Correction: Friday, July 20, 2018, 11:45 a.m. ET: A previous version of this story incorrectly described the design as a four-cylinder hybrid. The patent could apply to other engines and the four-cylinder drawing was likely for simplicity. It has been corrected below.
A new motor with an electric turbocharger could find its way into Ferrari models of the future we learned today via an application the automaker filed with the European Patent Office for the design.
The turbo setup is different from other electric turbos we’ve seen, though. AutoGuide, which discovered the patent filing, has the details:
According to the patent, the engine features a turbine inserted into the exhaust duct that is driven by the exhaust gases. The turbine wheel has no mechanical linkage to a compressor, however—only serving as a way to power an electric generator that stores energy. The energy stored is then used to power an electric drive motor that is capable of driving the wheels and an electrically assisted compressor that forces air into the engine.
Essentially, the exhaust pressure isn’t used to compress more air, but is directly converted into electricity. This can be used to compress air for the engine, but apparently can also go directly to an electric motor at the wheels.
The company hasn’t denied that hybrid power is coming to the automaker’s portfolio, with the LaFerrari hypercar setting the tone. While Ferrari CEO was once cagey on the topic of electrification, he has more recently claimed that the company is committed to being a leader in the space. He told Bloomberg:
“If there is an electric supercar to be built, then Ferrari will be the first. People are amazed at what Tesla did with a supercar: I’m not trying to minimize what Elon did but I think it’s doable by all of us.”