It’s being hailed as the ultimate, most advanced road car Ferrari has ever made.
Aiming to leave exotic rivals including the Lamborghini Reventon and Bugatti Veyron behind, the ferocious flagship will break from the norm in more than one way. And our stunning illustrations show how such a model could look.
It will not only be quicker and more focused than the Enzo, but smaller, lighter and more fuel efficient too. In addition, the latest rumors suggest a twin-turbo V8 will provide the power. It will be the first use of turbos in a production Ferrari since the 1987 F40, making this the spiritual successor to that definitive supercar.
Internally codenamed the F70, the newcomer will use knowledge gathered from the FXX scheme. This invited customers to buy a pumped-up and stripped-out version of the Enzo for 1.5 million GBP, but allowed them to drive their purchases only on approved track days. Afterwards, they briefed Ferrari on possible improvements.
The philosophy behind this new downsized and lightweight supercar is derived from 2007′s Millechilli concept. Although little more than a fiberglass model, it demonstrated Ferrari’s aim to increase the performance of future models by shedding weight, not by increasing horsepower.
Millechilli means 1,000 kg in Italian. It’s an ambitious target for the F70 kerbweight- a full 365 kg (803 lb) less than the Enzo-but Ferrari is ready to apply every weight-saving measure possible.
Rival McLaren is leading the way in lightweight construction, with an F1-style carbon fiber tub forming the basis of its MP4-12C supercar, so Ferrari wants to regain the initiative in this area.
An overhauled and shrunken tub, carbon fiber body panels-plus carbon-ceramic brakes and a no-frills cabin-should keep weight to a minimum. Ferrari already heads efforts to reduce CO2, having slashed output by 10 percent in 2009. It promises further cuts from its current 387 g/km average by 2012.
But reducing body mass alone won’t be enough to achieve this. To slash CO2 significantly, the engine also needs an advanced design. The Enzo’s V12 will make way for a new direct-injection twin-turbo V8-the same layout as in the legendary F40. Output is likely to be on a par with the Enzo’s 660 bhp, but that lower weight should put performance on another level. Expect a three-second 0-60 mph (0-97 km/h) time and top speed in excess of 230 mph (370 km/h).
A twin-turbo V6 is also under consideration, to replace the 458 Italia and California’s V8s. Yet before either unit is signed off, engineers are keen to eliminate turbo lag. The F40 was famous for the delay between throttle inputs and the arrival of a savage wave of torque. But Ferrari claims it won’t resort to turbos again until it’s perfected the technology to give the instant response for which its naturally aspirated cars are renowned.
One option is electric or hybrid chargers. These use a small electric motor to spool the turbos up to operating speeds much faster than in a normal set-up, where exhaust gas has to be recirculated.
The result is a virtual elimination of turbo lag and a linear power delivery that will be familiar to owners of current Ferraris. Just like the Enzo, the F70 will be strictly limited to a production run of 399 examples, adhering to Ferrari’s philosophy of always building one less car than you think you can sell. But not just anyone will be able to put their name on the waiting list. Buyers will need to be personally invited by Ferrari to pay for the expected $1 million (600,000 GBP) asking price when the car goes on sale in 2012.
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