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Ferrari Chairman says no to electric cars

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Luca di Montezemolo and LaFerrari
Luca di Montezemolo and LaFerrari

In the world of high-end, exotic sportscars, Ferrari stands alone as the only manufacturer publicly taking a stand against the possibility of someday producing a fully electric car. Luca di Montezemolo, Ferrari's chairman, said that "we will never manufacture an electric car as long as I'm chairman," according to a Yahoo Autos report.

The comments are notable because Ferrari's latest ultra-limited, flagship supercar, the painfully beautiful LaFerrari, is a hybrid. So while Ferrari is making use of some electric powertrain technology in the 963-horsepower LaFerrari, don't expect to see any Ferrari that doesn't need at least some gas to run wild anytime soon.

This seems to be about pride and identityFerrari's top tier sportscar rivals haven't taken the same staunchly petrol-happy stance. Porsche has positioned its 918 Spyder plug-in hybrid, which boasts 770-horsepower, as a taste of its future. The 918 will go into production later this year. And while Lamborghini hasn't promised a full electric anytime soon, it is planning to produce a hybrid exotic by 2015. Audi has been building and testing e-tron concepts for years, and it's R18 e-tron Quattro was the first hybrid to win Le Mans.

There's no question that electric powertrains can provide enough power to meet the speed-freak standard Ferrari has for its hand-built automobiles. Audi, Porsche, Tesla, and others have proven that both hybrid and electric powertrains can crank out serious performance power. Rather, this seems to be more about about pride and identity. Ferrari makes race cars, and a limited number of street-legal autos that can carve up a track if you've got the driving skills to push its creations to the limit. Fully electric cars are simply something that Ferrari has never done, and isn't interested in — even if the rest of the auto industry is headed that way.

"Ferrari is like a beautiful woman. You must desire her."

According to Di Montezemolo's comments, as reported by Yahoo Autos, it's this heritage, and a bit of exclusivity, that makes the company what it is. "Those who buy a Ferrari buy a dream, and they must be reassured that their dream of exclusivity will be fulfilled," he said in the Yahoo report. "Ferrari is like a beautiful woman. You must desire her."