Details have started to emerge regarding Ferrari's new eco-friendly concept vehicle, the FXX Mille Chile. Ferrari, like other high performance vehicle manufacturers, realize that it needs to develop and introduce new technologies in order to keep selling its high-performance brand of vehicles. Ferrari has been working on many of these technologies and is showing them off on its latest concept. It's important to note that this is merely a paper and wood concept and is not slated for production. It also does not appear to have anything to do with the Millechili concept from 2005.
New technologies introduced to the public on the Millechili concept include active aerodynamics, a new type of hybrid drivetrain, adjustable steering wheel and pedal placement and high-tech (and high-cost) carbon fiber construction. Also seeing daylight are low rolling resistance tires and ceramic composite brakes. Many of these technologies have been done before, but not with quite the same intent as what Ferrari is doing.
Read on past the break for all of the details!
With active aerodynamics, vehicle manufacturers have been able to add or reduce downforce as required. The Bugatti Veyron is a good example of this. But, Ferrari is changing things up a bit by reducing the size of its ceramic composite brakes and using underbody modifications to lower the speed of the car. Also, the hybrid system is different than what we are used to. Instead of being able to power the vehicle, the electric motor only seems to activate while the vehicle is being shifted. This means that an almost seamless stream of torque is routed to the wheels, even when the clutch is disengaging the engine from the transmission. Speaking of that transmission, it appears to retain the F1 style paddle shifting, but the hybrid system makes shifting faster than ever.
Another noteworthy feature is the lack of seat adjustment fore and aft. Instead of a seat mounted on a sliding track, the steering wheel and pedals adjust. This is much lighter, and allows the canopy design of the body to closely hug the passenger compartment, lowering weight and improving aerodynamics. Clever stuff! Remember the video of the latest horror-inducing F1 crash? Yeah, the driver walked away. That same type of safety technology is proposed in the Mille Chili concept. A smaller front end is created using carbon fiber, which of course is obscenely expensive, but also extremely stiff and lightweight.
It is safe to say that if this vehicle were actually built and produced it would certainly be priced way out of reach for all but the richest people in the world. You thought the Enzo was expensive? The hope is that with time, the cost will come down and make vehicles like this concept a reality, but we're not there yet.