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Shh! When the V12 is asleep, the hybrid Laferrari can secretly drive electric

While the McLaren P1 and Porsche 918 Spyder both feature electric-only modes, Ferrari claims its LaFerrari hybrid supercar doesn’t have one.

Video from a European track day seems to dispute that, though. Posted by YouTube user CarloDelucis (via Jalopnik), it shows a black LaFerrari silently gliding through a garage and turning a corner before its V12 fires up.

If the LaFerrari really can drive with its gasoline engine shut off, it’s a bit a surprising that no one has noticed it yet. It’s strange to see one of these cars moving around without making a sound, and that V12 isn’t exactly subtle when it fires up.

It’s possible that the engine shuts off only for brief periods of time, too short for Ferrari to legitimately make the claim that you can drive a LaFerrari on electric power alone.

Not that Ferrari would want to make that claim. It’s been adamant from the start that electric driving isn’t part of the LaFerrari’s mission, and that the hybrid system was only meant to improve performance, while providing less-abysmal fuel economy.

After all, who would want to silence that 6.3-liter V12? In the LaFerrari’s “HY-KERS” powertrain, it’s teamed with a pair of electric motor-generators and a lithium-ion battery pack. All of that produces a combined 950 horsepower and over 664 pound-feet of torque.

Ferrari has hinted that it will build more hybrid V12s in the future, to help keep up with tightening global emissions standards. For now though, it’s preferred fuel-saving technology seems to be turbocharging.

Ferrari deployed turbos on the California T and is expected to do so again on the refreshed 458M. It’s even discussed using an electric turbocharger on a future engine.

The next Ferrari hybrid will likely appear when one of the current V12 cars – the FF or F12 Berlinetta – needs a refresh. We’ll see how Ferrari spins the electric-only story when it does.

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Stephen Edelstein
Stephen is a freelance automotive journalist covering all things cars. He likes anything with four wheels, from classic cars…
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