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by David Zalstein

Ferrari has unveiled the latest evolution of its HY-KERS hybrid technology at the Beijing motor show.

The Formula One-inspired HY-KERS system was first seen on the Ferrari Hybrid 599 GTB (pictured below) at the 2010 Geneva motor show in a front-engine layout with a claimed reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of 30 per cent.

This latest iteration of HY-KERS shows the progression of the performance boosting system with Ferrari now linking the hybrid technology to a mid-rear-engine layout while further cutting emission by a claimed 40 per cent.

The powertrain on display in Beijing is a 12-cylinder engine with a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox coupled to an electric motor – a set-up most likely destined for the Ferrari Enzo replacement. While a second electric motor dedicated for the auxiliary systems is located in front of the V12, the two electric motors are connected to batteries that can be moved and repositioned in the car to suit the given space and configuration.

The electric motor supplies power to the driven wheels through one of the gearbox’s two clutches, with one of the two main shafts making instantaneous and uninterrupted power delivery between electric motor and petrol engine possible.


The HY-KERS system’s electric motor acts as a generator under braking and uses the kinetic energy from that action to recharge the batteries. With Ferrari’s goal of increasing power and reducing emissions in mind, HY-KERS now features smaller and lighter electronic components closing in on a targeted 1kW per kg of extra weight added by the hybrid system.

Ferrari says it has now reached the end of the experimental phase of the project with the development phase starting in a matter of months.

Ferrari may not be alone in developing regenerative kinetic energy systems with speculation that supercar rival McLaren is also exploring the use of the technology to the boost performance of future models, possibly including the McLaren F1 replacement.