Ferrari sports cars are known for their distinctive rumble - a strong engine isn't always a quiet one, right? Maybe not, if Ferrari's most recent tests are any indication.
Late last month, a user on YouTube posted what looks to be video footage of Ferrari NV (RACE) testing a 488 prototype at its track in Fiorano, Italy. While that's nothing out of the ordinary, one aspect of this test certainly is. The car doesn't make any noise as it accelerates from a full stop.
Not long after the YouTube video was posted, Ferrari CEO Sergio Marchionne told Bloomberg the company has been testing a gasoline-electric hybrid car "you could run silently" at a track near its headquarters in Italy.
Electrification has become a growing part of the Ferrari strategy. Marchionne said in 2016 that every Ferrari sold from 2019 on will offer hybrid technology in some form or another.
The test track footage could be proof that Ferrari is working toward that goal at an increased pace. Marchionne has said he wants to sell more than 10,000 Ferraris per year, which would mean the luxury carmaker will have to pay closer attention to emissions and fuel-economy standards, according to Race & Track. The silent 488 tested at Fiorano could be an early iteration of the model's successor - a more electrified car notably lacking the traditional Ferrari engine rumble.
Marchionne told Bloomberg that Ferrari doesn't have plans for any fully electric cars before 2022, but the company has been developing models that can show "the full power of electrification." Ferrari will offer the technology in a sports car next year, delivering the first Ferrari model to run entirely on battery power for any significant distance.
Ferrari already offers the LaFerrari, a roughly $2 million supercar that combines two electric motors with a 12-cylinder gasoline engine. The LaFerrari uses the technology to cut fuel consumption by as much as 40% while boosting acceleration. It can travel on batteries alone for a short distance.
The move toward electrification isn't unique to Ferrari in the luxury space. Porsche (POAHF) plans to introduce an all-electric sports car, the Mission E. Aston Martin, next year. Bentley last month introduced a hybrid version of its Bentayga SUV and said it plans to offer some sort of electric drivetrain in all of its cars by 2025.
Lamborghini's CEO Stefano Domenicali told TheStreet's Executive Editor Brian Sozzi the super-car maker is also interested in hybrids and all-electric cars. Watch below.