It's a stretch to think of "gas-saving" and "12-cylinder" in the same breath.
But a V-12 with fuel consumption approaching that of a V-8 is one of the potential outcomes Ferrari has in mind with its HY-KERS (for Hybrid -- Kinetic Energy Recovery System) hybrid concept car.
The concept car was first shown at the Geneva auto show two years ago in a hybrid car version of the Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano. It has an electric motor behind the rear axle, powered by flat lithium-ion batteries that are positioned below the passenger compartment.
The HY-KERS' compact, tri-phase, high-voltage electric motor is coupled to the rear of a dual-clutch, seven-speed transmission. Thus, power is coupled between the electric motor and the V-12. Under braking, the electric drive unit acts as a generator, using kinetic energy from the negative torque to recharge the batteries.
One of the things that could make this hybrid car an "authentic" Ferrari is that the hybrid powertrain results in an even lower center of gravity than a conventional car, which makes for even sharper handling, the company says.