Art Center College: Green(er) Ferraris


Life as car designer often isn’t what you might imagine it to be – think wing mirrors and door handles. But Professor Bumsuk Lim’s 2nd year students at Art Center College of Design (in many ways the Royal College of Art’s transatlantic equivalent) have been tasked with the chore of creating environmentally conscious Ferraris. Make hay, as they say.

Overseen by Lim and the man behind Lexus’s aesthetically intriguing but mechanically disappointing SC models, Dennis Campbell, these select undergrads have created some interesting ‘green’ Ferrari concepts through a professional design experience within a classroom setting.

Lim believes not only that ‘green’ shouldn’t be boring, but that exotic performance cars like Ferraris should themselves be ‘green’. The problem right now, with a few famously notable exceptions, is that green cars tend to look more-or-less the same – “gentle and friendly shapes quietly whispering the green message in a somewhat apologetic manner”, as Lim brazenly puts it, adding that Toyota’s Prius very much set the tone when it went on sale back in 1997.

Currently, Ferrari are playing catch-up in the environmental hypercar stakes - the development of their hybrid Enzo replacement trailing Porsche’s 918 Spyder and Jaguar’s turbine-powered C-X75 by 12 to 18 months, although expect nothing short of Gandalf-style fireworks when it finally does arrive. Until then, we’ve got these renderings and clay models. They will split opinion, but isn’t that what avant-garde design is all about?

M1 Stradivari Thomas Belhacene

It's reasonable to assume that a green Ferrari would do without a thunderous V12 or wailing V8, so how to replace what is, if not a crucial element of driving a supercar, an integral part of the experience?

Belhacene's answer is to turn the entire car into an instrument, by equipping the super-EV with components inspired by real instruments.

Piero T2 Marcello Raeli

Turbine-power, normally the reserve of hydroelectric dams, rarely finds its way into cars; the most recent examples being Jaguar's C-X75 concept and a certain Batmobile.

Ferrari experimented with turbines back in the 1970s but unsurprisingly nothing ever came of it. Raeli's 'turbine hybrid' super picks up the baton, and building on an attractive rendering based on the original Ferrari sketch, his final model displays the large intake required for cooling.

Concept-S Frank Lee

Lee's Concept-S takes no prisoners, with a Formula One-inspired nose cone and, fittingly, just one seat. As in the real Ferrari Enzo replacement, Concept-S utilised a V12 engine married to an electric motor. The end result is a car “reminiscent of classic Ferrari Formula One cars, but also a showcase of modern Formula One technology”.

Elevated Grand Tourer Li-cheng Hsu

Billed as a whole new breed of Ferrari, the EGT is aims to build on the success in new markets that Ferrari have exploited with the four-seat FF. Power comes courtesy of a V8 hybrid drivetrain.

Plus One Power Yang Fu

With passengers sat in tandem, this P4/5-inspired hybrid brings the spirit of Formula One to driver and passenger with an open-top cabin. Looking incredibly slippery, we estimate the drag coefficient to be at most .25.

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