click above image to view high-res gallery of the Ferrari FXX Evoluzione
Following earlier reports, Ferrari unveiled a new, modified version of the super-Enzo during this past weekend's Ferrari World Finals at its Mugello race track in Italy. As the name suggests, FXX Evoluzione is a further evolution of the FXX program that places "client test drivers" (i.e. obscenely wealthy Ferrari aficionados playing Schumacher) behind the wheel of developmental test beds to try out new equipment for Ferrari. In fact, Schumacher himself was reportedly on hand to unveil the car, having sporadically participated in the program over the past two years.
The FXX Evoluzione picks up where the "ordinary" FXX program left off, extending the program by an additional two years, based on an even more radical version of the track-only machine. With 35,000 kilometers worth of telemetry from the 20 cars, engineers compiled a series of tweaks to sharpen the car's capabilities. Output is boosted to a staggering 860 HP, redline is up to a shrieking 9,500 rpm, and shift times are down to a lightning-fast 60 milliseconds. The traction control system has been modified to be less invasive, more adaptable and can be adjusted in-cockpit on the fly between nine distinct settings from corner to corner. Suspension geometry has been modified, as has the aerodynamic package, which, along with fresh livery, accounts for a slightly different appearance compared to the previous version.
The result of all these and a few other small modifications (which you can read about in detail in the press release after the jump) means that the FXX Evoluzione can now lap the company's private Fiorano test track two seconds faster than its predecessor at 1 min 16 sec. The kit can be retrofitted to any of the 20 FXXs that took place in the program until now, and includes participation in a renewed program that will take these most extreme machines to two events each in North America, Europe and Asia (for a total of eight track events) each year over the next two years. Money may not be able to buy you happiness, but it can buy you a seat as a Ferrari test driver, which sounds like happiness to us.
FXX programme extended for further two years thanks to new evolution kit developed with assistance of Client Test-Drivers
Maranello 28th October 2007 - The innovative FXX programme, based on the eponymous prototype car and launched by Ferrari in June 2005, is being extended to 2008/2009. The FXX, which is the most advanced GT ever created at Maranello, has been updated with an evolution package aimed at further improving its handling and performance. The package was developed as a result of Ferrari's collaboration with its Client Test Drivers and with the invaluable support of Michael Schumacher. The FXXs equipped with this package will also sport a new livery in addition to new rear wing profiles.
The FXX is not homologated for road use and there are no plans to compete with it either. In fact, the FXX prototype is designed exclusively for track driving as part of a specific R&D programme agreed with a selected group of just over 20 clients involving 14 group test sessions and 14 private ones in the last two years. Thanks to readings taken over the 16,500 kilometres of tests carried out in 2006 and the 18,500 kilometres covered in 2007, the modifications made to the car have focused on honing its aerodynamics, running gear and electronics. Seven-times Formula 1 World Champion Michael Schumacher also joined the ranks of the client test drivers and gave the programme the benefit of his vast experience on several occasions.
Maranello's engineers studied the wealth of information gained to develop a kit which will cut the FXX's Fiorano lap time to under 1'16'' (previously it was 1'18''). The FXX's 6262 cc V12 engine can now punch out a massive 860 hp at 9500 rpm. Gearshifting takes just 60 ms, a drop of 20 ms on the previous time, and the gear ratios have been adapted to make use of the extra 1000 rpm now delivered by the engine.
The car's new traction control system, developed in close collaboration with the GES Racing Division engineers, gives the driver a choice of no less than nine different settings (plus the off position) which are selected using a switch on the central tunnel. This means that the driver really can modify the car's behaviour on the track from corner to corner, just as the Formula 1 drivers do to maximise performance and reduce tyre wear. The FXX's traction control is also now less invasive and more flexible, adapting more efficiently to the individual driving style of each driver - a requirement pinpointed when this very extreme car was being driven on the track by non-professional drivers.
The FXX's special 19" Bridgestone tyres now last longer too thanks to a new car setup and new front suspension geometry, while the Brembo brakes, which boast large Composite Ceramic Material (CCM) discs, are more efficient with the result that the brake pads last twice as long. Thanks to the drivers' feedback the Ferrari engineers have also developed new aerodynamic solutions aimed at increasing downforce over the rear axle. The FXX now sports a new rear diffuser, nolder and rear flaps which have combined to increase aerodynamic efficiency by 25% overall. The active front spoiler control system settings have been adjusted to take these modifications into account too. New telemetry monitoring of the steering angle and brake pump pressure will further boost the interaction between Client test drivers and the company's engineers also. From next year onwards, it will be possible for drivers to have two extra video cameras mounted on their car in addition the existing rear-facing one. This will, of course, give the drivers excellent rear visibility without having to impinge in any way on the car's aerodynamics.
The FXX evolution package includes participation in a series of track events that Ferrari is organising at international circuits for 2008/2009. Six events are planned for each year (two in North America, two in Europe and two in Asia). In addition to these, the FXXs will also be participating, as per tradition, in the prestigious end-of-season Ferrari World Finals.
As happened in 2006/2007, the cars will be backed up at each event by a 15-member official team made up of engineers, electronics experts and mechanics capable of providing complete assistance to clients. Needless to say, the latter will still be able to organise their own private individual track sessions in their car as well.