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Ferrari shows next Enzo's HY-KERS V12 at Beijing

Mon, 23 Apr 2012 00:00:00 -0700

Ferrari stole a surprise march at the 2012 Beijing auto show when it announced a few details about its forthcoming Enzo successor.

The powertrain you see here is essentially the hybrid supercar architecture which'll underpin the new hypercar being readied for launch later in 2012.

Ferrari chief Amadeo Felisa told CAR the electric powertrain would lop 10% off the 0-124mph time - and its V12 is related to that in the F12, but with more power and 40% lower CO2 emissions.

Ferrari's mid-engined HY-KERS system: the lowdown

This is not the first time we've seen Ferrari's HY-KERS system. At the 2010 Geneva motor show, Maranello rolled out a vettura laboratorio (experimental vehicle) which packed a hybrid powertrain inside a 599 GTB Fiorano.

That car was obviously front-engined. What's new in Beijing is that it's been switched to work in a mid-engined application. Hence the massive clue about what we'll see in the Enzo successor, the supercar aimed squarely at the McLaren P12.

What will power the next Ferrari Enzo?

Well, the HY-KERS project on show in Beijing is believed to be very close to what we'll find on Maranello's new hypercar, due to be unveiled in late 2012 before going on limited sale in 2013. Which points to a 12-cylinder engine, assisted by an electric motor and running a twin-clutch transmission. Lithium-ion batteries are slung low in the chassis - below the centre of gravity.

A second electric motor sits in front of the V12, dedicated to running the car's auxiliary systems (no mean power drag, when you consider the amount of power assistance and energy requirements on a big, hot V12 supercar).

'The objective of this configuration is to create a sports car that, thanks to the integration with the electric motors, increases power while at the same time reducing emissions,' says Ferrari. 'The KERS features new, smaller and lighter electronic components which come close to achieving the declared target of 1 KW per kg of extra weight added by the hybrid system.'

What does electric power mean at Ferrari?

More performance, naturally. The company won't reveal exact performance criteria yet, but says that performance is 10% greater than a supercar running just the V12 engine - yet emissions alone drop by 40%. Sounds like this is a very significant car indeed, pointing to the future for a brand like Ferrari who may otherwise become a carbon-riddled dinosaur.

Naturally, Ferrari makes great play over how its F1 experience has fed into the HY-KERS project. And this being Ferrari, it's not just about straight-line speed; it says that the electrification of the Ferrari supercar brings new possibilities to tweak handling dynamics, torque management and brake distribution.

So expect complex torque vectoring and pulses of e-power to make the next Enzo handle even better. Interestingly, Ferrari also runs the V12 at higher speeds than it needs to, as the internal combustion engine is more efficient at higher operating speeds; the extra energy is then stored in the ultra-thin lithium-ion batteries. Ferrari calls this Load Point Moving.

Over to Ferrari for the last word

'The HY-KERS’ electric motor delivers power using one of the gearbox’s two clutches and is mated to one of the two main shafts. The result is instantaneous, continuous power delivery between the electric motor and petrol engine.

'During braking, the electric motor acts as a generator, using the kinetic energy from the negative torque to recharge the batteries. This crucial task is managed by a dedicated ECU, also F1-derived, which not only controls the electric motor, but also governs the power to the auxiliary systems (power steering, brake servo, air conditioning, onboard systems).

'Work on the system has now reached the end of the experimental phase and the development phase will commence in the coming months.'


By Tim Pollard