The Ferrari of tomorrow will use floor-mounted batteries and uniform platforms

Ferrari LaFerrari
Ferrari LaFerrari
Ferrari first showed its hybrid hand in 2010 when it revealed a concept based on the 599. Three years later, the first production hybrid, its flagship LaFerrari supercar, hit the market.

Now it would appear the Italian automaker’s plans for electrically-assisted powertrains have expanded significantly. A patent sketch has been uncovered by Autocar with a how-to layout for future hybrid models. The highlight of this new system is a 30-mile all-electric range and, as with the LaFerrari, dramatically boosted performance.

The model in question uses a front-engine layout, and while Ferrari now has a few such models in its portfolio (F12 Berlinetta, California T, and FF), chances are the production model will be the next generation F12, due sometime before 2020.

Ferrari Hybrid Patent

As for the technology itself, Ferrari plans to use slimline batteries built into the floor (akin to Tesla’s Model S and Model X) powering an electric motor that is attached to the rear-mounted transmission. This structure would also be adaptable for mid-mounted engines, like the in-process Dino revival due out in the next few years.

While the LaFerrari was the brand’s first production hybrid, its minimal production numbers means whichever model Ferrari equips with hybrid tech next will be its first true “mass production” vehicle.

Part of the reason for Ferrari’s new electric push is not just to comply with general emissions regulations, but with proposed zero-emissions zones in major cities. Both the upcoming Dino and current California T (both on the low end of Ferrari’s model spectrum) would be driven more frequently, and almost certainly in large metropolitan areas. Therefore, offering electric-only capabilities would enable owners to operate their vehicles anywhere.

Ferrari’s greatest challenge to adding electric power to its models is the lack of available space. Traditional batteries built into the floorboards may work for other automakers, where driver and passenger seats don’t need to be mounted as low as possible, but for Ferrari, that characteristic is essential to the driving experience. Instead, Ferrari will apparently use individual cylindrical cells slung together in a single layer and incorporated into the floor. This patent shows a “support matrix” to keep the batteries as compact and thin as possible. In the case of an accident, the batteries will become disconnected from one another.

“The chemical batteries that are displaced [in an impact] automatically disconnect from the electric circuit, thus reducing the risk of short-circuits or electrocution. Therefore, after the crash there are many chemical batteries not connected to one another, thus individually having a moderate electric voltage.”

Another insight from this patent is how Ferrari may build all future models around a common cockpit structure. Instead of a central tub, Ferrari shows front and rear subframes bolted to a transversely-mounted bar (as part of the cockpit). This strategy would be easier to build, would make repairs easier, and would save Ferrari a ton of cash on development.

Hybrids and modular platforms? Sounds like a completely remodeled Ferrari brand is in the works.

Cars

Lyft and Aptiv’s self-driving car program has come a long way (but not far enough)

Many companies talk about self-driving cars, but Lyft and Aptiv are already using a fleet of them to transport paying customers in Las Vegas. Hop in for a close look at the tech of autonomous cars, and the challenges they face.
Cars

If Batman became a race car driver, he’d hit the track in the Vuhl 05RR

Mexican sports car Vuhl revealed the hardcore 05RR, a roadster that blurs the line between a track car and a street-legal car. The 05RR stands out with a design that looks right out of a video game and a 385-horsepower engine.
Emerging Tech

New brainwave reader tells teachers if students are concentrating

Massachusetts-based startup BrainCo has developed brainwave-reading headbands which can reportedly help reveal if students are concentrating in class. Here's how they're being used.
Computing

Data breach compromises 773 million records, 21 million passwords

A security researcher was alerted to a collection of breached data that included more than 773 million compromised records. After digging deeper, the breach was revealed to contain more than 21 million passwords.
Photography

With 5-stop optical stabilization, Fujifilm GF 100-200mm is ready for adventure

Fujifilm revealed a new lens designed to deliver on the GFX system's promise of adventure-ready medium-format photography. The GF 100-200mm F5.6 R is a weather resistant, relatively lightweight, 2x telephoto with impressive stabilization.
Emerging Tech

Too buzzed to drive? Don’t worry — this autonomous car-bar will drive to you

It might just be the best or worst idea that we've ever heard: A self-driving robot bartender you can summon with an app, which promises to mix you the perfect drink wherever you happen to be.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: camera with A.I. director, robot arm assistant

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Cars

Michigan OKs digital license plates with Rplate’s connected car platform

The state of Michigan approved the use of digital license plates on motor vehicles registered in the state. Reviver Auto, the manufacturer of the Rplate connected car platform, worked with Michigan's Department of State to pass the bill.
Cars

This Chevy Silverado pickup truck is made from more than 300,000 Lego bricks

To promote The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, Lego and Chevrolet teamed up on a life-size replica of the automaker's Silverado pickup truck made from more than 300,000 plastic bricks.
Cars

Prices for using Tesla Supercharging just skyrocketed

Tesla is updating their Supercharging pricing based on local electricity rates and customer demand, which has lead to an increase in charging costs by as much as 33 percent in some regions.
Cars

Can electric motors finally make three-wheeled cars great?

Every few years, someone tries to sell a three-wheeled vehicle to Americans. Historically, it hasn’t gone very well. We’ve got our suspicions about why people don’t buy trikes, and they boil down to this: a trike is just not a real…
Outdoors

Is Uber planning to put its self-driving tech into bikes and scooters?

Uber reportedly has its eye on building autonomous electric bikes and scooters that ride to a user when summoned by an app. The technology could also be used to make its two-wheelers safer with obstacle avoidance systems.
Cars

Someone just paid supercar money for the very first 2020 Toyota Supra

The 2020 Toyota Supra made its long-awaited debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The resurrected sports car, famous for a role in The Fast and the Furious, goes on sale in the U.S. this summer.
Cars

Lincoln’s stately, limited-edition flagship sedan sells out in a month

The 1961 Lincoln Continental became a design icon thanks to center-opening "coach doors" (also known as "suicide doors"). Lincoln is bringing those doors back for a special edition of the 2019 Continental.