Mass electrification is coming to essentially every car brand, and that includes Ferrari. However, the Italian automaker’s pure EVs are still several years away. That means, in the meantime, Ferrari is pursuing hybrids as a way to balance performance with emissions. But hybridization might not be the only thing Ferrari is pursuing. Recent spy shots and rumors suggest an upcoming model that uses neither a V8 nor a V12, but some kind of V6.
There’s already been a Ferrari hybrid, and there’s one available right now
To be fair, the concept of a Ferrari hybrid hasn’t been salacious for some time. The automaker already released a hybrid hypercar, the LaFerrari, several years ago. And well-heeled buyers can currently buy a Ferrari hybrid directly from the dealership: the SF90 Stradale.
The 2021 Ferrari SF90 Stradale isn’t a mere technical exercise. It’s the most powerful production Ferrari ever, MotorTrend explains, thanks to a mid-mounted 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 linked to three electric motors. Combined, the hybrid system makes 986 hp and lets the SF90 go 0-60 mph in an estimated 2.3 seconds, Car and Driver reports. And unlike the LaFerrari, the Ferrari SF90 can run in EV-only mode for several miles. 15 miles, specifically, and up to 84 mph, thanks to its 6.5-kWh battery pack.
However, the hybrid powertrain gives the 2021 Ferrari SF90 Stradale several benefits besides extra speed. Those electric motors—two in front, one in the rear—let the hypercar swap between RWD, AWD, and FWD depending on the driving mode, MT reports. And the two front motors take the place of the reverse gear. As a result, the SF90’s eight-speed dual-clutch transmission is smaller than the F8 Tributo’s seven-speed DCT.
Combine all of this, and you’re left with “the fastest, most exploitable road-going Ferrari ever built,” Car says. Despite the weight penalty from the electric motors and battery pack, the Ferrari SF90 Stradale is “near magic” in terms of its handling, performance, and refinement, MT reports. And it’s a fitting follow-up to the LaFerrari, not to mention just as fast around Ferrari’s test circuit.
But the SF90 Stradale won’t be the only Ferrari hybrid for long. However, it might be the only V8 hybrid.
The next Ferrari hybrid might be a supercar with a V6
It’s worth noting that the idea of a V6-powered Ferrari isn’t as blasphemous as some enthusiasts make it out to be. The 206 Dino and 246 Dino both used Ferrari V6s, for example, as did the Lancia Stratos. And the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio has a V6 based on a Ferrari V8 design. So, there’s nothing ‘wrong,’ historically speaking, with a new Ferrari using a V6.
Speaking of, we’ve known that Ferrari was developing a new family of hybrid V6 engines since 2018. And since then, several heavily camouflaged prototypes have been spotted testing on racetracks and streets. But determining the potential production looks was complicated by the fact that there seemed to be two hybrid prototypes in development. And only one of them, The Drive explains, seemed to have the hypothetical V6 powertrain.
However, spy photographers recently managed to snap photos of one of these Ferrari hybrids with noticeably less camouflage. Although it’s still disguised, it’s the clearest look so far at the upcoming supercar, Motor1 reports. And while a V12 hybrid hypercar is also being developed, PistonHeads notes, this other model, codenamed ‘F171,’ will use a V6.
As of this writing, Ferrari hasn’t officially confirmed many details about the upcoming F171. But rumors suggest it uses a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 linked to a single electric motor, with a combined output of roughly 700 hp, Car reports. That compares neatly with the F171’s closest rival, the McLaren Artura, which also uses a hybridized 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6.
Furthermore, Car claims the Ferrari F171 hybrid will be exclusively RWD, “at least initially.” And that the F171, like the SF90 Stradale, likely uses a shortened version of the F8’s aluminum chassis.
When will we know more?
As of this writing, Ferrari hasn’t announced a release date for the F171 hybrid. However, Motor1 claims the supercar will “break cover towards the end of the year.” That’s also when the Purosangue SUV, which likely uses a version of the hybrid V6, will debut, Car reports.
In the meantime, potential buyers should know that the Ferrari SF90 Stradale lives up to the brand’s standards. And this new F171 will likely be no different.
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