Posts Tagged ‘Ferrari’


Just the name of Ferrari’s in-house creator of specialty order projects sounds tantalizingly vague. Maybe MI6 enlists Ferrari Special Projects to whip up something bespoke for Mr. Bond while he’s on a secret mission in Italy or perhaps Tony Stark decides to ditch his Lamborghini and get a bad-ass Ferrari for his next mission as Iron Man. Your imagination bursts with possibilities.

The difference between Ferrari Special Projects (FSP) and other in-house creators of one-off vehicles or concept cars is that customers, not corporate overlords, create the cars along with in-house engineers and designers, including outside design houses like Pininfarina, Fioravanti and Bertone. It’s even more intriguing because allegedly you can’t just sign a blank check to get a bespoke Ferrari delivered to your palace in Dubai.

Ferrari has to invite you to this private party or you don’t get past the hermetically-sealed secret doors at Ferrari’s Maranello HQ offices. The invitation list is so short that maybe only eleven or twelve lucky humans have been invited to work with FSP on their own creations and only four of the cars have been publicly revealed.

Ferrari has some basic rules for Special Projects. All the “hard points” are maintained to avoid the expensive and time-consuming process of re-homologation – the certification of a product or specification to indicate that it meets regulatory standards – and safety testing. The bodywork and interior coachwork can be as personalized. And the owner gets to keep the tooling to ensure that it remains a unique creation.

The first car, the SP1, was delivered in November of 2008, to businessman and past president of the Ferrari Club in Japan, Junichiro Hiramatsu. Mechanically it’s identical to the Ferrari F430 with a 4.3L 90-degree 32-valve V8 that powers the 3,000 pound SP1 with 490 hp.

The Ferrari F430 is the donor car for the SP1.

The Ferrari SP1 in 2008 with its owners.

The Ferrari SP1 at its gala debut party. Everyone was interested in this car.

The rear of the Ferrari SP1 based on the F430.

The bodywork of the SP1 was designed by Leonardo Fioravanti, the penman for many other Ferrari models. It has customized front and rear fascia, a carbon fiber front splitter, sills and a rear diffuser. The glass-look top “visually lightens” the car and provides contrast to the stunning Ferrari Red paint. It was first shown in the United States at the 2010 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

The North American unveiling of the Ferrari SP1 at Pebble Beach in 2010:

In 2009, the Ferrari P450 Superfast Aptera was delivered to super-tycoon Edward Walson, heir to a cable television fortune. The Superfast Aptera, based on the Ferrari 599, is powered by Ferrari’s Tipo F140c 5.99L V12 with 620 hp and 448 lb-ft of torque. The Tipo F140c is mated to Ferrari’s 6-speed F1 transmission.

The Ferrari 599. This particular example is the 599 GBT Fiorano. It’s the basis for the P450 Superfast Aptera.

Ferraro P450 Superfast Aptera front quarter

The P450 was the first open-top 599. To open the Targa-style roof and retain structural rigidity, Ferrari had to reinforce the chassis with carbon fiber. Pininfarina penned the gorgeous design. Ferrari lifted much of the P450’s roof design to create the production open-top SA Aptera the following year.

This rear shot of the P450 Superfast Aptera shows the Targa-style top removed.

This video is really just still shots stitched together, but you get the idea (turn down the volume as the soundtrack is annoying).

In 2011, New York Ferrari collector and real estate mogul Peter Kalikow took delivery of his Pininfarina-designed Superamerica 45 to celebrate the 45thanniversary of his first Ferrari purchase. They say money can’t buy happiness, but I’m sure Mr. Kalikow was pretty happy with his “anniversary” present.

The Ferrari Superamerica 45. Happy Anniversary!

The Superamerica 45 is based on the SA Aptera and is inspired by the 575M Superamerica. Mr. Kalikow’s car, like the P450 Superfast Aptera (above), is based on the Ferrari 599 mechanicals and body. No details were announced about the engine; however, it’s likely to have the same 5.99L V12 with the same power ratings as the Superfast Aptera.

This is the production Ferrari SA Aptera – an open-top 599. Slick stuff!

Instead of the fabric roof of the “stock” SA Aptera, the Superamerica 45 is endowed with a one-piece rotating carbon fiber roof that gently rests, upside down, on a carbon fiber trunk lid. It has a bespoke chrome grille and aluminum A-pillars. The interior sports a “carefully selected combination of Cuoio leather trim and Blu Scuro carbon fibre details and a latest-generation touch-screen infotainment system.”

The Ferrari Superamerica 45 from the rear.

Mr. Kalikow got super-matchy for his Superamerica 45’s color. The striking Blu Antille paint exactly matches his 1960 Ferrari 400 Superamerica Cabriolet – his first Ferrari. I’m sure both cars look stunning sitting in a gigantic secure garage in some secret, undisclosed location.

Watch the Superamerica 45’s carbon fiber top rotate down:

Watch and listen to the Superamerica 45 start and drive away. It looks like a swanky party in the Hamptons, right?

The most recent project (that we know about), SP12, is for music legend and Slowhand Guitar God, Eric Clapton. Based on the Ferrari F450 Italia, the SP12 EC (not a very original name) takes its inspiration from a vintage Ferrari 512 BB, a mid-engine flat-12 supercar from the 1970s/early 1980s. Mr. Clapton must have an affinity with these cars as he’s owned three.

A Ferrari 512 BB, the inspiration for Eric Clapton’s SP12 EC.

The Ferrari F458 Italia is the base car for Mr. Clapton’s SP12.

According to the Official Ferrari Magazine, Mr. Clapton had wanted a V12 engine; however, he was “persuaded” that the Italia’s 4.5L V8 (naturally-aspirated, direct-inject making 562 hp and 398 lb-ft of torque mated to a Getrag dual-clutch 7-speed gearbox) was more “practical.” As with some other SP-invitees, Mr. Clapton worked with Pininfarina to style the car. A fun detail is that the headlights were lifted from the Enzo and certainly change the look of the car.

Eric Clapton with his bespoke Ferrari F12 EC.

The front of the Ferrari SP12 EC. Check out the headlights from the Ferrari Enzo supercar.

The side and rear view of the Ferrari SP12 EC.

This video of Mr. Clapton’s Ferrari SP 12 EC is shaky, but you get the aural delight and a shot of those vanity plates. It drives from the Ferrari show room directly into a trailer for transport.

Mr. Clapton took delivery of his right-hand drive Ferrari SP12 EC at the beginning of 2012 but waited until March to register it so he could have the vanity registration plate “SP12 EPC” (Patrick is Mr. Clapton’s middle name). We should all have such problems.

I can’t wait to see future Special Projects. It’s always nice to dream about what I’d like to do for my own bespoke Ferrari.

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It’s always a feast for the senses when Ferrari debuts a new model. The F12 Berlinetta replaces the outgoing 599. The F is for Ferrari and the 12 is because it has a 12-cylinder engine.  Berlinetta, from Italian for “little saloon” has been used by Ferrari in the past to designate a sports coupé.  And what a sports coupé it is. The F12’s 720 hp, 509 lb-ft of torque V12 propels the F12 from zero to 62 mph in a mere 3.1 seconds and has a top speed of 211 mpg – just in case you were wondering.

Ferrari has released the below photos and videos ahead of the F12’s world debut at the 2012 Geneva Auto Show. The 82nd International Motor Show and Accessories Press Preview is 6th-7th March 2012. It opens to the great unwashed masses 8th-18th March 2012 in lovely Geneva, Switzerland. Just in case you were in the neighborhood and want to drop in.

There is the usual hand wringing and grumbling that the new Ferrari is over-wrought, it looks too busy, the lines aren’t classic or pleasing to the eye; however, it will sell out and it will be a prized possession by Ferrari enthusiasts all over the world.  No price has been released yet, but the outgoing 599 GTO had a base MSRP of $416,100 and I’d expect the F12 to be in $400,000 range.  If you have to ask….

2013 Ferrari F12 Berlinetta - Front

2013 Ferrari F12 Berlinetta - Rear

2013_Ferrari Berlinetta - Side

2013 Ferrari F12 Berlinetta - Front, Right

2013 Ferrari F12 Berlinetta - Rear, Right

2013 Ferrari F12 Berlinetta - Cockpit

2013 Ferrari F12 Berlinetta - Interior

Below is the full press release from Ferrari dated February 29, 2012:

Announcing the F12 Berlinetta: the fastest Ferrari ever built
The first in a new generation of V12 cars unveiled exclusively on http://www.ferrari.com

Maranello, 29th February 2012 – Today’s on-line unveiling of the F12 Berlinetta ushers in a new generation of Ferrari 12-cylinders in the form of a car that delivers unprecedented performance from an exceptional new engine, combined with innovative design that redefines classic themes along with extreme aerodynamics.

Revealed to the world for the first time on Ferrari.com in preparation for its official debut at the Geneva International Motor Show, the F12 Berlinetta, finished in an attractive new Rosso Berlinetta three-layer colour, represents the very cutting-edge of mid-front-engined sports cars.

This is, in fact, the most powerful and high-performance Ferrari road car ever launched thanks to the incredibly efficient engine – in terms of mechanical, combustion and fluid-dynamics efficiency – which, together with advanced vehicle architecture, aerodynamics, components and electronic controls, guarantee unsurpassed driving involvement whatever the road or track.

Ferrari’s traditional transaxle layout has been revolutionised to match the more extreme performance of the car. The wheelbase has been shortened and the engine, dashboard and seats have been lowered in the chassis, while the new layout of the rear suspension and gearbox enabled Ferrari’s engineers to make the rear volume of the car smaller. The overall result is a very compact car with a lower centre of gravity that is further back in the chassis, and a level of aerodynamic efficiency that sets new standards.

Scaglietti, renowned for its expertise in aluminium materials and construction, designed an all-new spaceframe chassis and bodyshell using 12 different kinds of alloys, some of which have been used here for the first time in the automotive sector, and employing new assembly and joining techniques. This has resulted in a 20 per cent increase in structural rigidity while reducing weight to just 1525 kg (70 kg less than the previous V12 coupé) with an ideal distribution between the axles (54 per cent over the rear).

The F12 Berlinetta’s 6262 cc 65° V12 engine delivers unprecedented performance and revs for a naturally-aspirated 12-cylinder. Its maximum power output is 740 CV which translates to a specific output of 118 CV/l. Torque reaches a peak of 690 Nm, 80 per cent of which is already available at just 2,500 rpm, and which provides an unrelenting surge of acceleration all the way to the 8,700 rpm limit. The engine is mated to the F1 dual-clutch transmission, which has closer gear ratios developed specifically for this car’s performance. The F12 Berlinetta boasts a weight-to-power ratio of just 2.1 kg/CV .

Fuel consumption has been reduced by 30%, with CO2 emissions of just 350 g/km – figures which put the F12 Berlinetta at the top of the high-performance league. These results have been obtained by extensive research and development which focused on efficiencies of the whole vehicle: engine, aerodynamics, tyres and weights.

Similarly excellent results have been obtained with the car’s aerodynamic development, thanks to the integration of the design process with extensive computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations and lengthy testing in the wind tunnel. Downforce has been boosted by 76 per cent (123 kg at 200 km/h) while drag has been significantly reduced (the Cd is just 0.299). These results come courtesy of two new solutions. The first of these is the Aero Bridge which uses the bonnet to generate downforce by channelling air away from the upper part of the car to its flanks where it interacts with the wake from the wheel wells to decrease drag. The second is Active Brake Cooling, a system that opens guide vanes to the brake cooling ducts only at high operating temperatures, again reducing drag.

The F12 Berlinetta’s impressive technical specifications are completed by Ferrari’s latest generation carbon-ceramic brakes (CCM3) and the evolution of the magnetorheological suspension control system (SCM-E). As is now traditional with all Ferraris, its control systems (E-Diff, ESP Premium, F1-Trac, and high-performance ABS) are all fully integrated.

The result is that the new Prancing Horse 12-cylinder accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 3.1 seconds and from 0 to 200 km/h in 8.5 seconds. It also completes a lap of the Fiorano circuit in 1’23”, faster than any other Ferrari road car. Benchmark performance and maximum driving involvement are guaranteed by immediate turn-in, with smaller steering wheel angles, and increased cornering speed. Stopping distances have also been drastically reduced.

The design of the F12 Berlinetta is a result of the collaboration between the Ferrari Styling Centre and Pininfarina and is a perfect balance of uncompromising aerodynamics with harmonious proportions interpreting the typical elements of Ferrari’s front-engined V12 cars in an original and innovative way. A coupé with sleek, aggressive lines whose compact exterior dimensions conceal exceptional in-car space and comfort. The all-new Frau leather interior highlights the balance of advanced technology and sophisticated, handcrafted detailing. In the middle of the light and lean dashboard, there are new carbon fibre and aluminium air vents clearly inspired by the aeronautic field.

The cabin has been optimised to ensure maximum usability of the interior space with additional luggage capacity behind the seats, which can also be easily reached thanks to the large aperture offered by the tail-gate. With the cockpit designed around the driver, typical of all Ferraris, the Human Machine Interface approach is emphasised, grouping all the major commands within immediate reach to guarantee maximum ergonomics for the most involving driving experience.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

Engine
Type 65-degree V12
Total displacement 6262 cc
Maximum power output 740 CV at 8500 rpm
Maximum torque 690 Nm at 6000 rpm
Dimensions and weight
Length 4618 mm
Width 1942 mm
Height 1273 mm
Dry weight* 1525 kg
Weight distribution 46% front, 58% rear
Weight-power ratio 2,1 kg/CV
Performance
Maximum speed over 340 km/h
0-100 km/h 3.1 seconds