In exciting news for the supercar industry, Ferrari last week made the surprise announcement that a groundbreaking electric supercar is in the works.
Ferrari’s CEO Sergio Marchionne revealed the plans for the first battery-powered supercar at the Detroit Auto Show. The move has been interpreted as a bid to challenge Tesla at the top end of the electric car market.
“If there is an electric supercar to be built, then Ferrari will be the first,” said Marchionne. “People are amazed at what Tesla did…I’m not trying to minimize what Elon [Musk, Tesla CEO] did. but I think it’s doable by all of us.”
The groundbreaking Tesla Roadster has attracted headlines for its futuristic design, but Ferrari believe they can succeed in the electric market by offering their iconic Italian comfort and stylishness paired with the advantage of consumer familiarity with their brand.
Cannily, Marchionne hinted that Ferrari’s electric car would be released in 2019 or early 2020 – just before the Tesla Roadster. The electric supercar will not compromise any of the Prancing Horse’s values, with its design remaining true to Ferrari’s legacy: “It has to drive like a Ferrari,” Marchionne insisted.
Marchionne pointed out that, as Ferrari are already making hybrid cars, the move to electric supercars would not be a huge jump.
However, the Ferrari CEO’s announcement marks a dramatic change of heart: as recently as March 2016, when asked about the possibility of an all-electric Ferrari, Marchionne replied “You will have to shoot me first”.
“With Ferrari, it’s almost an obscene concept,” he added then.
The enormous potential of the electric supercar market seems to have convinced the Italian giants, and some of the other leading supercar brands, such as Porsche, are also believed to be entering the market in the near future.