The new Ferrari F70 V12 KERS hybrid engine

Ferrari details the new V12 hybrid drivetrain for the Enzo replacement

The opening of the 2012 Beijing Motor Show brought the Chinese market the formal introduction of the new F12 Berlinetta but more importantly for the rest of the world – Ferrari published a three and a half minute video offering some information on the upcoming Ferrari slated to stand as the top of the line supercar, currently known as the F70.

While it is only speculated that the new flagship supercar from Ferrari will be called the F70, the Italian sports car is expected to be powered by a V12 engine mated to an advanced version of the company’s Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS); with the total output running as high as 920 horsepower. Reports surfaced in February that the F70 would likely be powered by a naturally aspirated 7.3 liter V12 that churns out 800 horsepower while a new version of the KERS hybrid system tacks on an additional 120 horsepower for an output of 920 horsepower.

The video introduced today by Ferrari in unison with the opening day of the 2012 Beijing Motor Show offers a look at the KERS hybrid system that was introduced in 2010 compared to the new KERS version expected to arrive in the Ferrari F70. The main difference between the two systems is that this new version features a midship engine placement where the original concepts packing KERS help were front engine, rear wheel drive cars. The new KERS system displayed in the video below features a V12 mated to a 7-speed dual clutch transaxle that drives the rear wheels while the KERS assist motor is mounted to the back of the transaxle.

The new Ferrari V12 hybrid engine features a revised intake manifold and a multispark system that work together to improve power and efficiency while reducing emission levels. The KERS unit is mated to the rear of the transaxle while the hybrid power unit is mated directly over the axles; allowing this new system to decrease the overall emission output to a level 40% lower than a traditional combustion engine without a hybrid drive system. For comparison, the KERS system from 2010 only offer a 30% decrease in engine emissions compared to a gas engine with the same power output. In short, the new midship configuration shown in the video below is 33% more efficient than the original front engine KERS version that debuted a few years ago. Also, the basic physics of the mid-engine placement reduces drivetrain loss so more of the engine power makes it to the ground.

Ferrari goes so far as to show a dyno graph showing the output of a traditional combustion engine (presumably a non-hybrid V12) compared to the output of the new V12 HY-KERS 2012 engine. The hybrid drivetrain makes what looks to be a significant improvement in power across the rpm range but sadly, there are no numbers on the graph so we don’t know what kind of power this new hybrid drive system might make when it reaches the engine bay of a production car.

Right now, reports and rumors indicate that the new 2012 V12 KERS engine will debut in the upcoming Ferrari F70 – or whatever the Italian supercar maker opts to call its new flagship supercar. Should these reports of 920 horsepower and a curb weight of around 2,550lbs be true, the F70 could set the bar for the best performing car in the world.

One thing is certain – when Ferrari introduces a supercar that is slated to replace the incredible Enzo, we can expect that it will be one of those vehicles that instantly secures its place in the automotive history books. Not only will the F70 be one of the world’s highest performance production road cars ever but it will also offer impressive fuel economy levels, low engine emissions and some electric-only driving range…all things that few supercars can claim.

Check out the video below courtesy of Ferrari for a closer look at the newest chapter of the KERS hybrid drive system.