FXX Programme: Two-Year Extension
Ferrari’s innovative FXX programme – surely the most exclusive track-driving opportunity in the world – was originally launched in June 2005 to run for a two-year period, but it’s now been extended for a further two years. The idea behind the FXX, the most advanced GT ever created at Maranello, was that the car would be developed as a result of input from a highly select group of around 20 Ferrari customers, the marque’s ‘Client Test Drivers’, along with support from Michael Schumacher.
The FXX is not homologated for road use; nor are there any plans to compete with the car. It is, in fact, a car designed exclusively for track driving. As a result of the input from Schumacher and the Ferrari Clients, the FXX has now been updated with an evolution package aimed at further improving its handling and performance.
Maranello's engineers studied the wealth of information gained to develop a kit which will cut the FXX's Fiorano lap time to under 1min 16sec – a substantial two-second improvement. The FXX's 6262cc V12 engine can now punch out a massive 860hp at 9500rpm, while gearshifts take just 60ms, a drop of 20ms on the previous time, and the gear ratios have been adapted to make use of the extra 1000rpm now delivered by the engine.
The car's new traction control system gives the driver a choice of nine different settings, selected via 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. There are changes to the front suspension geometry, while the Brembo brakes with their large Composite Ceramic Material (CCM) discs are more efficient, meaning the brake pads last twice as long. Thanks to the drivers' feedback the Ferrari engineers have also developed new aerodynamic means of increasing downforce.
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. From next year, it will be possible for drivers to have two extra video cameras mounted on the car in addition to 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). The FXXs will also be participating, as per tradition, in the prestigious end-of-season Ferrari World Finals. As 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. In addition, the participants will still be able to organise their own private individual track sessions in their car, if required.
Text - Charis Whitcombe
Photos - Ferrari
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