Tired of reading about hybrid cars? At least one car company is bucking the trend towards petrol-electric propulsion and sticking with raw horsepower. Maserati is poised to build a supercar based on the LaFerrari -- but unlike its Italian stablemate it will not have the high-powered hybrid system.
Car magazine in the UK reports that Ferrari’s sister company is planning to produce a supercar of its own based on the same underpinnings as the LaFerrari that was unveiled at Geneva motor show a fortnight ago.
The two companies have worked closely before. The last time Ferrari built a supercar - the Enzo - Maserati had a limited edition version of the same car called the MC12. Only 50 were built compared to the run of 400 Ferrari Enzo models.
Significantly, the Maserati wasn’t allowed to out-power the Ferrari; the magazine report says the same deal will apply this time around as well. The Maserati supercar is due in 2015, about a year after the LaFerrari has enjoyed its first full year in production.
The Maserati is likely to make do with a slightly detuned version of the mighty 6.2-litre V12 in the LaFerrari. It will also be slightly slower because the LaFerrari gets a power and acceleration boost from the electric motor.
The LaFerrari will be the fastest and most powerful hybrid in the world when it goes on sale next year priced in excess of $1 million. Only 499 will be built. Ferrari, which used to mock the Toyota Prius, the world’s highest selling hybrid, has been forced to embrace the technology because of stringent emissions regulations in Europe.
Ferrari used to boast that its cars produce fewer emissions than the Prius because so few Ferraris are sold each year. There are more than 4 million Prius hybrids on the road compared to Ferrari’s annual production of about 7000 V8 and V12 sportscars.
But at least the “LaFerrari” will go like the wind. With a 0 to 100kmh time of “less than 3 seconds” it is almost as fast as a Formula One race car. It has a top speed in excess of 350km/h, and can reach 300km/h from rest in less time than it takes a tiny Smart car to reach 100km/h.
It is powered by a conventional 6.2-litre V12 engine matched with a 120kW electric motor to create a combined output of 960 horsepower, or 715kW (more than a race-ready V8 Supercar). It is so fast that tyre maker Pirelli had to develop special tyres. “The LaFerrari represents Ferrari’s most ambitious project yet, to push the boundaries of technology on a road car,” the company said.
This reporter is on Twitter: @JoshuaDowling