World auto groups are paying more and more attention to the environmental protection. Ferrari was not supporting the idea of global electrification. However, starting from 2009 the attitude of the Italian supercar manufacturer has changed and they are now forecasting bright future for the hybrid models.
At the 2010 Geneva Motor Show Ferrari revealed a concept with the in-house hybrid drive combined with KERS — brake energy regeneration system (used in Formula 1 race cars). The company stated that this Ferrari hybrid production vehicle would preserve all brand features and was intended to replace the standard 599 GTB Fiorano in the coming years. The first hybrid model produced by Ferrari will appear no sooner than 2015 and by 2018 all Ferrari cars will be equipped with similar powertrains.
UNOFFICIAL ECO VERSION
Craftsmen from the environment-oriented Scandinavia got tired of waiting and back in January 2012 they came up with their own project of a very eco-friendly Ferrari FF powered by E85 bio-ethanol (mixed with petrol in the ratio 85% bioethanol, 15% petrol).
Norwegian company Customized Products & Services (CPS) developed a special kit for Ferrari FF which allows switching the supercar to bio-ethanol. After several modifications the standard Ferrari FF becomes more powerful and environmentally safe thanks to using bio-fuel. The engineers from the CPS do not disclose the technological process they apply.
As a comparison, the standard FF version sprints to 100 km/h in 3.7 seconds. The supercar powered by bio-ethanol delivers 875 hp and is able to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in less than 3 seconds. Emission level is about 100 g per 1 km instead of 360 g/km which is actually an 80% reduction. Those are just fantastic numbers for a supercar!
As reported by the CPS one of Ferrari authorized dealers, the name of which is not disclosed, gave a trial to the kit by installing it on one of its customer’s cars.
So, if you have plenty of money and a desire to own a luxurious Italian supercar but your conscience does not allow you polluting the environment, which has already suffered a lot, you need to go straight to the CPS. According to different versions, the price of an “eco-kit” varies from 1,500 to 4,000 Euro. Considering that an FF with standard specifications costs about €230,000, the price of an option like that looks more like a free bonus. However, don’t even hope that such modifications applied to the standard model are going to be covered by the manufacturer’s insurance.
INTERESTING TO KNOW:
The CPS company is not world-wide famous. Oslo-based engineers are the suppliers of Kahn wheels; they deal with interior refinement and switching the engines to E85 bio-ethanol.
Ferrari FF was officially unveiled on March 1st, 2011 at the 2011 International Geneva Motor show. The FF (Ferrari Four) is the first all-wheel drive car featuring an unusual three-door shooting-brake body style in the entire brand’s history. Ferrari FF came to replace the 612 Scaglietti model and is 5mm longer than its predecessor (4,907 mm) and 30mm higher (1,379 mm).
Ferrari FF is produced with standard specifications only — it is fitted with a 6.3-litre 660-hp V12 featuring a continuous fuel injection system, and also a seven-speed F1 dual-clutch gearbox. The engine produces 485.4 kW at 8,000 rpm and 683 Nm of torque at 6,000 rpm. Its top speed is 335 km/h and the claimed fuel consumption rate is 15.4 litres per 100 km.
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Shortly after announcing the premiere, the customers secured more than 800 orders for the FF model. This number coincided with the planned production volume for 2011. At the same time, the price tag of the Ferrari FF does not frighten the customers. An all-wheel drive coupé costs around 15 million RUB (€300,000) in Russia.
The engine is mounted behind the front axle and is shifted closer to the cabin while the gearbox is installed above the rear axle maintaining perfect weight distribution — 46% for the front axle, 54% for the rear one. Due to applying new aluminium and magnesium alloys, the weight of the car (1,790 kg) is so small that it can boast of 2.7 kg per 1 horsepower ratio.
The major FF innovation is the all-wheel drive 4RM system which was patented by Ferrari. This system works on the principle that torque is automatically transmitted to the rear axle with the help of control system combined with the differential. The front of the engine is fitted with PTU — Power Transfer Unit. Essentially, it’s a very light second gearbox with only two gears shifted automatically.
PTU is connected to front wheels via independent left and right haldex-type clutches. These clutches are operated by the electronic controller which acts according to various movement parameters. The advantage of such scheme lies in its small weight (50% lighter than a similar standard scheme), wide range independent torque distribution among the wheels, and minor power loss.
The car features E-Diff — an electronic rear differential. If the electronic controller detects that too much torque was applied to rear wheels, the front wheels join in instantly with different amount of torque distributed to each of them.
4RM drive is activated when Comfort or Snow modes are engaged. In all other cases the car has the traditional rear-wheel drive. Torque is not distributed to the front axle when moving straight forward; and after accelerating up to 180–200 km/h the FF also loses its all-wheel drive function.
Adaptive sport suspension SCM3 is fitted with dampers which, in a split second, adjust their stiffness settings according to different road conditions for better handling precision. The car is equipped with high-performance Brembo brakes.
Semi-automatic sport F1-Tac gearbox provides instant gear change using a sequential scheme. The round Manettino controller located on the steering wheel is used to switch between all car system settings. When in Comfort mode, the FF is electronically controlled. Wet mode makes the FF similar to a front-wheel drive car. In Snow mode the gears are shifted in low rpm area, the sound of the engine can be barely heard, fuel consumption decreases. Sport mode gives a full experience of the 4RM drive in action when the stabilising system is switched off, and brakes and accelerator demonstrate an utterly aggravated reaction.
The design of the Ferrari FF was developed by the Carrozzeria Pininfarina S.p.A design studio. The “breed” is unmistakable — headlights with LED running lights remind of the Ferrari 458 Italia while the egg-crate grille and 4 exhaust tips resemble the Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano. All in all, the design of the model keeps with the spirit of the 1962 Ferrari 250 GT Drogo.
FF has it all — the comfort of a high-performance car, the power of a racing car and the style of a Gran Turismo car. Almost all controls are located on the sport steering wheel. Elongated narrow screen displays the speed of the car, tachometer, and the number of the selected gear with an index line up to 10,000 rpm. The arrow speedometer and other gauges are replaced by two more full featured LCD screens.
FF is the most spacious car Ferrari has ever had. 4 people can easily take their seats in the cabin of the all-wheel drive supercar. The car is fitted with two bucket seats in the front compartment, a commodious glove box, multi-functional armrest box between the front seats, a lot of adjustments and controls. It has a boot capacity of 450 litres which increases up to 800 litres with the rear seats fold flat.
DEDICATED TO APPLE ENTHUSIASTS:
Back in spring 2013 Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo was sorting out with Apple’s executives last details of their partnership which implied fitting the Ferrari FF supercar with Apple iPad Mini tablet computers for the back seat passengers. And the drivers should be provided with the Eyes Free system — voice-activated control based on Siri which allows completing some of the operations without distracting the driver’s attention. It gives a possibility to compose text messages or dictate the address for the navigation system using your voice only.
Luxurious black velvet wrap and stereo system with Dolby Surround Sound for the back seat passengers fit together just fine. Particularly discerning customers can choose Frau leather-trimmed interior. The finish is so delicate that you will have to forget about jeans or any rough clothes — cloth grain together with indigo blueness leave marks on fine leather.
Ferrari describes FF as the fastest all-wheel drive car in the world.