Ferrari set to unveil hybrid

Iconic car maker plans to show off a hybrid version of its Ferrari 599 at the Geneva Motor Show in March.

Here was the Ferrari 599 XX at last year's Geneva Motor Show. CNET

Ferrari will unveil a hybrid at the Geneva Motor Show in March, the company's chairman confirmed Thursday.

Rumors of a hybrid Ferrari prototype based on the Ferrari 599 GTB, which debuted at the 2006 Geneva Motor Show, have long been making the rounds.

Ferrari filings with the European Patent Office for a "4WD system with hybrid propulsion" were reported in June. At the time, Ferrari confirmed it was developing hybrid technology and hinted at a release within the year, but did not specify when.

Since then, there has been much speculation (and outrage by some purists) about a hybrid version of the iconic sports car. Thursday was the first official confirmation that it will appear at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show.

"It has to be the avant-garde in automobile technology. We're constructing cars with an enormous part of the innovative technology. We'll present a 599 hybrid in Geneva, which will represent a great path towards the future," Ferrari Chairman Luca di Montezemolo said in Maranello, Italy, at the presentation of the 2010 Formula One Ferrari.

Confirmation of his statement and a video of the event were released simultaneously on Ferrari's F1 Web site.

What remains to be seen is whether the prototype makes it to even limited production and whether Ferrari aficionados and buyers will find such a car blasphemous or forward-thinking.

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