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Ferrari CEO Amedeo Felisa recently gave some incredible insight into the future of the Italian sports car maker. The 65 year-old touched on a few rumors, including that of an entry-level Ferrari.
“You don’t want to understand, do you? Believe me, there is no such Ferrari. We have no intention of increasing our production volume beyond what it takes to satisfy the growing demand of new markets like China and Russia,” Felisa said of a $175,000 Ferrari that some rumored to be a reborn Dino. So it seems we can cross that one off the list one last time, but it appears that Ferrari’s direction will be towards shaving weight from its cars, improving aerodynamic efficiency, and looking for a downsized powerplant for their next entry-level road car.
Currently, Ferrari is putting its finishing touches on the new 599 and is expected to have a V12 powerplant with 700-hp. That same engine is also believed to be in the replacement for the Enzo, which may be known as the F70 come this fall when it finally makes a debut. In the F70 however, the 7.3L V12 could have upwards of 800-hp and the possibility of a KERS package with a 120-hp electric motor. Over 900-hp combined could be interesting, but the idea of a zero-emissions Ferrari is even more intriguing.
Additional details on the F70 include that its weight could come close to the track-only FXX at around 2,550 lbs. Some may even expect it to be faster than the 1001-hp Bugatti Veyron.
There is also a report that a lightweight Ferrari 458 Challenge is due to hit showrooms in mid-2012. The Challenge is expected to be 150 lbs lighter with an increase of 30-hp to an even 600-hp figure.
And lastly, Felisa confirmed that Ferrari has no aspirations to do a four-door sport sedan, or a crossover. They’re leaving that up to Maserati.
[Source: Automobile Mag]
The successor to the Ferrari Enzo may not get the much-rumored twin-turbo V8 at all, but rather keep a V12 engine. The new rumor comes from AutoCar after an interview with company CEO Amedeo Felisa.
In an earlier article Felisa commented that, “Ferrari will not build a six-cylinder engine until customer attitudes towards smaller engines change. The perception today is that the number of cylinders equates to the possibilities of the car.” With that context he then commented that, “That is why we are developing hybrid technology. Hybrid means we can protect the V12.”
What AutoCar suggests in interpreting the remarks is that a top-level supercar would need to have a top-level engine – a V12. Hybrid technology would then be used to give the V12 engine increased performance. This would also allow for the immediate and smooth power delivery of a naturally aspirated setup. Ferrari execs have commented in the past that turbochargers posed a problem for the Ferrari driving philosophy as they don’t deliver the sort of linear feel that Ferrari customers want.
Reports of a twin-turbo V6 engine to power the upcoming Enzo successor have been quashed by Ferrari boss Amedeo Felisa. ““There are no plans for a six-cylinder engine today,” said Felisa in an interview with the U.K.’s AutoCar. “Ferrari will not build a six-cylinder engine until customer attitudes towards smaller engines change. The perception today is that the number of cylinders equates to the possibilities of the car.”
Rumors had also indicated that a twin-turbo V8 (a more likely option for such an ultra high-performance machine), but Felisa didn’t comment on that possibility, increasing speculation that we will in fact see such a powerplant situated over the rear wheels of the next Enzo.
In addition to those comments Felisa spoke about the increased use of carbon fiber in its future models, commenting that the Italian automaker won’t use the light-weight material extensively in its production cars any time soon. The exception to this rule, however, are extremely limited production cars like the next Enzo – which don’t see regular road use. Felisa cited a lack of knowledge about long term reliability and durability of carbon fiber, as well as issues relating to repairing the material if its used in a structural way – like McLaren has done with its new MP4-12C.
We expect more details to emerge about the next Enzo as Ferrari ramps up to launch its latest supercar in 2012.
While most luxury vehicle manufacturers are turning in their sports cars to invade the luxury sedan segment, Ferrari is standing firm stating that they are officially ruling out sedans from their production. “As Enzo would say, we will never do four doors,” said Amedeo Felisa. “And we will keep this tradition.”
It’s a bold statement to use the word never, but it doesn’t surprise us. Ferrari is known as a pure luxury sports car with an exhilarating style that is unrivaled. Felisa claims that no one asks for a four-door Ferrari, and if you do you should consider a Maserati. Now saying that no one is asking for a four-door Ferrari is a far reach. It’s a bit sacrilegious, we’ll admit, but we wouldn’t mind seeing how one would look, perform and function. After all, just look at what a great job Porsche has done with the Panamera. But at the end of the day, while Aston Martin, Porsche and even possibly Lamborghini are turning heads with their four doors, Ferrari will focus on making the finest two-door automobiles in the world.
[Source: Autocar UK]
Yesterday Ferrari gave the official first showing of its new 599 GTO Supercar at a private event in Italy. Held at Modena’s Ducal Palace military academy, the new “Fastest Ferrari” was presented by company head Luca di Montezemolo, as well as chief executive Amedeo Felisa and vice-chairman Pierro Ferrari, the son of Enzo Ferrari himself. In attendance were 500 guests of honor, including cadets from the academy. At the unveiling Ferrari also announced that there was no need to reach for your wallet – as all 599 models have already been spoken for.
Limited edition Ferraris like this one always sell out and we can particularly see why with the 599 GTO. After all, as we already mentioned, Ferrari claims its the fastest prancing horse ever with a record setting 1:24 second time around the Fiorano test track. As for the GTO itself, well, Ferrari has equipped it with a version of the standard car’s 6.0-liter V12, making 670-hp at 8250 rpm and 457 ft-lbs of torque at 6500 rpm. Ferrari claims a 0-62 mph time of 3.35 seconds and a top speed in excess of 208-mph. Helping to achieve quicker acceleration is a reprogrammed six-speed F1 transmission with 60 ms shift times and the ability to drop several gears at a time. Ferrari engineers also focused on weight reduction, dropping the GT car’s curb weight to 3,538 lbs. Along with lighter bodywork, including thinner aluminum panels, the GTO also gets thinner glass, a lighter exhaust and transmission and an even lighter second-generation carbon ceramic brake setup.
New aerodynamic improvements were also made resulting in improved downforce but no more drag. New ducting around the wheels reduces drag, as do wheel doughnuts. A new front lip creates more downforce at the front axle, while new side skirts help streamline airflow under the body. It’s also hard to miss the new racing-style rear diffuser.
Suspension improvements have also been made with stiffer springs and rear anti-roll bar, as well as a second-generation magnetorheological suspension control system (SCM2). More importantly, Ferrari says the SCM2 setup works with a tighter steering ratio, VDC (Vehicle Dynamic Control) and the updated F1-Trac traction control systems to be incredibly responsive to inputs.
Also helping in the handling department are new 20-inch wheels, with wider 285 front tires. And what’s more important to getting the most out of the car than the driver? No, Ferrari doesn’t include your own Felipe Massa, but the 599 GTO does come with the company’s Virtual Race Engineer system designed for the 599XX. It constantly monitors all aspects of the car and is able to tell the driver how close to the limit he is operating the car.
Ferrari will give the 599 GTO its first public showing at the Beijing Auto Show later this month.
GALLERY: Ferrari 599 GTO Unveiling
GALLERY: Ferrari 599 GTO
For a video introduction to the car (dubbed over in English) see after the jump:
In a recent interview with the U.K.’s CAR magazine, Ferrari CEO Amedeo Felisa spilled some details on the exotic Italian automaker’s future product plans, including a hint that the replacement for the 612 Scaglietti will arrive in 2012. Unfortunately for Ferrari, the replacement comes about 8 years too late. (Yup, do the math, the 612 first launched in 2004).
Also due out in 2012 is a successor to the Enzo. Don’t expect a hybrid powerplant or any other green-technology breakthroughs, however, as Felisa says a hybrid Ferrari is at least four years away from being on the road. We wouldn’t be surprised to see a twin-turbo motor out back, much like in the iconic F40.
As for the 599, it’s still a relative baby, so don’t look for a replacement until 2015.
Being from the U.K. the folks at CAR also couldn’t resist asking Ferrari about the upcoming McLaren MP4-12C. “We like the challenge,” said Feilisa. “It is important to have the competition. But we are not worried about it.” Ferrari might just want to be, however, as the new McLaren promises a lower curb weight and more power.
Prancing Horse takes all but one of the top ten spots
In class normally dominated by Porsches, Ferrari showed its motorsports might at the 24 Hours of Le Mans this past weekend. Not only did Ferrari claim the top spot on the podium, it claimed all the others. As a matter of fact, Ferraris clinched nine of the top ten GT2 Class spots with position number five going to the Spkyer C8 Laviolette GT2R driven by Jarek Janis, Tom Coronel and Jeroen Bleekemolen.
The GT2 Class win went to car No. 82 F430 GT of the Risi Competizione Team driven by Jaime Melo, Mika Salo and Pierre Kaffer after completing 328 laps. This is the second year in a row a Risi Competizione car has won its class at Le Mans. The second Risi car, driven by Tracy Krohn, Nic Jonsson and Eric van de Poele finished third. Between them was the BMS Scuderia Italia’s Ferrari with Fabio Babini, Matteo Malucelli and Paolo Ruberti at the wheel. The fourth position also belonged to Ferrari with British team JMW Motorsport and drivers Robert Bell, Andrew Kirkaldy and Tim Sugden driving.
“I’m proud of this wonderful result. Four cars from Ferrari on the first four places in such a prestigious race is a great satisfaction and I want to congratulate the teams on the result; the teams have worked so hard to prepare the best way possible for this race. I especially want to thank Giuseppe Risi, who with his team has gained the second success in a row,” Ferrari CEO Amedeo Felisa said. “It was a tough race, especially at the beginning when the cars from Ferrari had to fight against very strong competitors like the Porsches. When night fell Risi’s car took over the lead and didn’t cede. I’m especially pleased by the fact that nine out of ten F430 GT which started into the race crossed the line; this is not only a sign of competitiveness, but also of the car’s great reliability.”
As mentioned, Ferraris then rounded out the top ten, with actor Patrick Dempsey piloting the Advanced Engineering car to a ninth-place finish with the help of co-drivers Joe Foster and Don Jr Kitch.
Likely to Debut at LA Auto Show
Ferrari has confirmed that a hybrid model is in the works and that a concept car will debut as early as the LA Auto Show this December. The news comes directly from Ferrari CEO Amedeo Felisa just weeks after a patent application for a hybrid system by Ferrari was uncovered.
At almost the same time that patent application was discovered, a second one relating to a turbocharged powerplant was also found. Felisa also confirmed that turbochargers are a potential avenue that the Italian exotic car maker is looking into. He did, however, say that a turbocharged Ferrari engine would still provide the high-revving feel that is so much a part of a Ferrari engine.
These two green alternatives (as well as one other) are being looked at by Ferrari in order to meet stringent European emissions regulations set to take effect in 2014. The final alternative is a bio-fuel or flex-fuel engine – like the one the company debuted at the 2008 North American International Auto Show in Detroit (pictured above).
Whatever route Ferrari takes, it is expected that the new model or models will be in addition to the current lineup, in order to reduce emissions across the fleet while retaining the Ferrari performance focus.
[Source: Car & Driver]