Nowadays, computerized simulations may be able to tell automakers a lot, but sometimes you simply need to get out there on the track and test an actual car. And that stands even if you’re Ferrari and are driving the wheels off a Lamborghini on your private test track—this is precisely what happened earlier this month at the Fiorano track with a Lamborghini Huracan STO.
The session was caught on camera by YouTuber Varyx and we can see the V10 Lambo being driven hard, tail-out moments included. And while there’s no doubt about the test session, we need to know why the Prancing Horse put a Raging Bull through its paces on the former’s home circuit.
Italy’s Motor Valley includes Modena (the Ferrari factory and Fiorano track are there), Bologna (home of the Lamborghini factory) and other parts of the Emilia Romagna region (think: Pagani and Ducati bases). So the Prancing Horse and the Raging Bull motherships are less than an hour of driving away, but this still doesn’t explain Ferrari’s effort, so we’ll zoom in on the tested Lamborghini model for further clues.
This could be Ferrari preparing a 296-based road-going special
The STO, which stands for Super Trofeo Omologata, is the most extreme road-going Huracan to date. This is marketed as a street version of Lamborghini’s Huracan Super Trofeo EVO one-make series racer and, perhaps more importantly, the carmaker’s Huracán GT3 EVO race car.
So while the 2014-introduced Huracan series is now in its final years and Ferrari has never built a road car with a V10 engine, perhaps the Prancing Horse was benchmarking the STO for a potential road-going iteration of its latest racecar, the 296 GTB GT3.
Unveiled back in July, the racer eschews the street-legal 296 GTB‘s hybrid powertrain as dictated by GT racing regulations, with the motorsport version scheduled to meet its rivals, Huracan GT3 EVO included, in January 2023 at the Daytona 24 Hours—for the record, all the Italian models mentioned above come in RWD form.
Now, if Ferrari is developing a sharper 296 derivative, it’s still too early to tell if this will stick to the twin-turbo V6 like the said racer or will build on the original road car’s V6-plus-electric-power recipe.
We’d expect such a model to stick to the hybrid architecture and bring updates in areas like handling and aerodynamics. That’s because Ferrari stated clear electrification plans during the Capital Markets Day strategic plan presented back in June.
Ferrari’s electrification plans for this decade
Maranello said it would introduce 16 new models between 2023 and 2026, starting with the Purosangue SUV unveiled in September. Ferrari explained that, by 2026, 40% of its range will consist of ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicles, while the dominant 60% will be split between hybrids and EVs (none released to date, with the first set to start production in 2025).
For its 2030 target, Ferrari sees a product mix including 20% ICE, 40% hybrids and 40% electric vehicles.
Lamborghini recently tested a Ferrari SF90 Stradale PHEV
Meanwhile, we’ll remind you that such rival benchmarking has been a constant of the industry since forever. And, if you’re looking for the opposite example, just check out the second clip below.
Also coming from Varyx, the video, which was uploaded in May, shows Lamborghini welcoming a Ferrari SF90 plug-in hybrid into its Sant’Agata Bolognese factory. And that seems only natural, given that Lamborghini is set to electrify all its current model lines by 2024 (the Urus will get this via a facelift, while the Aventador’s successor was already spotted testing and the Huracan is rumored to get a heavy update introduced as a new generation). The Raging Bull is also planning an EV, but this isn’t expected to arrive sooner than 2028.
Putting electric motors and Italian exotics into the same sentence might make many enthusiasts feel odd, but we have to keep in mind that, with the ever-stricter emission regulations, this is the supercar makers’ way of keeping their large-displacement gas engines alive.