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Ferrari patents all-wheel drive EV layout

Drawings suggest the first pure electric Ferrari will use four independent motors and up to three gears

By Sam Sheehan / Tuesday, January 28, 2020

New Ferrari patent applications in Europe suggest the Italian car maker is working on an independent all-wheel drive system for its first electric vehicle. The drawings indicate that the 2025 machine will sport two centrally-mounted motors on the front and two outboard motors at the rear, suggesting the car will have a rear-bias in power distribution and be capable of full torque vectoring.

The patents, which were discovered by a Taycan EV Forum user, describe a three-gear drive system that would give Ferrari’s first pure EV one more ration than the new Porsche Taycan, which tops out at 161mph. It’s likely that such a transmission would be located on the rear axle, giving Ferrari the option to extend the top speed of its two-seater and indicating that, in this design at least, the rear axle would take responsibility for the high-speed stuff without input from the likely single-speed motors at the front. It’s certainly a tried and tested formula – the SF90’s twin motors stop providing drive after 137mph.

It should be noted that these drawings and descriptions appear to patent multiple options for the brand’s first EV, suggesting a diverse range of future applications rather than a specific focus on any one model. That said, the single layout illustration of a two-seater places the passengers almost dead centre of the car and evenly between the driven axles, indicating a focus on optimal weight distribution. No surprises there. Ferrari’s drawings locate each battery pack close to its corresponding drive unit, too, and there’s mention of the technology’s use in hybrid models, meaning the layout is probably best described as modular. It’s likely Ferrari’s first EV will be more 2+2 grand tourer than two-seat supercar.

Our expectations for the combined setup are, naturally, extremely high. A car with a near 50:50 weight distribution and proper independent torque vectoring – which, don’t forget, ought to leave even the advanced torque-splitting abilities of the F8 Tributo’s axles looking comparably sluggish – tuned by the experts in Maranello has enormous potential. Whether that overcomes the lack of flat-plane V8 or V12 in a Ferrari is another question – but as with the company’s first SUV, there’s a fair chance that anyone lucky enough to find themselves on the wait list will already be in possession of the ‘good stuff’. 

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