After various leaks and rumours over the past few months, Ferrari – via its official customer magazine – has confirmed it will launch a new supercar to succeed the Enzo in 2013. It's been officially named as the Ferrari F150, and it will be powered by a V12 engine bolstered by a F1-style KERS hybrid system.
Supercars are defined by their engines – what powers the new Ferrari F150 supercar?
A V12, of course, mid-mounted and driving the rear wheels. It’s a development of the 730bhp 6.3-litre V12 found in the F12 Berlinetta, which we hear will be pushed to over 800bhp. Together with the first road-going application of Ferrari’s HY-KERS electric hybrid system (rumoured to produced around 120bhp) insiders tell us that the F150 will demolish the 0-62mph sprint in a Bugatti-beating sub-2.5 seconds. The HY-KERS systems also, Ferrari says, cuts the 0-124mph time by 10% – call that about 8.5 seconds – while the top speed will be over 200mph.
But the HY-KERS system also reduces CO2 emissions by 40%, and allows for a torque vectoring system of chassis electronics. Plus, claims Ferrari, as the electric motor, battery pack and all the associated ancillaries have a weight-to-power ratio of one (reckon on 120kg for the 120bhp) the overall power-to-weight ratio of the F150 is unaffected.
Ferrari F150: an F1 car for the road
'There are the F1 cars, there are the GT cars, and in the middle we have these cars,' Ferrari’s technical director Roberto Fedeli explains. 'We want to transfer the technology from racing to production and this is the way to do it. The concept of these cars is to put together all the innovations that we have. Not just one or two components, but everything that might become a component on our GT cars. They’re simply a forecast of the technology you’ll see across the range in the future.'
The F150 uses a carbonfibre monocoque chassis, built in the Ferrari F1 team’s composites department. It uses four different types of carbonfibre in across key areas, which Ferrari says has increased torsional rigidity over the Enzo by 27%.
The driver’s seat is fixed (the steering wheel and pedal box are adjustable, just like in F1 cars) so the whole car has been shrunk tightly around the cabin – a double-bubble roof ensures enough space for helmet-wearing owners on track. The fuel tank and batteries are located just behind the cockpit, set as low as possible to lower the centre of gravity. Ferrari claims the F150 is no taller than a 458 Italia, and despite the V12 engine, HY-KERS system and double-clutch gearbox, the wheelbase is no longer either.
Ferrari F150: the styling
‘I wanted a front end still inspired by F1,’ Ferrari’s design director Flavio Manzoni told the Italian supercar company’s official magazine. ‘So how to do it? Of course it’s not easy, but this is the most exciting project in the world! There’s no comparison. This is the pinnacle of everything, of the aesthetics and technology of Ferrari. This always had to be a masterpiece.’
From the two teaser pictures so far released – and the ‘official’ spy shots – it’s clear that the F150 still resembles its Enzo predecessor, but the carbonfibre bodywork is drawn much tighter around the mechanical package as Ferrari’s design team have worked to optimise the aerodynamics of its latest supercar. There’s a low nose, with an intake stretching the width of the car, and another grille recessed into the heavily louvered bonnet above the Ferrari badge. The wings rise up only high enough to accommodate the front wheels, ditto at the rear where there's also an F1-style central fog light. There are quad exhausts, with two pipes below each single circular rear light.
Will Ferrrari’s first hybrid be a bit dull?
Not if Fedeli has anything to do with it: ‘The F150 will be the Ferrari with the greatest transfer between F1 and a road car that we ever did. We are trying to anticipate the future with this car. We are trying hard to achieve the technical limit of every single component we are using, and also the packaging of the car as a whole. We are building a car close to the limits of technology, but we will only have succeeded if you can feel the result. The real objective of a special Ferrari is feeling, feeling, feeling.’
Ferrari is expected to unveil the F150 in spring 2013. Only around 400 F150s are expected to be built, but all have already been sold, at around £800,000 each.