the performance a true hybrid sports car with the torque of powerful electric motors at all four corners would be mind-numbing.

    Ferrari is not about let Teslas and the like start blowing its doors off for the sake of tradition, or something. Porsche has reached the same epiphany.

    Yes, this is another reason why abandoning KERS was foolish.

  18. It looks fairly generic but alright to me. The colour is aweful and what the hell was ferrari thinking. Painting it green will not fool everybody folks at ferrari, please give us more credit. I’d like a closer look at the back “hollow” c-pillar (I think thats what its called) and it would be great to know what the thinking behind this is and what performance or safety or other advantages it gives the car…

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