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Ferrari has announced that it will run a Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) in its Formula 1 cars next season. The team had tested a KERS system in 2009 but scrapped the plans for 2010 when all the competing manufacturers collectively agreed to avoid the system in a bid to cut costs.
Ferrari has been pushing for a return to using KERS, asking for rule changes to make the systems more effective. The reason behind the resumed interest is that Ferrari is pushing to bring to market a street car using the KERS system in the next few years and, as always, Ferrari sees the race track as the best place to test its upcoming road car technology. At the Geneva Auto Show earlier this year, Ferrari unveiled the HY-KERS concept, a bright green Ferrari 599 which uses the hybrid system to deliver extra bursts of power, while also improving fuel economy iduring low speed driving.
As for the F1 system, Ferari had been pushing for regulations that would permit a more powerful electric boost but that has been scrapped in favor of a higher minimum weight for all vehicles, allowing Ferrari to make use of that extra weight allowance for the KERS system.
Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali has said the current plan is to run the KERS system in every race next season. Mercedes is expected to announce if it will use a similar setup in the coming weeks.
While Ferrari has claimed hybrid F-Cars are several years off, a recent report suggests that a hybrid version of the company’s 599 GTB flagship will debut at the Geneva Auto Show in March. This hybrid will likely be performance based and use a kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) setup similar to the ones designed for Formula One.
The 599 Hybrid will use a lithium-ion battery pack with electric motors built into the rear transaxle. This setup would allow for regenerative braking, a start-stop function and an electric boost capability to add even more acceleration to the 599′s already impressive 620-hp V12 engine. Under city driving it would also help improve mileage by 30 percent. That will be particularly noticeable on such a gas-hungry beast as the 599, which currently only gets 8.7 mpg, bringing it up to 13.8 mpg.
See our review of the old school gasoline-powered 599 GTB below: