Confirmed: Ferrari begins testing hybrid prototypes

Ferrari president Luca Cordero di Montezemolo confirmed at the Geneva Motor Show on Wednesday that his company is currently testing a 599-based prototype vehicle with a hybrid drivetrain. Di Montezemolo did not provide specific details on the car, and would not disclose if it was a parallel hybrid -- like many of the vehicles on the road today -- or a more futuristic plug-in hybrid.

"We have to understand how you can benefit from hybrid technology," explained company CEO Amedeo Felisa. Ferrari aims to reduce its CO2 emissions 40 percent by 2012. The company is also believed to be considering turbocharged six-cylinder engines as a short-term solution to its efficiency goals.

Di Montezemolo noted technology will be borrowed from F1 for future production models. "We are currently working on the development of a Ferrari that will use alternative energy sources and which will be based on what we are doing at the moment in Formula 1," he said. The statement is believed to, in part, refer to the company's Kinetic Energy Recycling System (KERS), which uses regenerative braking to enhance efficiency.

Mr. Di Montezemolo went on to say a hybrid car from Maranello would be "fundamentally a Ferrari," in terms of driving experience and performance. He said such a model is still several years of, perhaps arriving in 2015.