Four different types of carbon fiber were used in developing the successor to the Enzo, including one used only for nuclear reactors. But what will Ferrari call it?
When Ferrari revealed the carbon monocoque that will form the backbone of its new flagship supercar at this year's Paris Motor Show, it stated that the chassis was over 20 percent lighter than the tub around which the Enzo was built, yet over 20 percent more rigid. But just how did it manage that feat? According to Autocar, Ferrari has employed four different types of carbon fiber in its construction, and has spared no cost in doing so.
Speaking with Rory Byrne, the legendary engineer behind so many of Ferrari's championship-winning F1 cars who now leads the development of the new supercar's chassis, Autocar reveals that the pinnacle of these carbon weaves is a form of the material that's used to build nuclear reactors, but was banned from F1 due to its high production cost. In that respect alone, Ferrari figures it has the most advanced composites used on any road car to date - and that includes the Aventador for which Lamborghini developed new forms of carbon technology, and more vitally, the new McLaren P1, which was built around the same structure as the existing MP4-12C.
The new supercar draws many of its advanced technologies from the company's F1 and FXX programs, and packs a version of the F12's 6.3-liter V12 with 750 to 800 horsepower. Coupled to a 100 hp hybrid kinetic energy recovery system and burdened by just 1100 kg of weight, the successor to the Enzo ought to obliterate preconceived notions of what an automobile can do. Questions over its name, however, still linger. The car has been dubbed the F70 by the press, but the previous F40 and F50 marked specific anniversaries for the Prancing Horse marque, and the company's 70th anniversary won't be coming around until 2017.
By that point this supercar will likely have ended its limited production run. Autocar is using the name F150, presumably in reference to the 150th anniversary of Italian unification, but when Ferrari initially used that name for its F1 racer last year, Ford got all up in a tizzy over the similarity to its pickup nameplate. That was a racecar - just imagine the lawsuit if Ferrari used it for a production roadcar. Popular names surrounding the marque like Fiorano, Maranello, Modena, Italia, Enzo, Scaglietti and Scuderia have all been used recently, leaving us to wonder what handle Ferrari will use for this particular model.
The upcoming lightweight 458 is tipped to carry the name Monte Carlo, but we wouldn't be all that surprised to see the new hypercar pick up a name like Luca or Montezemolo after its chairman, Piero after Enzo's second son (who still owns part of the company and acts as its vice chairman), or Pininfarina after the design studio with which it has long been associated. Our money's on the latter, but we wouldn't say that too loud: when the press had dubbed the 365 GTB/4 as the Daytona, Ferrari intransigently dropped the name from the car's official moniker out of spite. We'll just have to sit back and wait until it's unveiled to find out for sure. (Pictured are student designs from a contest Ferrari held in 2005.)