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Ferrari hybrid car? Coming this year, chairman says.

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Vivek Prakash/Reuters/File

(Read caption) Visitors look at a Ferrari Enzo during a display of luxury cars in Singapore in this 2008 file photo. The chairman Ferrari says the company will inaugurate hybrid car sales at the end of the year with a Ferrari Enzo.

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Luca di Montezemolo is many things: a snazzy dresser, a political powerhouse in Italy, and, most relevant to us, the chairman of Ferrari. As part of the most recent quarter's financial results (which were quite good) di Montezemolo announced that the new Ferrari Enzo hybrid supercar would arrive by the end of the year.

In di Montezemolo's words, "At the end of the year, we'll also be unveiling the new Enzo, a limited series model and our first ever hybrid car."

With rumors of up to 920 horsepower from the V-12 engine and electric hybrid assist system, the next-generation Enzo is going to be the only car to have a shot at the Porsche 918 Spyder's level of performance--and it may well exceed it. It's certainly every bit as advanced, if not even more so.

The V-12 engine itself is no small contribution to the whole HY-KERS system, but with two electric motors--one mounted to the gearbox driving the rear wheels, the other used for auxiliary power systems, like steering and climate control--batteries, and all of the electronics that control them, the big internal combustion engine won't hold the spotlight until the key is turned.

As you might expect with an Enzo, there's ample F1 tech under the surface: the ECU that controls the hybrid system, including its regenerative and power delivery elements, borrows from Ferrari's racing program, as does the advanced chassis structure, the traction control, the torque management, and brake distribution.

Ferrari says the new Enzo hybrid with HY-KERS will cut emissions by about 40 percent compared to a non-hybrid solution. Who can argue with 40 percent less junk spewed out of the tailpipe and 920 horsepower? Not us. 

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