Ferrari Proves Hybrids Aren’t Only For Environmentalists

This is the Ferrari FXX K, a track-only LaFerrari-based hyper exclusive hybrid supercar that will make its debut at the Yas Marina circuit’s Finali Mondiali in Abu Dhabi this weekend.

Ferrari shocked the world when it revealed its first hybrid supercar at the 2013 Geneva auto show. Though the Italian company trailed McLaren’s hybrid entry (the P1 unveiled in Paris 2012) and Porsche’s 918 first appeared in concept form back in 2010, I always thought the LaFerrari was a more elegant sculptural form, not a track day hooligan.

I was wrong. With the FXX K (K for KERS) Ferrari is jumping head first into the racing arena, though not a competitive one — if that makes any sense at all.

The XX moniker is a test bed for extreme variants of existing models and, as expected, the FXX K has been developed with the latest cutting edge technological innovations. Unfettered by homologation and racing regulations it is powered by a 6.3-liter V12 mated to a 140Kw electric motor for a combined 1036 hp and 664 ft-lb of torque (the V12 itself is good for 848 hp and 553 ft-lb). That’s an 86 hp increase over the LaFerrari.

The body, honed in-house in Maranello’s wind tunnel, features both active and passive aerodynamics. At the front, razor thin headlamps sit low in the fenders while a 30mm lower twin-profile spoiler and larger splitter employ two pairs of vertical elements that channel air towards the bodysides.

Ferrari says the set up generates a longitudinal vortex that creates a localized depression, which sucks the wake from the wheels to the outside of the underbody and helps isolate the underbody to boost efficiency and performance.

The aero solutions on the rear include a higher tail section and a mobile spoiler that extends 60mm when fully deployed. A vertical fin and a small wing each side of the tail act as guide vanes in the low drag configuration and boost the spoiler’s efficiency in the high downforce mode.

The spoilers, fins, wings, sill extensions and flat underbody result in a 50 percent improvement in downforce over the standard LaFerrari, which translates into 1200 pounds of downforce at 124 mph.

The interior is suitably stripped down and devoid of the accouterments found in the road going LaFerrari, though it does retain the electronic instrument cluster. By ridding the cockpit of all unnecessary items, Ferrari was undoubtedly able to reduce the FXX K’s overall weight, though there are no figures to support the claim.

If you’re thinking “how much?” — don’t bother. Ferrari has already hand picked an exclusive group of ‘client-test drivers’ very rich people test the car’s capabilities over the next two years. There is one caveat: lucky owners are simply guinea pigs in the ‘client-test program’, welcome to drive the car on closed circuits as the company’s engineers watch over them and acquire data. FXX cars don’t even live in their owners’ garages.

Still, it’s a nice perk to be able to flog a Ferrari around a track for the day and have it whisked away and cared for by the people that built it afterwards.


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