Onlookers green with envy. Waiting twitchingly for the traffic light to turn green. A briefcase full of greenbacks. Even British Racing Green, if you’re talking about a GT. You could find a few ways to associate Ferrari with the color green, but the environmental sense would be a bit of a stretch – historically speaking, at least. But the times, as one Mr. Zimmerman wrote, they are a-changing. Now even Maranello has been forced to get on board the “Heal the World” train. And this is the result.
Called the HY-KERS, what you’re looking at is a rolling test bed. It’s a hybrid, sure, but if you thought this was a haphazard application of a plug-and-play hybrid system, think again. The HY-KERS incorporates a roadgoing derivative of Ferrari’s Kinetic Energy Recovery System – fancy-talk for regenerative braking – from last year’s Formula One program.
Ferrari has worked diligently to optimize the benefits of the system to the 599’s performance. The entire system weighs a modest 40 kilograms, partially offset by the obviation of the starter motor and conventional battery. Integrated into the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and mounted below the car’s center of gravity, the system returns over 100 horsepower, supplementing the V12 engine under hard acceleration and it can even operate under full electric power when puttering around town. Of course, a Ferrari never putters around anything, save for when it takes its owner for a round of golf at the local country club.