It appears as though Ferrari is developing a new hybrid powertrain for one of its road cars; and this is how we know it.
In late July, a YouTuber stumbled upon an intriguing 458-based test mule which seems to be equipped with some kind of hybrid engine. As the weird-looking mule passes the camera, it is completely silent.
Take a closer look at the vehicle and you’ll notice a few other interesting things. Perhaps most obvious is the fact that this mule is wearing the body of a 458 Italia, rather than the newer 488 GTB. Additionally, it has the same headlights and taillights as the 458. Beyond that, it is fitted with a custom hood, complete with massive air ducts, while the rear incorporates a large roof scoop to feed the powertrain.
The mule was also sporting a clear panel in the center of the rear fascia which shows some kind of battery pack.
In April, the late Sergio Marchionne confirmed that Ferrari was working on a hybrid powertrain that will be able to run on electric power alone for a certain distance. What’s more, FCA’s former chief executive revealed that a hybrid V8 powertrain will arrive in 2019, but failed to disclose what vehicle it would debut in.
One possibility is that Ferrari will introduce this hybrid system into its first-ever SUV, thought to arrive sometime next year. Alternatively, there is a slight chance it may be introduced in an all-new new Ferrari supercar or a future variant of one of the marque’s existing models. Whatever the case may be, it is obvious that, after forced induction, Ferrari is also embracing electrification.