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Friday, November 6, 2009

Ferrari reportedly confirms all-wheel drive hybrid system

Ferrari 612 replacement test mule - Click above for high-res image gallery

It's long been suspected that Ferrari was hard at work developing a hybrid powertrain for its line of supercars and grand touring machines, especially since a series of patents were located proving that the Italian automaker had at least sketched plans for such a system. Still, Ferrari had never confirmed such rumors.

But, according to Autocar in the UK, an unnamed source tells the British magazine that the hybrid drivetrain will debut on the next-gen 612 (could the recently-spotted long-wheelbase 612 be a hybrid mule?) with a pair of torque-laden electric motors that will be connected to the front wheels. Ferrari's traditional V12 or possibly a turbocharged V8 engine would send power to the GT car's rear wheels.

As befitting an automobile wearing the coveted Prancing Horse badge, Ferrari is said to be using the system to benefit handling and not to improve fuel efficiency. Whatever the case, we'll surely know more by 2014 or so when Ferrari is actually expected to have the hybrid ready for production.