Spy photographer Hans Lehmann managed to catch a few shots of Ferrari's 612 with the "Insertable 4X4" system that has been all but unconfirmed by the Maranello firm. The photos show the front wheel sensors and some slightly revised looks. The front intakes are more aggressive on this freshened 612, making it look a bit more like its younger sibling, the 599 GTB Fiorano. Too bad they didn't go all the way and offer the much more elegant 612 K reshaping we saw in Monterey last August.
The sensors on the front wheels show that testing on wheel speed and slippage are underway to help fine-tune the power distribution front to rear. With more and more power being made available in their road cars, high performance carmakers are increasingly turning to all-wheel-drive systems to help get that power to the road more efficiently. The 612 awd will more closely match what competitor Bentley is offering in the Continentals.

Ferrari says the new system is rwd biased, with the power moving to the fronts if rear wheel slip is detected, AND if the option of awd is selected. More like traction control than true all-wheel-drive, the system will reduce drivetrain losses because it will only engage in certain conditions, unlike, say, the system used by Lamborghini. This new technology should ensure that new Ferraris will maintain their legendary handling while adding additional traction in all road conditions.

[Source: Winding Road]


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