Ferrari At The 18th Naias 2006 Detroit Motor Show

10.January, 2006 @21:01     Tech News

Ferrari attends the 18th NAIAS 2006 Detroit Motor Show with five vehicles on display: the FXX, F430 Challenge, F430 Spider, and 612 Scaglietti in two-tone and Handling GTC versions. Ferrari is located on Stand 5 in Oakland Hall, the traditional home of the Prancing Horse at the Detroit Motor Show.

The year 2005 confirmed the extraordinary power of attraction that Ferrari products still exert, not only in traditional markets, but also in new and developing markets. In order to meet growing demand, while maintaining its natural exclusivity, Ferrari increased production, and exceeded 5,000 units in a single year for the first time ever; the main objective was to reduce the waiting time for its cars and to satisfy the demands from new markets that had interesting results.

At the NAIAS 2006 Motor Show in Detroit, the company will present, for the first time in North America, two models bringing together different elements that have been central to Ferrari’s philosophy throughout the company’s history. Making its debut at the Show is the FXX, a prototype aimed exclusively at 29 of its most dedicated and passionate clients, around which a truly innovative technical client-constructor collaboration programme has been developed. Also on display at Detroit is the F430 Challenge that will debut in the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli one-make championship in the 2006 season.

The FXX is the most technologically advanced GT car ever to emerge from Maranello. It will be used exclusively on track as part of a specific ongoing research and development programme featuring the first ever group of "Client Test Drivers". This model has not been homologated for road use and racing activities are not foreseen.

The FXX is the culmination of Ferrari’s expertise in building special limited-series sports cars combined with its unparalleled racing experience. The FXX will provide the basic framework on which the specifics of future extreme models will be developed. The exceptionally powerful FXX delivers absolutely blistering performance: It is powered by an imposing 6262 cm3 V12 engine

which develops over 800 hp at 8500 rpm. The gearbox is the result of the transfer of F1 technology and delivers gear change times of less than 100ms. This is almost as fast as the F1 cars, themselves the absolute pinnacle of current technological achievement. The FXX has a dry weight of 1155 kg with a power-weight ratio of 1.44 kg/hp and completed a lap of Fiorano in under 1’18’’00 – a time which gives an indication of the sheer power and performance of this magnificent car.

The FXX’s aerodynamic design is also particularly innovative – with a 40% increase in downforce compared to the already impressive Enzo. Ferrari’s tyre partner, Bridgestone, developed a specific 19" slick tyre for the FXX, and Brembo created a special brake pad and cooling system for the 398 x 36 mm Composite Ceramic Material discs. Another unique feature of FXX is its sophisticated telemetry system which monitors and provides feedback in real time. The instrument panel, supplied by Magneti Marelli, is specifically designed for the FXX and incorporates a new data acquisition system. A video camera is also installed on the roof of each of the cars, pointing towards the rear, with a special TFT display on the dash removing the need for rear view mirrors.

The FXX package also includes participation in a series of 14 track events organised by Ferrari on various international-level circuits over the coming two years in Europe, North America and Japan, including the Ferrari World Finals. On these occasions, an official team of technicians will be on hand to provide any assistance and support required by the Client Test Drivers. In addition to these unique official events, Clients will also be able to take their cars out on the track independently during private sessions. If Clients wish to leave their car at Maranello while not in use, they will be transported directly by Ferrari to the various circuits for the scheduled events.

Given the car’s exceptional performance and the unique nature of the package, delivery of each FXX also includes an advanced driving course with tuition provided by the best professional drivers. Courses take place at the Fiorano circuit where Ferrari conducts its F1 single-seater testing. After the seat and the pedals have been individually molded for each driver, there will be a traditional "shakedown" followed by a training session to introduce the Client Test Drivers to test driving methodologies.

The first FXXs were delivered in mid-November 2005 and the last will be delivered to their owners by the end of April 2006. The FXX and the relative package cost a total of 1.5 million euro (excluding taxes). Applications to join the programme were evaluated by a special in-house committee.

The F430 Challenge it is also present at the Detroit NAIAS. The new racing car is derived from the 8-cylinder road-going berlinetta and will take part in the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli one-make championship in 2006. Over 100 F430 Challenge race cars will hit the tracks this year in the three groups of the series in the USA, Italy, and Europe.

Ferrari has also reaffirmed the strong link between its GT and sporting divisions with the new F430 Challenge which is specifically designed to meet the expectations of its sportier clients. The F430 Challenge retains the same general look and 490 hp engine as the road-going version. However, it also incorporates a large number of significant track-oriented modifications and a host of new features not seen in the 360 Challenge, which it joins on the track this season and completely replaces in 2007.

As ever, the transfer from Formula 1 is significant, particularly with regard to the braking system which uses carbon ceramic material (CCM) – a first for a Ferrari sports competition car. The electronic gearbox is also F1-derived and works in exactly the same way as the one used on the grand prix car. Fifth and sixth gear ratios have also been modified with respect to the road-going version, as has the final drive ratio, in order to make the most of the engine on all the circuits where the F430 Challenge will race. The new 19’’ slick tyres were specially developed by Pirelli to combine the extremely strict regulations that can call for long distances with extremely high performance.

The F430 Challenge boasts a kerb weight of just 1225 kg (excluding fuel). Weight has been reduced in every area of the car: of particular note are the Lexan® windscreen, the all-carbon fibre intake plenum cover, and specific exhaust system. Another important feature introduced in the F430 Challenge is the new steering wheel which has a quick release mechanism to provide easier access for drivers. The steering wheel also has buttons for communication with the pits, to set the pit lane speed and to interface with the new color digital instrument panel. The rear of the car is characterised by the specific exhaust system which has high central tail pipes, and by the modified grille which increases the extraction of hot air from the rear of the engine bay. The anti-roll bars, springs and single-rate shocks have also been modified for racing use. The F430 Challenge also features new centre locking wheels and pneumatic air jacks for faster wheel changes in the pit lane.

Ferrari is also finalizing development on the GT2 version of the F430, the competition model dedicated to national and international GT championships; the model will debut this year with more than 15 units. The GT2 version of the F430 will also participate to the 2006 American Le Mans Series (ALMS) championship.

In addition to the FXX and F430 Challenge, the Ferrari stand in Detroit also features an F430 Spider and two 612 Scaglietti models, which blend performance, elegance, and the driving pleasure characteristic of the Prancing Horse.

In particular, the Ferrari 2+2 pair demonstrates the unique aspects that resulted from the Carrozzeria Scaglietti Personalisation Programme, that 100% of Ferrari customers benefit from. One of the Ferrari 612 Scagliettis on display in Detroit is a special two-tone version – in Nero Daytona and Rubino Micalizzato. The other 612 on display is equipped with the optional "Handling GTC" pack, which, among other things, includes the braking system with carbon-ceramic discs (CCM), ball-polished modular wheels and highly-advanced F1 gear change software and is targeted at customers who desire a more dynamic handling.

Confirming its international recognition, both the open and closed versions of the F430 have garnered a significant number of awards from magazines in the sector: Road & Track and Auto Week (USA), Quattroruote (Italy), Auto Motor und Sport and Auto Zeitung (Germany), Top Gear (United Kingdom) and Sport Auto (France), among others.

2005 was an important year for Ferrari both in terms of the company set-up, commercial successes and the new products it unveiled.

In April, the Ferrari Maserati Group was split out and ownership of Maserati was transferred to Fiat in order to allow the Trident to establish a closer technical and commercial relationship with Alfa Romeo, particularly on the major international markets. Nonetheless, Ferrari and Maserati continue to collaborate on an industrial level, and with regard to technical projects, engines and sales network.

At the end of July, Mubadala, an Abu Dhabi government investment group, acquired a 5% share in Ferrari from Mediobanca and was immediately committed to being an extremely reliable and stable partner with a range of exciting new business strategies to share. In early November, Ferrari and Aldar, an Abu Dhabi real estate company, announced an exclusive agreement to develop an innovative and exciting Ferrari Area in Abu Dhabi themed around the Ferrari brand.

In October, a few important changes were announced in the Sales Organization. The American branch, led by Maurizio Parlato, is now responsible also for the countries of Central and South America. The creation of a new Sales Department was also announced for the Asia-Pacific area. This region covers a total of 13 markets, amongst which are Japan, China, Australia and Hong Kong. The region has enormous potential for development and is extremely strategic for Ferrari which envisages commercial successes in coming years.

In 2005, Ferrari set a new sales record with well over 5,000 vehicles delivered. This historic threshold was crossed thanks to the performance of the F430 in the berlinetta and Spider versions, and the 612 Scaglietti with 834 units delivered. Even the Superamerica limited series (559 cars built and sold out in few months after its presentation at NAIAS 2005) also made substantial contributions to this achievement.

North America (with an increase of approximately 8% over vehicles delivered in 2004), Italy, United Kingdom and France were all especially significant in terms of the positive evaluation of the past year. Important contributions were also made by new and developing markets (Middle East +41%, Eastern Europe +92%, South America +36%), which generated a substantial increase in volume without compromising the exclusive character of the brand. In China, with a brand new commercial network, Ferrari delivered 82 cars (about +100% vs year 2004).

For Ferrari, the commercial successes that characterized this past year translated into a turnover and an operating result that predict a significant improvement over the previous fiscal year.

Ferrari in North America

2005 marked Ferrari North America’s 13th consecutive year of sales growth. The year ended with approximately 1,550 units retailed with an increase of 8%. Outstanding products, an upgraded dealer network and an ownership experience unlike any other have been the primary drivers of this extraordinary span of growth.

North America is the most important market for Ferrari, representing approximately 30% of the marque’s worldwide sales. Ferrari’s top car market in North America is California, which accounts for 27% of sales, followed by the Northeast with 16% of sales, Florida with 11%, Texas with 7% and Chicago with 6%.

The Ferrari dealer network grew in 2005, expanding to 36 dealers (32 in the United States, four in Canada) with the addition of two recently opened locations in Silicon Valley, California, and in Las Vegas, Nevada. Existing dealers have also made significant investments in upgrading their facilities and improving their processess. In fact, the dealer network has collectively invested approximately $75 million in recent years. In 2004, Ferrari North America opened a showroom on 410 Park Avenue in New York City to showcase its extraordinary products in one of America’s most prestigious locations.

In order to strengthen and consolidate Ferrari’s presence in Central and South America, Ferrari S.p.A. has given responsibility to Ferrari North America for countries in this region effective January 1st, 2006. Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, and Venezuela are the key markets in this area and Ferrari is represented at twelve sales outlets. This consolidation is expected to strengthen the network and improve customer satisfaction.

Ferrari North America Inc., located in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, is headed by Maurizio Parlato, President and CEO, now in his fourth year at the helm of Ferrari’s largest market worldwide. Ferrari North America is the sole authorized importer and distributor of Ferrari sports cars in North America and is responsible for all organization and operating requirements for the marque in the United States and Canada, including the technical training and spare parts service. Ferrari North America has a retail facility on the West Coast of the United States, Ferrari of San Francisco.

The Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli 2006

2006 will mark the 14th consecutive year of the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli. This series is more than one of the most respected and professional Gentleman’s Racing Series. It is the embodiment of the Ferrari lifestyle combining exclusive ambiance with thrilling competition. The series offers F430 Challenge and 360 Challenge owners the opportunity to use their race cars as they were intended. At certain venues classic models compete in a separate series which also may include historic and legendary Formula 1 cars. As a special highlight, the FXX may also be seen going through its paces at select Challenge events this year.

This year the series will welcome the new F430 Challenge, the 8-cylinder berlinetta-derived competition car. The F430 Challenge retains the same general look and 490 hp engine as the road-going version. However, it also incorporates a large number of significant track-oriented modifications and a host of new features not seen in the car currently used in the series, the 360 Challenge, which it joins on the track next season and completely replaces in 2007.

In 2006 the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli racing series celebrates its 13th consecutive season in North America with six events scheduled throughout the year and a final event hosted in Italy. The final in October hosts participants from all over the world and wraps up the season with two days of competition in a festival of speed and performance. This year’s North American calendar will kick-off with the first race at the Homestead Miami Speedway in the second week of April. Races will follow at Infineon Raceway in Northern California in May, at Mt. Tremblant in early June, in Montreal in support of the Formula One race in late June, at Road America, Wisconsin in July and at Portland in August.

Ferrari first organised the Shell Historic Challenge back in 1996, for cars built by Ferrari prior to 1982 and in 1999 the series was opened up to include the Maserati marque. There are five events scheduled for 2006 in North America, four of them concurrent with Challenge races: Infineon Raceway, Mt. Tremblant, Road America and Portland. The season debut will be held in January as part of the Cavallino Classic weekend in Florida.