By Ronan Glon
Monday, Mar 26th, 2012 @ 5:30 am
 
The war that governments around the world are waging against CO2 emissions has forced many automakers to dabble in technology and market segments that have historically been foreign to them.

Porsche has launched diesel- and hybrid-powered cars, while Aston Martin took things a few steps further and put its name on a Scion iQ.

Up until recently Ferrari has stood its ground, but that's going to change in the next year or so. Ferrari CEO Amedo Felisa has confirmed to England's Autocar that the brand is about to launch its first mass-produced hybrid-powered car.

"We will roll out new technology that is there first and foremost to introduce a green factor to our cars and ensure that we can keep our product where it is in terms of CO2," said Felisa in an interview.

No technical details were given about the upcoming hybrid system, but it will be similar to the kinetic energy recuperation system (KERS) that is found in the brand's Formula One cars.

A common criticism of KERS systems is that they are expensive and add unnecessary weight to the car, but Ferrari is convinced that both of these negative attributes will be overcome in the near future.

"Our hybrid system won't just be about creating power, but saving energy, too. Yes, that technology is expensive today, but the road ahead is open and evolution will bring down the cost and weight disadvantages," affirmed Felisa.

Rumors circulating around the media claim that the hybrid system will make its debut on the Enzo's replacement when it bows early next year. If necessary, the system could eventually be fitted to the entire Ferrari lineup.

"I'm not saying when, but it is possible that this technology will be on all Ferraris. It has been designed to fit all our future architecture, and if we go ahead it will be fitted as standard. It is not the sort of thing you offer as an option," explained Felisa.

Felisa indicated that Ferrari is also considering making a return to six-cylinder engines. Nothing is set in stone yet, and if the brand does launch a V6-powered car it won't be until "far away in the future."