Ferrari have announced that their innovative FXX program has been extended a further two years to allow continued development of the recently upgraded FXX Prototype. The FXX Program is unique in that it revolves around a select group of just over 20 well-heeled clients who through numerous group and private test sessions provide Ferrari with feedback on their FXX Prototype, feedback that helps Ferrari develop the next generation of their road-going supercars. Not a bad way to spend a few days away from the office???
The FXX Prototype is not homologated for road use and there are no plans for it to make a competition debut, instead, it is a track only proposition.
Thanks to the data collected 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-time 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 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 through allowing non-professional drivers some wheel time.
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 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.
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 the participating clients.