Electric cars might make up only a tiny percentage of global auto sales, but they have become a technology upon which numerous automakers are staking their fortunes. Build them, and they will come, the thinking goes.
It also helps that zero-emission, long-range electric vehicles will help carmakers meet stringent forthcoming government fuel-economy and environmental regulations. That’s why EVs are often derided behind buzzy scenes as “compliance vehicles.”
One car company that wants nothing to do with this is Ferrari. Although its $1-million LaFerrari hypercar is a hybrid, combining a nearly 800-horsepower V12 gas engine with a 160-horsepower electric motor, full electric will never happen.
“We would not follow to develop a fully electric car,” said Michael Leiters, Ferrari’s technology head, at the Paris Motor Show, according to Car and Driver. “We are convinced that it’s right to have a hybrid car because, for us, the sound is a very crucially important characteristic of a Ferrari, and our customers want to have this,” he added.
That Ferrari sound. It’s actually completely addictive and arguable the most important aspect of the Ferrari experience, whether it’s with a V12, a turbocharged V8, or a naturally aspirated V8 under the hood. We’re talking about a wild animal wail, a constant growl. Former “Top Gear” host Jeremy Clarkson once said that the engine noise of a Ferrari 458 supercar sounded like a “burning bear.”
Electric cars, of course, can be very fast — supercar fast, in fact — but they’re also extremely quiet. The velocity is science-fiction-like. There is no sacred scream or unholy roar from their motors.
Ferrari has staked its reputation on this. So for now, they’re going to be a very prominent bystander in the march to the EV future.
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