Geneva, 2 March 2010. Ferrari presents a vettura laboratorio (experimental vehicle) at the 80th edition of the Geneva Motor Show based on the 599 GTB Fiorano equipped with an advanced new hybrid transmission.
2010 Ferrari Sports Cars 599 Fiorano HY-KERS Hybrid Concept
Ferrari made it official today and unveiled the hybrid Hy-Kers we gave you a sneak peek of, and for those of you who think the guys in Maranello are going soft by going green(er), this car is a real Ferrari that could be in showrooms soon.
Maranello promises the Hy-Kers hybrid concept will offer stellar performance along with improved fuel economy and emissions. It makes that point clear in calling Hy-Kers “an example of how Ferrari is approaching the development of hybrid technology without losing sight of the performance traits and driving involvement that have always exemplified its cars.”
The HY-KERS displayed at the Geneva Motor Show is an example of how Ferrari is studying the application of hybrid technology to high-performance sports cars. Central to Ferrari's objectives is maintaining the balance, handling and performance characteristics typical of its cars despite the inevitable disadvantages in terms of weight represented by applying hybrid solutions to existing models.
To this end Ferrari has employed its racing experience to adapt a lightweight hybrid drivetrain to the 599 GTB Fiorano with the aim of ensuring that vehicle dynamics are unaffected. This was achieved by the careful integration of all system components, positioning them below the centre of gravity and ensuring that interior and luggage space are entirely unaffected. Similarly the flat lithium-ion batteries are positioned below the floorpan of the car inside the aerodynamic underbody. The result is a centre of gravity that is even lower than in the standard car. In addition, a part of the weight gained by fitting the electric motor, generator and the batteries is offset by being able to do away with the traditional starter motor and battery.
Ferrari stepped into the limelight once again this year at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show where they debuted their vettura laboratorio, the Ferrari 599 HY-KERS hybrid concept sports car. Known for their screaming V-12 exotic sports cars, Ferrari is for the first time experimenting with the inevitable future of electrification. The HY-KERS is based on the 599 GTB Fiorano, which is one of the best torque producing vehicles Ferrari has to offer, now amplified with the hybrid-electric motor rated at an astonishing 107 hp and 111 lb-ft of torque.
When it comes to center of gravity (CoG), lower is better. It is a concern in any car, but this concept is essential in a sporting car. By using clever packaging, the CoG of the HY-KERS is actually lower than a traditional 599. This clever packaging also keeps the hybrid equipment from infringing on any interior space.
As with most hybrids, the HY-KERS can run in full electric mode based on engine load and other factors. Unlike lesser hybrids, the HY-KERS does not feature a Continuously Variable Transmission. The electric motor mounts to the rear of a seven-speed dual clutch F1 transmission. Weighing about 88 pounds, the electric motor produces about 100hp to aid the not-anemic V-12. Hybrid battery charging is provided by using a Kinetic Energy Recovery System built on the experiences from last years Formula1 program.
The new hybrid system incorporates pioneering engineering principles into every detail of the vehicle. The flat lithium-ion batteries are located on the floor pan of the car resulting in a lower center of gravity. The compact electric motor of the HY-KERS is coupled with a dual-clutch 7-speed transmission. Ferrari’s goal was to offset every kilogram increase in weight by a gain of at least one hp from the electric motor.
The vehicle incorporates a similarly designed system to that of Ferrari's Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) from last year's Formula One program. Under braking the electric drive unit acts as a generator, using the kinetic energy from the negative torque generated to recharge the batteries. This phase is controlled by a dedicated electronics module which was developed applying experience gained in F1 and, as well as managing the power supply and recharging the batteries, the module also powers the engine's ancillaries (power steering, power-assisted brakes, air conditioning, on-board systems) via a generator mounted on the V12 engine when running 100 per cent under electric drive. It also incorporates the hybrid system's cooling pump. Ferrari has also applied this F1 technology to help optimize the dynamics of the car, enhance traction and improve overall braking balance of the HY-KERS.
Ferrari hasn’t gone too far out of its league. The 599 HY-KERS will still integrate with the original V-12 hyper-revving engine allowing the driver to snap the throttle open and be tossed back against the seat faster than the original model. Ferrari claims the hybrid stallion can achieve 124 mph in 7.5 seconds, 0.4 seconds faster than the current 599. The seeds have been sown in Ferrari’s debut of green technology.
Ferrari hopes to have Hy-Kers technology in showrooms within three to five years. The system can be adapted to front- or mid-engine vehicles, according to Automobile, and the first production car to use it will be available only as a hybrid. According to the Daily Mail, Ferrari says the technology could double the cost of the 599, but Maranello hopes to bring those costs under control as it ramps up production.