Ferrari Boss Takes Debut Electric Model Prototype for a Spin

Ferrari NV’s first fully electric model will be one of the most highly anticipated products in automotive history, and Benedetto Vigna is relishing it.

(Bloomberg) — Ferrari NV’s first fully electric model will be one of the most highly anticipated products in automotive history, and Benedetto Vigna is relishing it.

Just don’t expect the chief executive officer to let much slip about the supercar before it debuts in late 2025, based on how Vigna fielded a question about the first spin he took in an early prototype.

“I like it a lot, and I’m happy because you cannot see what I’m seeing in my memory,” Vigna told Bloomberg Television’s Francine Lacqua in an exclusive interview last week.

The storied manufacturer famous for its 12-cylinder engines has a lot riding on the car Vigna, 54, put through its paces in August at an undisclosed location in Italy. The executive lured away from chipmaker STMicroelectronics NV two years ago said there hasn’t been reluctance within the Ferrari ranks to stray from its roots.

“There is a strong enthusiasm, a lot of energy, ingenuity in the factory and in the technology, on R&D — they are all committed,” Vigna said in the interview.

Batteries are already starting to permeate Ferrari’s lineup, with hybrids accounting for 43% of second-quarter deliveries. That pace of adoption suggests Ferrari may have underestimated how much of its sales will be electrified by the end of the decade. During its capital markets day in June of last year, the company forecast that hybrids would be about 55% of its mix in 2026.

Ferrari’s Milan-listed stock has risen 54% since Vigna took over as CEO in September 2021. The shares are the top performer on the Euro Stoxx Automobiles & Parts Index, which has slumped about 5% during that span.

Read More: Ferrari CEO Moves Fast Like Musk, Forging Own Path on EVs

While the transition to EVs has for years been seen as make-or-break for the sector, Ferrari and other small volume rivals including Lamborghini qualify for exemptions from stricter emissions limits in key jurisdictions, including in Europe. The European Union also is crafting rules to allow use of e-fuels that could keep combustion engines from going completely extinct. 

The manufacturers nonetheless are starting to feel the pressure from some of their well-heeled consumers, who want to enjoy a sought-after supercar without adding to their carbon footprint. Lamborghini unveiled a four-seat concept called Lanzador in August previewing a model it’s slated for 2028.

Read More: Ferrari Hits China Milestone as Wealthy Women Snap Up Supercars

Ferrari has selected a strategic supplier for battery cells, which Vigna declined to identify. He said the company made its choice based on competence and the time it will take for the supplier to “make something new.”

As for what Ferrari will handle in-house, Vigna listed battery packs, engines, electronics and assembly. The EV will go through a “very detailed” development process, with test mules progressing on to more polished prototypes, followed by the final product debuting two years from now.

Ferrari is building a new factory for making hybrid and electric supercars in Maranello, northern Italy, where the company is headquartered. Vigna has said the site will be ready in June 2024.

“I can tell you this: It’s going to be unique,” the CEO said of the company’s first EV. “It’s going to be a true Ferrari.”

(Updates with share performance in the seventh paragraph.)

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