Ferrari’s CEO, Sergio Marchionne, has boldly asserted that the Italian marque will be first to market with a dedicated electric supercar, in a bid to draw the narrative spotlight away from startup Tesla and its high profile founder Elon Musk.

“If there is an electric supercar to be built, then Ferrari will be the first,” Marchionne said, according to Bloomberg.

“People are amazed at what Tesla did with a supercar [the new Roadster]. I’m not trying to minimise what Elon did but I think it’s doable by all of us.”

Marchionne also told journos at the Detroit motor show this week that Ferrari would introduce its first SUV, said to be "the fastest on the market”, by late 2019 or 2020.

If there’s one industry boss as outspoken as Musk, it’s Marchionne — a trait amplified by the fact he’s set to retire within one year.

By 2025, Marchionne also predicts that fewer than half the cars sold will be be fully-combustion powered, which takes on extra gravity when you consider that Fiat Chrysler (the other company he runs) has often been accused of lagging in the EV rollout ‘race’.

Pictured: Tesla's second-gen Roadster EV

“We do it because we have to do it,” Marchionne apparently said. “While there is work to be done, the new plan for Ferrari being released in the first half will include hybrid cars, he said, “so going from there to an electric is easy.”

By this he refers to FCA and Ferrari's mid-term plans, expected to be made public before June this year.

It’s worth taking into account the well-publicised fact that Ferrari is targeting annual sales exceeding its old self-imposed 10,000-car limit which, until now, meant it could work under less-stringent fuel-economy rules in key markets.

What are your thoughts on an all-electric Ferrari?