Ferrari's desire to push into electrification is seen as a direct challenge to Tesla's slated release of the new and improved Roadster in 2020 - but don't expect Ferrari to unveil anything soon.
This was confirmed by the company's Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne who was quoted as saying, "If there is an electric supercar to be built, then Ferrari will be the first". He went on to praise Elon Musk and Tesla for what they have accomplished, adding that "it's doable by all of us".
But before an electric Ferrari arrives, Ferrari will be introducing hybrid powertrains for their cars - to be revealed in the forthcoming "Plan" - which, says Marchionne, will make it an easy step to a full electric Ferrari. "We do it because we have to do it", Marchionne said.
The Italian race auto brand is not the only one moving towards electrification. That in turn, the company hopes, will double operating profit to close to £2 billion by 2022.
After being skeptical for years about the speed of introducing alternative engines and new technologies, Marchionne said in an interview before this week's Detroit show that the time is right for a shift in the industry.
"We do it because we have to do it", Marchionne was quoted by Automotive News, explaining he thinks the industry is now going through a shift that, by 2025, will see fewer than half of new vehicles sold powered exclusively by internal-combustion engines.