The first test mule for the Ferrari Enzo replacement hit the road last week at the same time as its innovative hybrid drivetrain was previewed at the Beijing motor show.

The crude-looking mule was caught near Bosch’s test facility in Germany. The German electronics giant was previously known to be testing the F1-inspired ‘HY-KERS’ system for Ferrari in its experimental phase, and it’s retained its involvement as Ferrari gears the system up for production.

The latest HY-KERS system features a mid-mounted V12 engine mated to a dual-clutch gearbox and electric motor at the rear. At the front there’s another electric motor to run ancillaries.

The new Enzo mule testing the system is predominately based on the Ferrari 458. The elevated disguise over the mid and rear of the car covers the HY-KERS system, which sits in place of the 458’s V8.

The mule reveals little of the Enzo replacement’s styling, other than a very low nose and a side exhaust system in place of the 458’s rear exhaust. The production Enzo replacement will use a carbonfibre chassis.

Ferrari CEO Amedeo Felisa revealed to Autocar at the Beijing show that his firm had to adopt hybrid technology as it is “the only way to meet CO2 emissions regulations, we can’t do it simply with weight reduction”.

The HY-KERS system will make the new Enzo the cleanest and fastest Ferrari in the range. Total power is likely to be near 1000bhp.

"Compensating for the weight of the system was the hardest challenge", according to Felisa, but the Italian maker has managed to retain "the necessary centre of gravity and weight balance".

The system will not switch to pure electric mode at low speeds as many hybrid systems do because it would compromise the noise that Felisa described as "a key Ferrari characteristic”.