Ferrari and Lamborghini. Together, these two companies have more than 100 years of experience building some of the fastest and most exciting vehicles ever driven on public roads. Now, both of the Italian based performance gurus are planning to offer vehicles that appease both the automotive enthusiast and the environmentalist.
For quite some time now, rumors have been circulating about both automakers developing a hybrid system for the near future. The discussion began back in the fall of last year when Lamborghini unveiled the Estoque Concept and let out that the company was also looking into a hybrid variant. Since then, Lamborghini has been working to reduce the CO2 emissions from not only their vehicles, but also from their factory.
The company has set a goal of 35% reduction in CO2 emissions from their vehicles alone by 2015. This is augmented by the promised 30% reduction from their factory by next year. Last year, the engineers working on the Gallardo LP-650 were able to reduce the overall emissions by 18% without the use of any hybrid systems. They expect to see similar results across the lineup in the near future.
Ferrari on the other hand was able to keep out of the hybrid spotlight until just recently when some plans for a hybrid electric vehicle were leaked. Soon after, the plans were confirmed by CEO, Amedeo Felisa. The schematic reveals a 4×4 hybrid drive system, but not much else. While Felisa didn’t make any comment specifically pertaining to a hybrid system, he did say that other powertrain setups were being tested. These included smaller turbocharged engines and bio-fuel. Mr. Felisa was also kind enough to hint at a possible Los Angeles unveiling of a new, more efficient Ferrari.
The real question in this matter is how the fans of these automakers will take to having a hybrid in the mix. For a long time, Lamborghini and Ferrari have been known for their high revving larger displacement engines. Will the companies still have the same appeal, or will some people see this as a betrayal to the Prancing Horse and Raging Bull heritage?