Written By: Tajil Black
During a discussion of super-cars among automotive enthusiasts, Ferrari usually comes to mind among a number of other European car manufacturers. What has made Ferrari standout from many other manufacturers is their extreme passion and investment in Motorsports and automotive technology. This shows in their involvement in Formula One racing which they also use to tweak and trickle technology to their road cars. Ferrari owns a private race-track called ‘The Fiorana Circuit’, which they have dedicated to testing for their vehicles. Past and current Formula One cars are usually tested and refined at Fiorana before they are even introduced to the public. Fiorana is very popular in racing crowds and a “you-tube” search can show many videos of past and present Ferrari drivers of doing competitive lap-times. Veteran and legendary Formula One driver Michael Schumacher has the record time of 55.999 seconds in the Ferrari F2004 Formula One prototype.
s.P.f. Ferrari was founded by Enzo Ferrari. He was a racecar driver from Italy born in 1898. Originally the head of the motor-racing department for Alfa-Romeo, he established s.P.f. Ferrari in 1947 after World War II ended. The first Ferrari road-car built, was the Ferrari 125s (125 Sport) which had a 1.5L V12 engine. Enzo Ferrari died the same year he launched the Ferrari F40 in 1988. The F40 is arguably one of the best and most influential supercars in the world due to its futuristic aerodynamic and engine design. The Ferrari F40 consisted of a mid-ship Twin-Turbo V8 engine, producing 471 horsepower at 16 psi of boost. This was a follow-up from the Ferrari 288 GTO Evoluzione that Ferrari ended up producing, when he was not able to finish developing his entry to Group B racing, to compete against the Porsche 959 due to the FIA closing the category. The F40 was produced form 1987-1992.
The production of the F40 led to a newly influenced drive to produce supercars instead of only sport cars for the regular luxury sports car enthusiast. Next in line was the Ferrari F50, which was produced from 1995-1997. It was produced to celebrate the company’s 50th anniversary. It has a 4.7 litre V12 mid-ship normally aspirated engine producing 513 horsepower. The super cars Ferrari produced seemed to emulate the Formula One cars more and more. They were sleek in design and technology, the engine was located behind the driver and they housed powerful high revving engines. The Ferrari Enzo (F60) took an even closer look to the Formula One cars with a front fascia that visually screamed that it wanted to be an open wheeler. It has a 6.0L V12 mid-ship engine producing 651 horsepower at 7800 RPM. The Ferrari Enzo, named after Enzo Ferrari, had noticeable Formula One technology such as electro-hydraulic paddleshift transmission and a carbon-fibre body. Only 400 were produced from 2002-2004.
Then there was the Ferrari FXX. It is like the Ferrari Enzo with no holds barred. It almost seemed like the car that Ferrari wanted to present at first, but was afraid the public would not be able to handle it. It seemed like the F40’s reincarnation. The FXX is the definition of raw power and I would like to call it the closest thing to the F1 car. It had a 6.3L V12 mid-ship engine producing 790 horsepower. Fitted with Bridgestone tires and Brembo brakes, it was developed to help produce Ferrari’s sports cars, and it has recording equipment installed to record data.
The LaFerrari (F70) is the current supercar being manufactured by Ferrari which was unveiled at the 2013 Geneva Show. It has a 6.3L V12 mid-ship engine producing 789 horsepower. It is fitted with the Formula One KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System), which gives the car a couple seconds of extra horse-power on command. Will this be the greatest Ferrari we have seen yet resulting from Ferrari’s great efforts? We will have to wait and see.