Ferrari always has sought to pull owner passions closer to the company’s heart, which is its racing heritage. In the 1930s, Enzo himself sold Alfa Romeos from his Scuderia Ferrari stable, then tuned, transported, and maintained them for private entries. More recently, Ferrari has sponsored the Euro-American F360 Challenge for gentlemen sports car racers. It also operates the Corse Clienti program, which sells briefly used but horribly abused Ferrari Formula One cars to the very rich and totally frustrated single-seater pilots.
Now Ferrari is introducing the FXX program, the ultimate fantasy league through which, by the spring of 2006, a blessed few—mostly Europeans and a few Americans are on the short list—will be invited to invest $1.8 million in an Enzo-based, 250 mph, 800 hp GT car. Buyer and blisteringly quick mount then will spend the next two years playing a minor role in major European motorsports.
Inept drivers need not apply. Ferrari will build only 20 FXX cars (hence the Roman numeral designation) by the end of this year, and the company will scrutinize all owner-driver applicants for their dedication, experience, ability, and fitness. Each will travel to the Ferrari test track at Fiorano, only a few upshifts from the factory and Mecca at Maranello, to participate in a driving course staffed by professional factory and competition drivers. Each new FXX owner will graduate as an official Team Ferrari Test Driver, schooled not simply in quick exits and taut turn-ins, but in precise test-driving disciplines. Team members will use that training when they drive on world-class circuits, racing for telemetry rather than trophies. They will produce data on more than three dozen dynamics parameters. Ferrari will monitor this feedback and employ it when developing future vehicles.
The FXX car itself could be considered the Super Enzo, a heavily revised version of the limited edition Enzo (with its piddling 660 hp) and the fastest-ever Ferrari. Its V-12 engine has been bored out to 6.2 liters from 6.0 liters, and performance tweaks include enlarged air intakes, racing slicks, and ceramic brakes by Brembo. The FXX’s adjustable spoiler, flares, and diffusers belong to an aerodynamics package that, Ferrari says, increases downforce by more than 40 percent over the standard Enzo. Ferrari will garage the car for drivers between events.
“It is without doubt the ultimate automotive experience,” says Luca Dal Monte, lead spokesman for Ferrari North America. “The whole idea [of FXX] is what Ferrari has always provided, an open two-way street for clients between our street cars and our racecars.”