Ferrari has been talking about hybrid technology ever since the Vettura Laboratorio HY-KERS debuted at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show, but new details are starting to emerge about the production system. The firm’s goal is to develop hybrid technology to get its fleet average CO2 emissions down to around 240g/km by 2018, a significant reduction from last year’s figure of 310g/km.
Now, the staff of British car mag Autocar have caught what they believe to be a Ferrari hybrid test mule driving in Germany. A remarkable fact was that this car was equipped with a German registration plate. These plates show the place where the car carrying them is registered and this Ferrari mule was registered in Stuttgart, home of the world’s largest supplier of automobile components Bosch, which is thought to be helping Ferrari with the engineering and software set-up.
As noticed by Autocar, the revised arrangement of the test mule’s exhaust pipes is an important new detail. While the standard California stacks its twin rear pipes on top of each other, the test mule has two pairs of side by side pipes. This may be linked to new routings for the exhausts, dictated by the hybrid powertrain and its space-consuming battery.
Also under development are a super-fast traction control system that works by reversing the electric motor’s torque rather than cutting engine power, and an ‘electronic torque shaping’ system that feeds in small torque inputs from the electric motor during acceleration. This helps maintain momentum during gearchanges and is felt as a more linear throttle response. The California test mule is likely to be running this set-up.