Despite referring to the mere notion of an electric Ferrari as “obscene” in 2016, chief executive officer Sergio Marchionne is now saying the brand is obligated to build one. The situation is familiar to what happened with the brand’s upcoming sport utility vehicleÂ â€” Sergio claimed it would never happen and, roughly a year later, flipped the script.
The SUV is supposed to reach the public byÂ late 2019 or early 2020. However the battery-electric Ferrari won’t come until the brand has established a few hybridized powertrains first.Â Marchionne claimed that â€œgoing from there to an electric is easy,â€� prefacing the plan with â€œWe do it because we have to do it.â€�
â€œIf there is an electric supercar to be built, then Ferrari will be the first,â€� he told BloombergÂ at the Detroit auto show,Â after a press conference regarding the new SUV. â€œPeople are amazed at what Tesla did with a supercar: Iâ€™m not trying to minimize what Elon did but I think itâ€™s doable by all of us.â€�
Battery-electric supercars do already exist, though. TheÂ Rimac Concept One, famous for being crashed by Richard Hammond in 2017, has been around for a few years. With an output ofÂ 800 kW andÂ 1,200 lb-ft of torque, it certainly qualifies as a top-echelon performance vehicle. But its extremely low production numbers â€” only eight Rimac cars have been built since 2013Â â€” does provide Ferrari with an opportunity to be the first company to build an hyperactive BEV at more meaningful volumes.
Of course, Tesla is bringing back a juiced-up version of its Roadster, Porsche said it wants an electric coupe after 2025, and Lamborghini has been recently hinting that it also might have batteries on the brain.Â Marchionne many need to tell Ferrari to get the lead out before he retires if the company seriously intends to be first at anything.
[Image: Ferrari NV]