Ferrari unveils 1,050hp hybrid

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Ferrari SpA is giving a group of its test-drive customers the chance to try out a 1,050-horsepower hybrid prototype car being unveiled at its annual event celebrating the end of the global auto-racing season this week.

The FXX K, based on the Italian supercar manufacturer’s €1 million (RM4.26 million) LaFerrari hybrid, combines a 860-horsepower V12 engine with an electric one providing an additional 190 horsepower, the Maranello-based company said in a statement.

Ferrari, controlled by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, will build just a few dozen units of the model, which may cost about €2.5 million apiece.

The FXX K will be reserved for a limited number of customers who will use the car only on tracks in private sessions or at events organised by the manufacturer.

The programme allows Ferrari to test some extreme features that may be used in vehicles eventually built commercially without having to meet road certification or racing regulations. The FXX K will never be used in competition.

Ferrari, which has restricted production of about 7,000 cars a year to preserve the brand’s exclusivity, plans to boost profit with more expensive and limited-release models and additional services as chairman Sergio Marchionne separates the business from Fiat Chrysler.

The FXX K is the first Ferrari model unveiled since Marchionne, who runs Fiat Chrysler, took the post at the supercar producer in October following the departure of Luca Cordero di Montezemolo as chairman.

The London-based parent company plans to spin off Ferrari next year to help raise about US$5 billion (RM17.35 billion) to counter mounting debt, giving investors a chance to buy into one of the auto industry’s most storied names.

The prototype will debut on the Abu Dhabi circuit later this week as Ferrari gathers customers and fans in the Persian Gulf emirate for the end-of-season celebration, which it’s staging outside Europe for the first time. The carmaker plans to show more than 200 exotic and limited-series models, including 74 challenge cars and 17 Formula One single seaters. — Bloomberg


This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on December 8, 2014.