Ferrari to cut CO2 emissions in new cars

FRANKFURT Mon Nov 19, 2007 12:16pm EST

A model poses with the Ferrari 599 during the 40th Tokyo Motor Show in Chiba, east of Tokyo October 24, 2007. Amedeo Felisa, general manager of the Italian luxury sports car maker, told the Reuters Auto Summit on Monday, Ferrari wanted to reduce CO2 emissions in its cars.REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon (JAPAN)

A model poses with the Ferrari 599 during the 40th Tokyo Motor Show in Chiba, east of Tokyo October 24, 2007. Amedeo Felisa, general manager of the Italian luxury sports car maker, told the Reuters Auto Summit on Monday, Ferrari wanted to reduce CO2 emissions in its cars.

Credit: Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon (JAPAN)

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FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Ferrari aims to have future models of its luxury sports line consume 40 percent less fuel by 2012 in response to the growing pressure on car makers to reduce CO2 emissions.

Amedeo Felisa, general manager of the Italian luxury sports car maker, said Ferrari wanted to reduce CO2 emissions from 400 grams per kilometer per vehicle to 280-300 by the same target date.

"We have to face the challenge of reducing consumption but not affecting the performance of the car," he said at the Reuters Auto Summit in Frankfurt. "Otherwise we move (away) from our position in the market and we do not want to do that."

Felisa said Ferrari engineers were looking at everything from improving the performance of the engine to using lighter materials for the body of the car.

"The answer is efficiency," he said.

At a press event at its headquarters in the northcentral town of Maranello last summer, Ferrari showed off the Millechili, a concept car that weighed less than existing models at 1,000 kilograms.

Ferrari, 85 percent owned by Fiat (FIA.MI), invests 17 percent of its sales in research and development.

The European Commission is preparing legislation to require average CO2 emissions from new cars to come down to 120 grams per km by 2012.

All of the major car makers in Europe are far away from that goal but some are making progress.

In the greater scheme of things, Felisa said he did not think Ferrari was causing much damage.

"Our volumes will not ... affect the environment," he said.

For 2007, Ferrari aims to sell a little more than 6,000 cars.

(For more on the Reuters Auto Summit, see <ID:nN18342520>)

(For summit blog: summitnotebook.reuters.com/)

(Reporting by Gilles Castonguay; editing by Paul Bolding

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