Ferrari leads the pack when it comes to environmentally friendly sportscars

When model, environmental activist and official "friend of Ferrari" Jarrod Scott visited the home of Ferrari in Maranello, something he described as "a dream come true".

He says being introduced to the environmental initiatives being undertaken by the Italian sportscar made him rethink sustainability.

"Sustainability to Ferrari means much more than carbon emissions, it's a part of their core values," says Scott.

"From reducing their energy outputs with a new tri-generation power plant to power buildings, to using photovoltaic glass, and using power that is sourced by split energy, it goes further to actually creating a sustainable economy for their workers and also creates opportunities for university students to work with the brand.

Beyond the pale

Not that he has much insight into what's around the corner.

"One thing Ferrari seem very good at doing is keeping secrets. They keep their development projects very private, especially testing and advancements in their new technology."

Scott says that Ferraris are about more than speed and that owners are increasingly expecting more eco-conscious thinking.

"Some of the most eco conscious people on the planet are also Ferrari owners," he says. "I think they expect performance and they want to be environmentally responsible too."

Power level up

It's known for some of the world's most seductive V8 and V12 sports cars ever created.

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But Ferrari is heading into its most intense period of change since the first road car rolled out of Maranello in 1947.

That change will incorporate mainstream hybrid sports cars, a new V6 engine and an SUV – all of which promise to reshape one of the most famous automotive brands.

V8 tribute

The Ferrari excitement has already begun with the reveal of the F8 Tributo, the replacement for the 488 GTB.

As the name suggests, the F8 Tributo is a tribute to the classic V8. Ferrari calls it "an homage to the most powerful V8 in Ferrari history".

Some are speculating this could be the last time we see a Ferrari V8 without the assistance of a hybrid system.

The Tributo uses the same basic 3.9-litre V8 from the 488 (different tunes of which are also used in the Portofino and GTC4 Lusso T), an engine that has scooped the International Engine of the Year awards for three consecutive years.

Powering up

Naturally, it's got more punch for the F8; it picks up many of the revisions made for the 488 Challenge race cars, with various internal changes and new turbo tech to reduce lag.

Power swells to 530kW while torque is 770Nm, set to be limited in lower gears to reduce wheelspin.

There's already a long waiting list for the F8, Ferrari Australasia chief Herbert Appleroth saying demand "has been overwhelming".

"Interestingly, over 50 percent of orders collected have been from new-to-Ferrari people, so the F8 Tributo is effectively growing the Ferrari family."

Got the looks

While its sleek styling is very much an evolution of the 488 – albeit with a deep vent on the bonnet - some of the details are inspired by some of Ferrari's most legendary models, including the F40 and 308, the latter driven by Magnum PI in the hit 1980s TV show.

It's also claimed to be more aerodynamically efficient and about 40kg lighter, helped in part by the fitment of a rear windscreen made of plastic-like Lexan, also used in many helmets.

That makes it faster, the claimed dash to 100km/h now at 2.9 seconds and the top speed 340km/h (0.1 seconds and 10km/h quicker than the 488).

Electric thrust

But while the F8 Tributo is an evolution of existing thinking, Ferrari is about to get a lot more radical.

Electric motors will be key to the future of Ferrari.

While Ferrari doesn't have to meet the same strict 95 grams of CO2 per kilometre emissions standards of mass manufacturers, it must still demonstrate a significant reduction as negotiated with EU regulators.

A petrol-electric hybrid system is seen as key to meeting that target and Ferrari is deep in development, with one of the five models it has promised in 2019 expected to boast a hybrid system. Ferrari has already dabbled in hybrid tech with its multi-million-dollar LaFerrari, a low volume left-hand drive special model.

The brand will take the learnings from that car – and its F1 involvement with the KERS system – and translate it to a mainstream road car.

Downsizing

Ferrari has also confirmed it will produce a new V6 engine.

Speaking earlier this year, chief marketing and commercial officer Enrico Galliera said a V6 would sit alongside the V8 and V12.

He also confirmed there would be two mid-engined products, with the logical option being to use the F8 Tributo's architecture to spawn a new V6 model. Ferrari has already shown it is open to sharing and expanding; the GTC4 Lusso was the first Ferrari to be offered with two engine choices, V8 and V12.

"The V12 … will remain one of the potential elements that we can use in our model of the future together with the V8 and future with the V6," said Galliera.

Ferrari has a long history of racing V6 engines – including the current Formula 1 car – and the Dino of the 1960s was the first road car created by the brand with a V6 configuration.

Technically it was never a Ferrari, instead wearing a Dino badge named after Enzo Ferrari's first son.

High and mighty

But it's the Ferrari SUV that is most hotly anticipated model.

Rival McLaren has stated it is not interested in an SUV, but Ferrari will follow a path well worn by Porsche, Lamborghini and, soon, Aston Martin, in delivering a car more about practicality and capability rather than just going fast.

Known as Purosangue (or thoroughbred in Italian), the car has been caught testing in Europe, using a GTC4 Lusso body as disguise.

The car was initially due to be shown soon but has been pushed back to 2022 as the company looks to ensure it delivers on Ferrari expectations.

Expect it to leverage the hybrid drivetrain development on at least some model variants.