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Thursday 21st February 2013


FERRARI F70/F150: THE STORY SO FAR

With the McLaren P1 taking form, here's a run-down on its main rival: Ferrari's next hypercar


McLaren’s stolen a few headlines this week with the announcement of its P1 hypercar’s drivetrain. Full details will come when the P1 hits Geneva in just under two weeks’ time, but there’ll be just one problem: it’ll have to share its limelight with its biggest rival – Ferrari’s successor to the Enzo.

High-tech carbon tub will be the centrepiece
High-tech carbon tub will be the centrepiece
There’s been a steady trickle of teasers, rumours and snippets about the new big Ferrari, as well as some good, hard facts to get excited about. As yet, and in keeping with Ferrari tradition, the new car has no officially-confirmed name – that’ll be revealed just before the car itself. Many pundits know the car as the F150, though that looks unlikely when you consider that Ferrari was forced to change the name of its F1 car in 2011 after Ford kicked up a fuss about that F150 sharing its name with Ford’s best-selling pickup. So F70 looks more likely, but Ferrari could equally go in a completely different direction, as it did with the Enzo.  

Either way, what we know is that the new car will be based around an advanced carbon fibre monocoque, as previewed at the Beijing Show in 2012. Four types of carbon fibre will be used to create this, each hand-laminated; the doors, meanwhile, look set to use T1000 carbon fibre – as seen on the noses of Ferrari’s F1 cars – for its high level of impact protection. Meanwhile, a combination of carbon fibre and Kevlar will be used in the undertray, to protect the monocoque from road debris.

HY-KERS system will provide 1.35hp per kg
HY-KERS system will provide 1.35hp per kg
The result will be a chassis 20 per cent lighter than the Enzo’s, but also boasting 27 per cent more torsional stiffness.

We also know that the new car will feature a hybrid drivetrain similar to the P1’s – although at its heart will be a V12 engine, most likely the 6.3-litre that’s fitted to the F12. That’ll be matched to two electric motors, one mounted to the gearbox and used to drive the rear wheels, with a separate motor providing power for the car’s auxiliary systems. Both will be driven from separate battery systems which will be charged by the engine, while the ‘drive’ electric motor will also use a KERS-like system which will convert its negative torque under braking to charge for its battery. This will be managed by a dedicated ECU based around the technology that’s used in Ferrari’s F1 KERS systems. The system, known as HY-KERS and previously shown in a 599 concept should deliver an additional 1.35hp for every extra kg of weight it adds, and Ferrari says its aim has been to provide similar power to a high-end naturally-aspirated engine while delivering 40 per cent fewer emissions on a combined cycle.

Teasers have revealed front and rear views
Teasers have revealed front and rear views
So, that’s what we know. What we don’t have so far are any definitive stats. But there are a smattering of rumoured figures that have emerged from a supposedly top-secret preview evening given to potential customers at Maranello. They’re unconfirmed, but they still make some interesting reading.

First up, there’s the V12’s power figure: 800hp, apparently, but what’s also worthy of note is its redline, which looks set to be a screaming 9,200rpm. The HY-KERS system will add between 120hp and 150hp, giving a potential peak power figure of 950hp. Peak torque, meanwhile, should be developed all the way down at 1,000rpm.

As you’d expect with all that carbon, weight mooted to be on the low side – 1,300kg, to be precise, which is expected to allow a mind-expanding 0-62 time of under three seconds. Blimey. 125mph will come up in 7.3 seconds, meanwhile.

New car will succeed the Enzo
New car will succeed the Enzo
There is, of course, the small matter of price. And as you’d expect with such astonishing stats, it’s not going to be yours a couple of bob. In fact, it looks like the cost will be a whopping 1,200,000 euros – or just over a cool million, in the Queen’s finest.

The F70 – if that is its real name – will make its debut in Geneva, and of course we’ll bring you an update on these details as they’re revealed. Watch this space, then, because this is set to be the most astonishing Ferrari the world has ever seen.

Author: Alex Robbins
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