On the Ferrari stand at Beijing for once it was not some gleaming low slung slice of Italian exotica that was getting all the attention, but an engine and gearbox in a glass case.

It’s the closest Ferrari has so far come to giving us a glimpse at some of the ideas behind its forthcoming replacement for the Enzo. And that makes it very interesting indeed. Ferrari is not being very specific about the precise make up of this V12 powertrain, but you’d need to be blind not to spot that there’s an electric motor attached to it. This says Ferrari is a KERS system, similar in concept if not componentry to that used by its Formula 1 cars. The idea, says Ferrari, is to increase power while reducing emissions.

Ferrari won’t say much about the V12 except that while it belongs to the same family as that used by the 6.3-litre, 720bhp F12, it’s not the same engine. Of the KERS system it is even more opaque, saying only that it's close to adding 1kW (1.341bhp) for every kg of added weight. Were the system to weigh 100kg that would be over 850bhp right there even if the V12 on its own had no more power than the F12.

One figure that Ferrari has revealed is that the KERS system will produce 40 per cent lower emissions than it would have done had it produced the same power without KERS.

Sadly Ferrari says the system is extremely expensive which means that, for now at least, it can only be viably attached to the powertrain of a car for which Ferrari will be able to charge an eye-watering amount of money.

However it is a technology Ferrari plans to pursue and, unofficially at least, envisages a similar system being made available to its more normal customers by around the middle of the decade.