A Ferrari V6 prototype in bad shape

Prototypes and camouflaged test vehicles hide much more than an automaker’s next new product. They can also conceal a car’s shortcomings and flaws. They also hide the wear and tear that test vehicles experience during the development phase.

Cars are subjected to thousands of miles of brutal, repetitive conditions and performance testing, over and over again, until they are ready to go into production, hoping there will be no no future unresolved recalls.

But after a while, a test vehicle can look a little worse off, and that’s what a video of this Ferrari shows. The video of Periodismo Del Motor shows what appears to be a test car we spotted almost a year ago.

It has most of the same camouflage, although some elements look torn. The new test vehicle also has differently colored brake calipers, but it also looks raw. White camo looks faded and wrinkled, edges frayed. The body that tries to hide under the camouflage also looks dirty. The dirt makes it look gray instead of the original black.

Everything about this car feels a little raw, but that’s what you want in a tester. In any case, this is enough to confirm that car manufacturers put their models to the test before sending them to the assembly line. The masking tape that holds the camouflage together looks scuffed with pot marks, battered by bad weather.

Ferrari’s electrification efforts have yet to be fully detailed, but the company is moving in that direction. A patent filing that shows a new model capable of accommodating an all-electric and hybrid powertrain gives a glimpse of the brand’s future.

Hybridization appears to be a big step forward for the automaker as it allows electric vehicle technology to mature. The latter have substantial performance benefits, but integrating the powertrain into a Ferrari is a significant hurdle. Where to put the batteries? How to manage the weight? Ferrari has to test all of this before getting a new product, which takes a lot of work.

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