Ferrari shows off ‘green’ credentials with two new models in Geneva
By Jeff Salton
March 2, 2010
Ferrari has announced at the Geneva Motor Show that its California model is set to become the first supercar to offer the fuel and emissions-saving "Stop&Start" engine system. This cuts fuel consumption by six percent and reduces carbon dioxide emissions to 280g/km - a figure Ferrari says is less than some family cars currently on the road.
The company has also unveiled a concept hybrid - the HY-KERS based on its 599 GTB Fiorano model.
The Stop&Start engine system deployed on the California is virtually undetectable by drivers because the engine restarts in just 230 milliseconds.
Ferrari says this move is in keeping with its ongoing strategy to reduce fuel consumption and emissions, even while increasing performance... so the car still does 0-100kmh (62mph) in less than four seconds.
Ferrari has directed much of research to reducing friction within the engine to increase fuel economy. The Ferrari California’s direct-injection V8, for example, has eliminated the ‘pumping’ losses created by the changes in pressure below the pistons. To achieve this, the company inserted purge valves in the crankcase below the crank throws which allows blow-by gas and oil compressed during the combustion phase to leave the crankcase without being drawn back in during the compression phase. This ensures a direct increase in engine efficiency.
DLC (Diamond Like Carbon) coatings on the valve followers and super-finishing of the cam lobes also contributes to friction reduction in the valve train and adds to the overall improvement in engine friction.
The second big “green” announcement by Ferrari at the Geneva Motor Show was the experimental vehicle - the future-focused Ferrari 599 HY-KERS - which shows for the first time hybrid solutions being developed by the company’s engineers.
The HY-KERS is based on the 599 GTB Fiorano but importantly, the technology may one day be fitted to all future Ferraris, 8- and 12-cylinders alike, regardless of their engine position.
City driving is traditionally where sports cars are most penalized as their engines are designed for maximum efficiency and performance at high revs, not the low revs and low engine loads associated with urban travel.
The hybrid vehicle has its batteries below the floorpan and the use of a compact electric motor coupled to the rear of the F1 dual-clutch gearbox delivers dynamic performance by lowering the center of gravity. Cockpit room and luggage space are also unaffected.
The electric motor produces more than 100hp and algorithms and control logic responsible for torque, traction and braking are directly derived from Ferrari’s involvement in Formula 1 racing.
Research continues into reducing drag, improving rolling resistance of tyres and lowering weight as well as working on reducing engine friction to increase efficiency.
A greener workplace
The third "green" announcement by Ferrari highlighted the company's cause to reduce the environmental impact of its production activities in Maranello.
After the inauguration of the photovoltaic installation on the roof of the Mechanical Machining facility in January 2009, which reduced the factory’s power requirements by more than 210,000kWh annually, the company also implemented Italy’s biggest tri-generation plant (the simultaneous production of power, heat and cooling from a single source) – making it’s the first sports car manufacturer to do so.
Combined, the two systems reduce Ferrari’s CO2 emissions by 30,000 tons a year (40 percent). This reduction means that Ferrari will meet the Kyoto protocol objectives a full 10 years ahead of schedule and with double the figure imposed on Europe.
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