Ferrari has applied for a patent to cover their own version of a hybrid platform, reports Autocar. In their application, they have introduced six different layout options. Each of these has one common thread: an electric motor powers two wheels, with the combustion engine powering the other two.
Ferrari has submitted six different layouts for the patent. In all of them the engine drives a motor/generator, which in turn drives one pair of wheels via electricity provided by an on-board battery.
The magazine quoted the application as saying, "The aim of the present invention is to provide a four-wheel-drive vehicle with hybrid propulsion…and being at the same time easy and inexpensive to produce."
According to application, “The four-wheel drive that can be engaged enables the driver of the automobile to decide whether to use the rear drive or the four-wheel drive; in this way, the driver can use the rear drive in optimal conditions of adherence and can use the four- wheel drive in poor conditions of adherence”.
The electric drivetrain should also allow the car to pull away from a standing start using only electric power. Starting the engine only when the car is travelling at 10mph+, will also reduce the level of pollutants produced by the engine.
Autocar speculates that Ferrari would use the system in tandem with a start/stop, almost guaranteeing an improvement in fuel economy. However, installing this system could have the unintended consequence of eliminating a Ferrari hallmark: the roaring sound of the engine heard when a driver takes off from a standstill. One way around this might be to install a start/stop that the driver can switch on when there is nobody around to impress.
Onboard rain and temperature sensors could also be used to automatically activate four-wheel drive running in bad weather. Information from the car’s chassis electronics could also bring the 4x4 system into play when the driver is pushing the car hard.
via:World Car Fans