These are the first official pictures and details of the Ferrari FXX K – LaFerrari’s riposte to the 986bhp McLaren P1 GTR. You didn’t think Ferrari was going to let McLaren have the ultra-rich track car crowd all to itself, did you?
Based on the roadgoing LaFerrari, the FXX K is the latest output from Ferrari’s XX programme, a series of no-rules circuit cars that are so extreme they’re not only illegal to drive on the road, they don’t qualify for any racing series either. Previous models include the Enzo-based FXX and the 599XX.
Ferrari FXX K: what’s in a name?
Distinguishing FXX K (LaFerrari) from FXX (Enzo) is the letter K. As such, some slightly injudicious spacing in the graphics on the side might just lead to this new car gaining an unofficial title, uncannily close to the word you’re likely to utter the first time you nail the throttle.
We digress. The K in FXX K stands for KERS, which is to say Kinetic Energy Recovery System. This directly references the electric motor in LaFerrari that provides an instant hit of extra power and torque, mirroring the set-up on modern Formula 1 cars.
As with everything else, the FXX K’s electric motor has been upgraded.
Exactly what do you mean by ‘upgraded’? How much power has the Ferrari FXX K got?
LaFerrari is no slouch, as we discovered when we pitted it against the McLaren P1 on the road (see the December 2014 issue of CAR and the video at the bottom of this page). The 'regular' LaFerrari has 950bhp courtesy of a 789bhp 6262cc V12 and a 161bhp electric motor means 0-62mph in under 3sec, 0-186mph in just 15sec and a top speed of 217mph.
For the FXX K the V12 gets new camshafts, mechanical tappets in place of the hydraulic standard items, redesigned and specially polished intake manifolds and a straight-through exhaust. Yep, Ferrari has eliminated the silencers.
The result is 848bhp – 59bhp more – before the electric motor enters the fray.
Rated at 187bhp the motor is also more powerful than standard. Controlled by a specific manettino switch on the centre console, there are four modes: Qualify for maximum short-burst performance; Long Run for sustained consistent running; Manual Boost for instant maximum torque; and Fast Charge to recover energy back into the battery in the shortest possible time.
Add all that together and you get a Ferrari with 1035bhp (and ‘in excess’ of 664lb ft). There are no performance figures quoted, but suffice to say it’ll be FXX K-ing fast.
So the FXX K is even wilder than it looks?
It does look pretty wild, doesn’t it? Mega aero ahoy. This starts at the front with a ‘twin-profile splitter’ that’s 30mm lower than the road car's. The gap in the centre of the lower section is influenced by Ferrari’s success in the GT category of the World Endurance Championship – which it’s won for the poast three years running.
All the other twiddly bits on the nose help generate ‘a longitudinal vortex that creates a localised depression’, which sucks the wake from the wheels and works with the side skirts to isolate the underbody airflow. This is then pulled out at the back by a massive rear diffuser, made possible by the extra downforce provided by the increased size of the extending rear wing, in turn managed by those crazy pushchair-handle winglets.
It looks like a spaceship. And it's claimed to be highly effective, as there’s 50% more downforce in the ‘low drag’ setting and 30% more at maximum, evidenced by the quoted 540kg of downforce generate at 200km/h (124mph).
What about chassis changes for the Ferrari FXX K?
To make the best possible use of all this performance and aero, Ferrari fits a bespoke set of Pirelli racing slicks, complete with a data-logging suite that monitors longitudinal, lateral and radial acceleration, in addition to the more usual temperature and pressure. Having this much info about how the tyre and the road surface are interacting allows for the best possible traction control management.
The five-position manettino switch on the steering wheel controls this, the electronic E-Diff, ‘Racing’ spec Side Slip Angle Control (SCC) and the ABS. Basically, we’re talking the closest you can get to automotive black magic.
So what’s the damage? How much will the Ferrari FXX K cost?
Although the car will be revealed at the 2014 Ferrari Finali Mondiali event in Abu Dhabi this weeked, Ferrari isn’t saying how much the FXX K will cost; this isn’t even a case of ‘if you have to ask, you can’t afford it’. Rather, if you haven’t been invited, there’s no way you’re getting one. The end.
Ok, not quite the end. At some point we might at least learn the total build number, but Ferrari really isn’t going to say anything about the price yet. Allocations aren't pinned down, either, though earlier XX-rated models were split evenly between Asia, Europe and the US.
For guidance, we know that the preceding Enzo-based FXX cost €1.3 million (plus local taxes), and for that Ferrari’s ‘Client-Test Drivers’ (not ‘owners’, as you don’t get to take the car home) got six track events and two ‘world finals’; the same deal for the 599XX cost €1.1 million (plus tax).
McLaren is charging around £2 million for its P1 GTR programme. In case that also gives you a clue.
Watch the standard roadgoing LaFerrari battle the McLaren P1 in the video below, accompanying the cover story of CAR magazine, December 2014. Available in print and digital editions now!