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Ferrari Enzo Autoweek drive review

Ferrari Enzo Autoweek drive review

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Ferrari Enzo Autoweek drive review
Ferrari Enzo Autoweek drive review

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Published by: AutoweekUSA on Mar 04, 2013
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INSIDE THIS WEEK: Mitsubishi Outlander s VW Passat W8 s NASCAR Brickyard 400


August 12, 2002


WE DRIVE: The 660-hp FERRARI supercar, an F1 racer for the street
PLUS: World champ Michael Schumacher tells us how he helped develop it

F1 made user-friendly


MARANELLO GLOWED WITH GOOD NEWS. Michael Schumacher had clinched his Fangio-tying fifth Formula One World Driving Championship at Magny-Cours on Sunday and by happy coincidence we had watched the race from a hotel in Modena. Monday morning, we gathered at the factory for our first experience of Ferrari’s F1-inspired supercar, the Enzo. Heir to the company’s line of supercars including the 1984 288GTO, 1987 F40 and 1995 F50, the new car’s full name is “The Enzo Ferrari” in tribute to the company’s founder. When we arrived at the Fiorano test track, there it sat, glimmering red in the forecourt of il Commendatore’s former residence.



It looks better in person than in photos, which tend to foreshorten the car, make it look taller than its 45.2 inches, and lose some of the nose-to-tail continuity. Regardless, the Enzo is not Pininfarina’s prettiest Ferrari. Delightful details catch the eye, from the bike-like taillights to the cleverly integrated intake vents in the rocker panels aft of the doors, to the rearview mirrors on stalks and the single-nut wheels, but it’s more a visual pastiche than an organic whole. Like modern racing machines, the Enzo is not alluring but has a sinister presence that honestly states its function, resembling the McLaren F1 in prioritizing purpose over prettiness. Indeed, the McLaren F1 may be a better touchstone for this car than any previous Ferrari in many regards, though Ferrari would be loath to admit it. The Enzo means to beat the McLaren street car’s blend of on-road civility with F1 sensations, reflecting on the road the relative reversal of fortunes on the track in recent years. Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo says Enzo development began in earnest four years ago (though interior design sketches are dated April 1997), a decade after the founder’s death, just as Ferrari prepared to seize the F1 manufacturers’ championship after a 16-year drought. “In 1999 we won the manufacturers’ championship; in 2000 we added the drivers’ championship for the first time in 21 years,” he said. “We won the last championship of the 20th century, and the first of the 21st century. I wanted to celebrate this with a car very much like a Formula One. After honoring Modena and Maranello, we felt this was the right car to honor with the name of our founder.” To heighten the F1 connection, the engineering team consulted with Ferrari racing team engineers and designers including Jean Todt, Ross Brawn and Rory Byrne, and at least some of the development driving and car setup was done by the world champion himself (see sidebar, page 16). Ferrari also brought in its racing “partners,” including Brembo, which produced gargantuan carbon-carbon brakes for the Enzo, Magneti Marelli, which further improved the F1 paddle-shift system for this high-power application and Bridgestone, which came up with a multi-compound, it wants to drink the best premium fuel you can find. The specific output of 110 hp/liter is damned good for such a large-displacement engine, yielding the rare combination of a bulging, muscle car lowrpm torque curve with genuine howling race car character at the high end, from 6000 rpm to the 8200-rpm redline. This all-new engine boasts chain-driven camshafts, titanium connecting rods, variable inlet geometry and variable cam timing. It weighs less than 500 pounds and was designed as a compact package to allow for the wide, downforce-generating underbody tunnels to run alongside. It is designated F140 and manufactured, like all Ferrari engines, in a sparkling new facility that opened last year, sunlit through expansive windows and a glass roof, kitchen-clean and incorporating trees. Yes, trees. Inside an engine plant. (Montezemolo: “If you are to build the best cars, you must work in the best facility.”) This engine is mounted to a subframe composed of two large, intricately shaped side elements forged in alloy in the company’s own foundry. Pure sculpture, these side rails are bolted together with

multifunction tire with F1appropriate four circumferential grooves. The rubber, dubbed the Potenza Scuderia, was specifically tuned to the Enzo. These partners also got to “share” in the development costs, of course. Okay, so they had high ambitions and great resources at their disposal. What have chief engineer Amedeo Felisa and company wrought? The Enzo is a mid-engine, carbon fiber monocoque twoseater. Like any Ferrari, its true heart is the engine, a 6.0liter, four-valves-per-cylinder dohc V12 generating 660 horsepower at 7800 rpm and 485 lb-ft at 5500 rpm. At 3000 rpm, there’s already 383 lb-ft under your right foot. The compression ratio is 11.2:1, so


January 2003


6.0-liter, 660-hp, 485-lb-ft V12; rear-drive, six-speed paddle-actuated manual transaxle

3009 pounds
0 TO 60 MPH:

3.5 seconds (mfr.)




No need for a big wing, thanks to the underbody (right) that generates twice the F50’s downforce. The aero load at 135 mph is already 750 pounds and contributes to the car’s ability to corner at 1.36 g. Active winglets are in tunnels ahead of the front tires.

connecting pieces and carry not only the engine, but the rocker-arm suspension and other hardware. At the back of the engine, it couples to the six-speed gearbox via a housing that also incorporates the oil supply tank for the dry sump lubrication system, the bevel gear pair and the self-locking (i.e., limited-slip) differential. Happily, most of this beautiful machinery can be seen when the rear engine cover is opened to provide enough access for an entire F1 pit crew to work under.

The entire rear subassembly enters one end of the eight-station assembly line at Maranello, while carbon fiber chassis tubs weighing only 92 pounds (vs. 110 pounds for the F50 equivalent) arrive from Scaglietti and start at the other end of the line. Both progress toward the middle where the mating operation produces a final car in a mere four weeks of hand-fit, laborintensive work. Or will, when production starts in earnest in November, with the first delivery scheduled in January

2003. By contrast, on the adjacent assembly lines, it takes four days to build a 360 Modena, six days to produce a 575M Maranello or 456 GTA. Enzo customers will get to see this dedicated line when they visit the factory for their seat fitting. Adjacent to the line is the fitting jig, where Ferrari custom-tailors the seat and pedals to the primary driver’s liking. (Ferrari is still working out whether to have the 70 U.S. customers go to Italy or have their fitting done somewhere in the United

World Champion Input
The center court at Wimbledon looks smaller in reality than it does on television. The same goes for Michael Schumacher. He is lithe, like a greyhound. Not an ounce of fat on a five-footnine-inch frame that seems a good couple of inches smaller. This despite the vertical assistance of a bed of bleached curls on top of his head and a pair of hideous round-toed black cowboy boots. Only the chin is as big in reality as it is on TV. Schumacher sat with us and discussed his role in the development of the Enzo Ferrari.

AW: When did you begin work on the FX? MS: I first drove it about one and a half years ago. It was a hybrid car, really only the engine and the gearbox in another car. Then step by step, every one or two months, I got a run in it and discussed issues with the engineers. It is the first car I have been closely linked to. AW: What input have you had? Is this very much your car? MS: My input is not about design, only about technical issues. It is about gearshifting strategy because we have an F1 gearbox, how the engine picks up, how driveable it is, what about brake performance, what about the handling performance. Then you say what you think but you fear

that not everything is taken on because I see it from a racing driver’s point of view and there is an intention to sell it to ordinary, not racing driver, people and so they have to find the right mixture of what is valid from my side and what is still important to the client. AW: What would you say is the most important thing you have contributed to the car? MS: It is much more in electronic adjustment, how the traction control is behaving, how many steps you have available, the gearshift strategy, the brake performance, the steering load you have, the sensation you get. AW: Is this as close as you can get to an F1 car



States. Given the money involved, we expect there will be a choice.) There are four seatbacks and four seat cushion widths available, and no fewer than 16 pedal positions in the mix. You get more choices in seating than you do car color. Enzos come in red or yellow. Ferrari might add black if it can get the paint to lay on the different materials the same way consistently, but that seems a long shot, given the one black example we saw in the plant. The seat itself keeps you in place in fast corners, though we wondered how some of the bigger journalists squeezed themselves into the “average” setup on the test car. We’d order up a fourpoint or better harness to go with the carbon fiber-shell, leather-upholstered racing seat (a racing seat with a recline adjustment!), rather than the three-point standard belt in the test car. Minus overfed journalist/ driver but with all fluids, the Enzo weighs 3009 pounds at the curb, less than a Nissan 350Z, but 400 pounds more than the McLaren F1. The Ferrari supplants some carbon fiber with aluminum honeycomb in order to meet next year’s stringent crash-test standards, though. Whatever.

Each prancing horsepower is asked to move only 4.5 pounds, an order of magnitude beyond the 7.4 pounds/hp Ferrari 575M we drove here in April (AW, May 6), and comparable with built-for-racing machines like the American Le Mans Series GTS-class Saleen S7R. You want to be strapped down tight before you light this fuse. “THE FIRST OF FIVE LEDs embedded in the top rim of the steering wheel comes on at 6000 rpm. The last one comes at 8000 rpm and if you reach the redline at 8200 all five flash. When you see the first LED, be ready to shift. The buttons on the left adjust various dashboard display settings, which you will not use today. These buttons on the right of the wheel adjust the ASR, which communicates to the suspension and transmission—use the ‘race’ setting,

which Michael Schumacher set up to let you use the car to the fullest. But don’t turn the ASR all the way off—remember, we are taking telemetry today and we will know if you turn it off. The two arrow buttons are turn indicators; putting them there lets us make the shifter paddles symmetrical, without a stalk in the way. This silver button is to select the reverse gear.” So ran our instructions for how to drive the fastestever Ferrari production car, a machine made not only to resemble an F1 racing machine in appearance, but to offer a strong flavor of what it is like to drive an F1 car. From the pointed nose to the concentration of controls on and near the steering wheel to minimize hands-off driving time, from the Spartan carbon fiber interior trim to the carbon brakes to the electrohydraulic paddle-shifting mech-

anism, the Enzo strives to give the driver a direct connection to the Ferrari Formula One operation. That might well include the sense of paying the bills. After anteing up even the base sticker price in the United States of $670,000 (the car is already being advertised in this magazine’s classified pages at $1 million), these drivers will know they bought their rides, or they’ll need deep-pocket sponsors. Numbers more relevant to our coming track experience: 217-mph top speed; 1.36 g on the 400-meter skidpad; stand-still to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 3.65 seconds. In only 9.5 seconds, the time it takes most family sedans to get to 60 mph, the Enzo is doing 124 mph. Its Fiorano record lap is in the one-minute, 25-second range, fully five seconds quicker than an F50, though nearly 30 seconds shy of a genuine F2002 F1 race car. We will get only a brief taste of this driving delight at Fiorano. Four laps plus a cool-down and three more laps trundling around slowly for photography purposes. To fire it up you turn the key to the on position and push the red button in the center stack. The V12 sounds

for the road? MS: A road car is always a road car. It is hardly possible to compare a road car to a Formula One car. It has a lot of power and a lot of acceleration but nowhere near what a Formula One car has. But it is as close as I have got on the road, yeah. AW: Do you enjoy working on the road cars? MS: Yes I do, but I hate compromise and very often you have to take compromise with a road car and I dislike that. But Ferrari is a rather small company and producing only so many cars, so there is not the possibility of doing everything I would like to do. But it is the first sort of car like this I have been closely linked to and I am sure for the future better things can be done.

AW: What driving tips have you got for the FX? MS: It has two characters. If you are a known driver with some ability you can allow yourself to switch off the traction control. If not, I would suggest not to do so. There is a lot of power available. AW: Where have you driven it? MS: On the roads in Italy and on the test track. AW: Are you going to have one? MS: I think they are sold out, aren’t they? AW: Go on! You could have one if you wanted. MS: I am dealing with the president, but it’s hard. —JEREMY HART
LAT Photographic

MICHAEL SCHUMACHER: “They have to find the right mixture of what is valid from my side and what is still important to the client.”



serious, but not temperamental, idling smoothly. Pull both paddles back for neutral, then the right one, designated for upshifts, to select first gear. Check that the fly-away hand brake at your left has been released. Make sure there’s no red light on the dash, and on the wheel neither the far-left red LED to indicate serious trouble nor the far-right yellow hazard warning LED is lit, and squeeze the right pedal to move away. Smooth as silk. Mash the pedal down hard, select second when the first LED lights and that wild howl as the engine crosses the 6000-rpm line and gets really serious about pushing you along tell you you’re going fast, but man, it’s a sweet kind of fast. Nothing punishing, nothing nervous about the car’s behavior. Come onto the long frontstraight and nail the pedal to the floor, flip the paddle into third, fourth, then fifth, and it erases that smirk you had when they told you to be ready to shift on the first LED. C’mon, you thought, how lame do you think I am? But, indeed, all five light up quickly, like stop this beast!) and park the fool car well short of the corner. The big six-piston front and four-piston rear Brembo calipers just grab hold of the carbon discs, nearly 15 inches in diameter at both ends, and the speedometer numbers go down faster than a WorldCom profit projection. You can stand trackside and watch the brake lights come on, then go off, and hear the car accelerate to get to Turn One. The relatively low mass certainly helps, as it does in the cornering. Which brings us to this: After my four laps, in mine; not in four laps, anyway. Fast corners are all about early commitment, and with someone else’s $670,000 prototype, that was a commitment I was unwilling to make. At my pace, just under 20 seconds shy of Benuzzi’s 90-second lap (a special chicane was inserted today to guide the inexperienced into the ultra-slow right that leads to the flyover bridge, so there were no 1:25s), the Bridgestone Scuderias were barely making noise at something like 0.8 g. And at that pace, there’s no

Most controls are on the wheel; horn buttons are thumb-size indents, LED tach indicators in the upper rim, arrow buttons for turn signals.

up and you’re into the first turn. There’s no squat to speak of under acceleration, and the adaptive shocks (using internal valving, not the faster-acting magnetorheological designs GM is putting into production for 2003) contribute to this. As we gather speed and get familiar with the track again, the remarkable thing is how unremarkable it seems at first. Flat, no real roll, no real dive or squat, sharp turn-in, responsive steering. Tunnel vision

some old Mercury sequential turn signal, and you have to be ready to yank the paddle or risk engaging the rev limiter. Never did, though... the LEDs are a fine addition when going quickly, letting us drive Enzo hard without bumping the rev limiter that we found a couple of times in the slower but LED-less 575M. Everyone has the same experience first time into the slow first turn when going fast. Hit the brake pedal hard (I’m gonna die here if I don’t

they downloaded my telemetry into a laptop PC, printed it out and handed it to me. My trace in black, test-driver Dario Benuzzi’s in red. How much is driving Enzo like driving an F1 car? Well, when they handed me the readout, I started making excuses. That’s authentic. It’s one thing to say a car’s limits far exceed one’s own, another to be handed graphic evidence. In fast corners, the Enzo pulls 1 g routinely in the test driver’s hands. Not

roll. Just turn it in, squeeze on more power and then more and think, “Dang, there’s a lot more here than I’ll touch today.” I was cornering slowly enough that I could lay the power down early and often, so at least the throttle-angle sensor shows plenty of wideopen time on my telemetry trace. How early did I lift? Let’s just say that, although I did it for the sake of feeling its smooth engagement, I never had any genuine need for the ABS.



CREDIT THE SUSPENSION and tires, but don’t leave out the aerodynamics. The Cd is an unremarkable 0.36, but Enzo employs active aerodynamic elements that, because of the car’s high performance, work exactly opposite the usual practice for road cars. Instead of increasing downforce at the car’s top speed, the Enzo’s rear-lip spoiler and active spoilers in the underbody ahead of the front wheels deploy at cornering speeds and start to move into their low-drag configuration at speeds above 250 km/h (155 mph). Aerodynamicist Stefano Carmassi explains that a high-downforce configuration at speed would so compress the suspension that the car would need stiffer springs, with consequent ill effects on ride and handling at more normal velocities. Carmassi also equates the high-downforce/low-speed situation to the high-downforce setups on F1 cars at such slow circuits as Monaco, while the lower-drag/lowdownforce configuration parallels the setup the Grand Prix cars use at Indy. Road cars, unlike FIA-approved race cars, are allowed to have the best of both worlds through active aerodynamic control. How about the resultant styling, though? Some regard it as unfortunate, and Montezemolo himself even says that Pininfarina “went too far,” but that going too far was the aim for the entire project, to push to the limits. “It was important for the V12 Enzo to do something unique outside and inside,” he says. “This is our most innovative product, ever. Pininfarina was innovative to the point of even going too far. We wanted to go too far.” And the styling has strong functional elements to it, Carmassi asserts. At 135 mph there is 990 pounds of down-

Enzo’s heart is the 6.0-liter, F140 V12 mounted amidships, source of rocketship thrust and mechanical music, and Ferrari’s biggest displacement V12 since the 712 Can-Am race car.

force, vs. 445 pounds in an F50 at the same speed. “The race nose, the [fenders], the outlets on top of the bonnet, are technically oriented features,” he says. Then, indicating the last few inches of the pointed nose, he says that was Pininfarina’s decision to emphasize the F1 connection. “The long nose is not strictly an aerodynamic feature, but it is good for us.” It helps channel air into a tunnel under the bodywork that moves the center of aerodynamic pressure rearward, aiding stability and balance at speed. At the rear, the underbody incorporates downforcegenerating tunnels that do real work at 120 mph. At Fiorano the fast kink left leading to Turn One, which felt twitchy in the 575M we drove here only a few months ago, can be driven much faster and with incredible stability. In fact, overall, the Enzo made the 575M feel like a big lazy sedan. It’s not, of course, it’s one of the world’s best sports cars (our readers even named

it America’s Best exotic). But the Enzo is so close to being a race-worthy car that it would be a shame if no one did what McLaren F1 owners did—take it to Le Mans. And yet, when we take our slow laps for the lads with the lenses, the Enzo also feels like something you could drive around town. Really. As tractable and easily managed as a Porsche Turbo. No automatic mode for this tranny, though; you must select gears consciously at all times. The latest Magneti Marelli F1 gearbox works faster than ever for a road car, snapping off crisp shifts in 0.150 second vs. 0.220 in the 575M Maranello. If it weren’t for the synchronizers on the road-going box, chief engineer Felisa says, the Enzo’s actual shift time would be only 10 percent longer than the 0.055 second in the Grand Prix car. Synchros are necessary because the road-going gearbox must operate in such a wide variety of circumstances. Part of the trick this time was reducing the inertial

mass to shorten the synchro reaction time. Another part was to overlap engagement of the gear and engagement of the clutch, rather than making each a discrete element, this being closer to the way good drivers work. Roberto Fedeli, who headed up drivetrain development, said shift programming refinements, continuing as Ferrari gears up to build the first cars for January delivery, might still take as much as another 0.050 second off the shift time in Enzo. The crucial period now is not the actual motion of the gear shafts, but the engagement/disengagement of the clutch in coordination with the throttle position and the synchros meshing. This simply highlights Montezemolo’s assertion that never in the past 10 years, his tenure at Ferrari, has so much racing technology made its way into a Ferrari street car. This racing-to-road transformation is so much at the core of what Enzo Ferrari was all about, that the name seems justifiable—if a bit awkward. (The Ferrari Enzo Ferrari? The Enzo Ferrari by Ferrari? Even Ferrari itself sometimes resorts to using simply EF.) Limited to a production run of 349 cars (70 for the United States) and at such a high sales price, the Enzo is some people’s very definition of irrelevance, of conspicuous consumption run amok. But the Enzo—with such coming rivals as the Porsche Carrera GT and the McLaren-built Mercedes SLR—defines the state of the art, just as the F40 and Porsche 959 did in the late 1980s. Today we have “ordinary” sports cars that perform like those influential icons of the recent past, and tomorrow, perhaps, we’ll all benefit from spin-off technical development fostered by the Enzo. It’s a future worthy of your anticipation. s



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