Ferrari makes road cars and they make race cars, but the automaker found a middle ground somewhere in between when it launched the FXX in 2005. Homologated neither for race or street, the FXX emerged as Maranello's first customer development prototype, "allowing" well-heeled clients to test new components for the factory from behind the wheel of one of the most extreme performance machines Ferrari had ever made.
The FXX was based on the Enzo, and was succeeded by the Fiorano-based 599XX. Given the apparent success of the program, we knew it would only be a matter of time before Ferrari would roll out the next XX prototype. But what would it be based on? The Enzo-succeeding LaFerrari? The F12 Berlinetta that replaced the 599 GTB Fiorano? Or another model entirely, like the 458 Italia, FF or California?
Well now we appear to have our answer. Speaking during the Ferrari Racing Days (an extravaganza of cavallinos prancing around a different racetrack each year, held recently in Sydney), Antonello Coletta confirmed that development is underway on a LaFerrari XX. And he ought to know, seeing as how he's the head of the company's new Sporting Activity Department that overseas all of Ferrari's on-track activities – including the XX program. The news was confirmed by Ferrari in correspondence with Autoblog. Oh, and perhaps because of the spy photos you see above, which were shot recently at the famed Nürburgring track, showing an unpainted LaFerrari of some sort making fast laps and testing various tire options.
Because LaFerrari is already as powerful as it is – packing 949 horsepower from its 6.3-liter V12 hybrid powertrain – Coletta says it would be difficult to make it accelerate any quicker or top out any faster, but with a revised suspension, more aggressive aerodynamics and slick tires, the resulting prototype ought to lap the circuit faster than the road car on which it is being based. "It is very hard to make a car more fast than a LaFerrari but this is the challenge," said to Coletta to the assembled members of the Australian motor press.
The vehicle is expected to be launched early next year, but apparently has nothing to do with the LaFerrari prototype spied undergoing testing recently, which was more of a rolling laboratory than a prelude to anything specific like the XX version or an upcoming Le Mans prototype. To that prospect Coletta says it depends largely on whether Formula One would institute a budget cap, claiming that the company doesn't have the resources to commit to two top-level racing programs at their current cost levels. Indeed none of the factory-backed efforts competing in the LMP1 category (namely Audi, Porsche and Toyota) currently compete in F1 as well.