The HY-KERS vettura laboratorio (experimental vehicle) is an example of how Ferrari is approaching the development of hybrid technology without losing sight of the performance traits and driving involvement that have always exemplified its cars.
This hybrid project is also aimed at ensuring that Ferrari will be in a position to comply with future CO2 emissions standards, particularly in terms of the urban cycle. City driving is traditionally where sports cars are most penalised as their engines are designed for maximum efficiency and performance at high revs, whereas the urban cycle involves low revs and low engine loads.
Ferrari has employed its racing experience to adapt an advanced, lightweight hybrid drivetrain to the 599 GTB Fiorano with the aim of ensuring that vehicle dynamics are unaffected. This was achieved by the careful integration of all system components, positioning them below the centre of gravity and ensuring that interior and luggage space are entirely unaffected. Similarly the flat lithium-ion batteries are positioned below the floorpan. The result is a centre of gravity that is even lower than in the standard car.
Ferrari has also applied its F1 technology to the design, engineering and construction of a new kind of electric motor which helps optimise the longitudinal and lateral dynamics of the car, enhancing traction and brake balance. The motor also features a unique cooling and lubrication system for maximum efficiency under all operating temperatures and loads.
Weighing about 40 kg, the compact, tri-phase, high-voltage electric motor of the HY-KERS is coupled to the rear of the dual-clutch 7-speed F1 transmission. It operates through one of the transmission's two clutches and engages one of the two gearbox primary shafts. Thus power is coupled seamlessly and instantaneously between the electric motor and the V12. The electric motor produces more than 100 hp as Ferrari's goal was to offset every kilogram increase in weight by a gain of at least one hp.
Under braking the electric drive unit acts as a generator, using the kinetic energy from the negative torque generated to recharge the batteries. This phase is controlled by a dedicated electronics module which was developed applying experience gained in F1 and, as well as managing the power supply and recharging the batteries, the module also powers the engine's ancillaries (power steering, power-assisted brakes, air conditioning, on-board systems) via a generator mounted on the V12 engine when running 100 per cent under electric drive. It also incorporates the hybrid system's cooling pump.
This experimental vehicle thus maintains the high-performance characteristics typical of all Ferraris while, at the same time, reducing CO2 emissions on the ECE + EUDC combined cycle by 35 per cent.
Company press release, last updated on March 08, 2010