Driving the rich into the red

Ferrari unveils its most technologically advanced ‘grand tourer’ yet.

Ferrari has unveiled a production vehicle so expensive, so exclusive and so fast that the small number of specially selected customers who are able to afford its N1.5m (just under £1m) price tag will only ever be allowed to drive it around private racing tracks.

Unveiled at last week’s Bologna motor show, the FXX is claimed to be the most technologically advanced GT (grand tourer) car ever to emerge from Ferrari’s Maranello headquarters.

The company said that while it hasn’t yet been approved for road use or racing, the car will be used exclusively on track as part of a specific ongoing R&D programme to help design future extreme models.

Powered by a V12 engine that develops over 800hp at 8,500rpm, the car has a theoretical top speed of around 345km/h. It also has a dry weight of 1,155kg with a power to weight ratio of 1.44kg/hp, and recently completed a lap of Ferrari’s 3km Fiorano F1 testing circuit in less than one minute 18 seconds.

Much of the technology on the car has been borrowed from the company’s F1 business. For instance, the gearbox, claimed to be a particularly innovative feature, delivers gear change times of less than 100 milliseconds, around the same as those featured on F1 cars.

The FXX’s aerodynamic design is also especially novel — with a 40 per cent increase in downforce compared to the already impressive Enzo.

The 19in slick tyres have been specially developed by Bridgestone, Ferrari’s F1 tyre partner, while a brake pad and cooling system for the 398x36mm composite ceramic material discs was developed by brake specialist Brembo.

The vehicle is also equipped with a tailormade sophisticated telemetry system that monitors and provides feedback in real time and an advanced instrument panel that uses a roof-mounted video camera and advanced TFT display on the dashboard to dispense with the need for rearview mirrors.

Each customer wealthy enough to afford an FXX — and only 29 will be produced — will also receive a personalised advanced driving course at the Fiorano circuit, as well as the opportunity to participate in a series of 14 international track events.