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.

Product Review

Amazon's new Echo is smaller and cheaper; firmware upgrade improves sound

The all-new Echo is shorter, cuter, and comes with several different color and fabric choices. Our Amazon Echo review reveals that while the acoustics initially weren't great upon release, a firmware upgrade has improved the sound.

From Rolls-Royce to Lamborghini, these are the most expensive cars in the world

If you recently discovered an oil reserve in your backyard, you probably have some extra cash to spend. Look no further, because we’ve rounded up the most expensive cars in the world.

The vast majority of YouTube users hit the site for how-to videos

Ever searched for a how-to video on YouTube? Of course you have. The streaming site is bursting with useful guides on how to do stuff, and a recent study has revealed that more users than ever are using it as a learning resource.

HP Black Friday sales include $300 savings on Spectre laptops, more

The holiday shopping season is heating up and HP's day after Thanksgiving sales have appeared, revealing up to $300 savings on Spectre Laptops, gaming desktops, accessories, and more.

Camaro vs. Mustang: Differences and similarities between two premier pony cars

The Chevrolet Camaro and the Ford Mustang are two of America's favorite sports cars. In this comparison piece, we highlight the main differences between the two machines when it comes to their design and performance, among other factors.

Roborace wants human drivers and machines to work together

Roborace believes the future of racing is autonomous, but it's keeping human drivers in the picture for now. For its first race season, Roborace will use a car called DevBot 2.0 that can be driven by humans or machines.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: 1-handed drone control, a pot that stirs itself

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!

Tesla raises prices and simplifies options on Model S and Model X

Tesla is making changes to its offerings of the Model S and Model X. The lower-range 75D models will increase in price, while the higher-range 100D models will decrease in price.

Tesla brings track mode to Model 3 Performance

The new Track Mode introduced for the Tesla 3 Performance model adds stability to the drive while you're behind the wheel and is specifically designed for driving on closed track courses.

Jaguar’s rally-ready F-Type roadster is happiest off the pavement

Jaguar is celebrating the XK120's 70th birthday by turning the F-Type roadster into a rally warrior. Built to FIA specifications, the model receives suspension and braking upgrades plus a full roll cage to protect the occupants.

Lyft’s new rewards program promises ride discounts and comfier cars

If you're always hopping in and out of a Lyft car, then you'll be pleased to hear that the ridesharing service is about to launch a rewards program. Perks include discounts on future trips and upgrades to comfier cars.

Study suggests autonomous cars could become red-light districts on wheels

Fully autonomous cars can change the way we commute, but they can also have a far-reaching impact on the tourism industry. Two researchers published a study that outlines how self-driving technology could create a new dimension in tourism.

VW will use Siri as the designated driver for its connected car party

Volkswagen of America added Apple's Siri to help drivers control and interact with their cars. Owners can customize voice commands to tell Siri to change access settings such as interior climate, vehicle lock status, and fuel checks.

Meet the born-again Ford Bronco that will soothe your ’90s nostalgia

Ford has confirmed it will bring the Bronco back to American showrooms in a few short years. While it's still very much a work in progress, this is what we expect from the Blue Oval's born-again off-roader.