Ferrari FXX turns client-collectors into genuine Ferrari Test Drivers
By Mike Hanlon
June 15, 2005
June 16, 2005 The name Ferrari is almost synonymous with genius in an automotive sense. We have seen the marque pioneer many technical innovations on the racetrack and the road, and the Ferrari tacticians for Messrs Schumacher and Barrichello have constantly astounded us over recent years with the audacity and sheer genius (there’s that word again) of their moves. Now the company gets genius points in a technological and a marketing sense for the truly innovative technical collaboration programme around the FXX prototype aimed at its most dedicated and passionate clients. The 800 horsepower FXX is the most advanced GT ever created at Maranello and its mission is to involve Ferrari’s most valued Clients as genuine Prancing Horse Test Drivers in their own right. The wealth of data and experience gathered in the course of this very special programme will be exceptionally important. Every Client who signs up for the FXX project by purchasing one of the estimated 20 or so cars being built, will actually be joining Team Ferrari, and will have his driving experiences at the wheel of this new car monitored directly by the Prancing Horse’s technicians and specialists. The FXX and the relative package cost a total of 1.5 million euro (excluding taxes) and applications to join the programme are being evaluated by a special in-house committee.
In fact, the feedback from these highly skilled, non-professional Client Test Drivers will be compared and supplemented with suggestions from Michael Schumacher, Rubens Barrichello and Ferrari’s professional in-house Test Drivers.
Every Client who signs up for the FXX project by purchasing one of the estimated 20 or so cars being built, will actually be joining Team Ferrari, and will have his driving experiences at the wheel of this new car monitored directly by the Prancing Horse’s technicians and specialists.
The FXX is the fruit of Ferrari’s know-how in building special limited-series sports cars combined with, of course, its racing experience. It will provide the basic framework on which the specifics of future extreme models will be worked out. The exceptionally powerful FXX delivers absolutely blistering performance on all fronts.
The FXX has not been homologated for road use and thus will not be a competition model. It will be used exclusively on the track as part of a specific ongoing research and development programme featuring this first ever group of Client Test Drivers.
The FXX is powered by an imposing 6,262 cc V12 engine that can punch out over 800 hp at 8,500 rpm. Its gearbox is the result of the transfer of F1 strategies, delivering gear change times of under 100 ms. This is almost as fast as the F1 single-seaters, themselves the absolute pinnacle of current technological achievement.
The FXX’s aerodynamic design is particularly innovative too as it has resulted in a shape that produces 40% higher downforce than ever achieved before. It is also possible to adjust the FXX’s mobile spoiler configuration to suit the specific circuit.
Ferrari’s partnership with Bridgestone has resulted in the development of a specific 19” slick tyre for this particular model. Likewise Brembo has created a special brake cooling and pad system for the FXX’s extra large Composite Ceramic Material disc brakes.
The Client Test Drivers will also be able to share their unique track experience with a passenger – in fact a second seat is available.
What really sets the FXX apart, however, is the sophisticated telemetry system which will monitor and give feedback on 39 different vehicle dynamics parameters in real time. The system is also able to record other data as demanded by specific circumstances.
The information gathered will then be analysed by the Ferrari technicians working on the programme and discussed with the individual Client Drivers to ensure that the car is kept constantly updated.
The FXX package also includes participation in a series of track events to be organised by Ferrari on various international-level circuits over the coming two years. On these occasions, an official team of technicians will be on hand to provide any assistance and support required by the Client Test Driver.
In addition to these truly unique official events, Clients will also be able to take their cars out on the track independently during private sessions. Clients wishing to leave their car at Maranello will be glad to know that the vehicles will be transported directly by Ferrari to the various European circuits for the scheduled events.
Given the car’s exceptional performance and the unique nature of the package, delivery of each FXX will also include an ad hoc driving course. The instructors will, of course, be professional drivers and the courses will take place at the Fiorano Circuit where Ferrari does its most important F1 single-seaters testing.
After the seat and the pedals have been individually tailored to each driver, there will be a traditional “shakedown” followed by a training session dedicated to test driving methodologies.
After a careful client order selection process, the first FXXs will be delivered by the end of this year. The initial testing of the definitive car is currently taking place at Fiorano. The FXX and the relative package cost a total of 1.5 million euro (excluding taxes) and applications to join the programme are being evaluated by a special in-house committee.
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