After years of taking a strong stance against electric vehicles, Ferrari CEO Sergio Marchionne is finally ready to embrace the electric car revolution. In a statement during the 2018 Detroit Auto Show, an event which Tesla opted out of for the third year in a row, the Ferrari CEO announced that the iconic automaker is going to release the world’s “first” electric supercar.
It took a while for Marchionne to even accept the idea of an electric supercar. Over the past few years, the Ferrari CEO has made waves in the auto industry by describing cars like the Tesla Model S as “obscene” due to their lack of engine noise — something that Marchionne believes has to be present in a true supercar. The executive further stated that he would have to be shot first before Ferrari develops a self-driving electric vehicle. Considering his recent statements at the Detroit auto show, however, it seems like it would take far less than a bullet to change Marchionne’s mind.
All it seemed to take was the impending release of Elon Musk’s next-generation Tesla Roadster.
In a statement to Bloomberg, the Ferrari CEO declared that if there will ever be an electric supercar that would be released to the public, it would have the prancing horse on its badge. The Italian auto executive, however, asserted that he is not trying to discount the progress made by Elon Musk’s firm in the car industry. He simply believes that Tesla’s accomplishments can be attained by legacy supercar makers such as Ferrari as well.
“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.”
The CEO further stated that he expects the development of Ferrari’s electric supercar to be a rather simple process. According to the executive, his firm would continue developing hybrid supercars, followed by an eventual transition to fully electric vehicles.
“We do it because we have to do it. While there is work to be done, the new plan for Ferrari being released in the first half will include hybrid cars, so going from there to an electric is easy,” the CEO said, according to a Bloomberg report.
In a lot of ways, Ferrari’s upcoming electric supercar would be a direct competitor to the next-generation Tesla Roadster, which is expected to be released sometime in 2020. While Tesla’s electric supercar is still in development, Musk announced that it would be able to hit 60 mph in 1.9 seconds and finish the quarter-mile in 8.9 seconds. The top speed of the next-gen Roadster was not revealed, but the Tesla CEO did state that it would be beyond 250 mph. Apart from its insane speed, the upcoming tri-motor electric Roadster also boasts a 200 kWh battery pack that’s capable of traveling 620 miles on a single charge.
Overall, it would be interesting to see how Ferrari’s upcoming electric supercar would compare to the next-generation Tesla Roadster. Ferraris, after all, have a strong lineage in Motorsports and track performance, something that Tesla has yet to accel in with its prone to overheating all-electric powertrain. Then again, the Tesla CEO also announced that the next-generation Roadster would be capable of cruising at autobahn speeds for hours. Thus, when the next-gen Roadster does get released, legacy supercar makers like Ferrari might have a pretty big surprise waiting for them in world-famous tracks like the Nurburgring.