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30th January, 2006
Australian deliveries of the Ferrari Superamerica may now be underway, but with just six destined to find a home in Australia the Melbourne International Motor Show (9th-19th February, 2006) will probably be most people's one and only opportunity to see this 320 km/h car.
Amazing though the top speed and the 0-100 km/h time of 4.2 seconds may be, they are not the only super-fast things about this new Ferrari. At the flick of a switch, the entire glass roof not only opens in just ten seconds, a feat it can also perform while on the move, but also at the flick of another switch it is also possible to turn down the sun by as much as 99 per cent. The Revocromico roof can change its light transmission properties, either letting through 99 per cent of the sun, or cutting it back to just one per cent.
Powered by a 5.7 litre 375 kW V12 engine, the performance is as seamless as it is remarkable, with the hand built, race-bred V12 providing acceleration that redraws any previous perception of performance.
Also on the Ferrari stand at the Melbourne International Motor Show will be the Ferrari F430 and F430 Spider, alongside its four seat car, the V12-powered Ferrari F612.
The Ferrari F430 is a mid-engined sports car, blending performance with impeccable road manners. A host of features and technology in the F430 could have only come from Ferrari's Formula One programme, from chassis design and development, to the state-of-the-art aerodynamics to the electronics that make the F430 a unique combination: A true supercar that can be easily used as everyday transport. The F430 Spider is no less remarkable. Ferrari has totally side-stepped the sometimes familiar problems of soft-top cars, extra weight sapping performance and a loss of rigidity causing detrimental effects to the handling and road holding. The bodyshell strengthening to maintain the rigidity of the F430 Coupe is as light as it is strong and this means that the Spider is every bit the super car that the F430 Coupe is with the added attraction of roof-off motoring.
No less remarkable is the Ferrari F612 Scaglietti. This is a four seater, with a generous boot that is capable of effortless swallowing enormous distances, as a grand tourer, but at the same time it has a chassis that enables it to be a sports car. It is a car that is as happy and at ease cruising at 250 km/h (where legal) - well short of its top speed of 320 km/h, as it is being hurled up and down a tight and twisting mountain road. Powered by the same 5.7 litre V12 engine as the Superamerica, the performance is totally seamless, with an effortless rush towards the horizon available in any and every gear at any road speed.
As would be expected in the rarefied world of the Ferrari end of the market, all models may be tailored to specific desires. Take colours, for example. There is the standard Ferrari colour range, but it is also possible to have a colour from any period of Ferrari's rich history or, if the customer provides a colour sample, a Ferrari may be produced in any colour.
There are a host of technical options, too. These include carbon-ceramic brakes. These combine the epic stopping ability of a car equipped with racing brakes and pads without the drawback of racing brakes of having to be warmed up before they become operational. They are effectively fade-free and make race track stopping performance fully available for road use.
THE FERRARI SUPERAMERICA
The Ferrari Superamerica combines Ferrari 12-cylinder sportscar performance with a highly original, innovative take on the ever-versatile convertible.
The Superamerica is the first production car to adopt a pioneering rotating roof which transforms it from a coupe to a convertible in jut a few seconds. Derived from the 575M Maranello, the Superamerica is available with either an F1-style or manual gearbox, and is fitted with the latest development of the V12 engine.
Thanks to the electrically operated rotating roof, which incorporates electrochromic technology, the Superamerica is the world's fastest convertible berlinetta. The exclusive and unmistakably Pininfarina-designed Superamerica is produced in a limited series, just like the 1950s and 60s cars it is named after.
Exterior and Interior Styling
Styled by Pininfarina, the Superamerica retains the beautifully balanced proportions typical of Ferrari's V12 berlinettas, cleverly integrating the model's unique Revocromico roof.
This innovative feature integrates seamlessly with the car's lines thanks to the two side buttresses, a styling cue taken from some of Ferrari's classic models. The buttresses also provide rollover protection along with the roof structure itself. Muscular curves characterise the whole rear section of the new Ferrari Superamerica and the car's sporting stance is further enhanced by the standard 19" split rims equipped with Bridgestone Potenza RE050 tyres.
The Superamerica is just as exclusive inside as out with meticulously handcrafted leather trim and carbon-fibre detailing specific to this model. Additional on-board storage space has been included, with a number of oddments as holders as well as a special compartment behind the seats. Clients may also opt to have the rev counter in either red or yellow.
The Ferrari Superamerica's most important feature is Fioravanti-patented rotating roof. Called the Revocromico roof to highlight its unique rearward rotating movement and electrochromic glass technology, the supporting structure is in carbon-fibre. Once the roof catch has been released, the Superamerica converts from a coupe to a drop top in less than 10 seconds. When opened the roof folds back and rests flush with the boot lid, while the rear window doubles as a highly effective wind deflector.
Another advantage that this solution offers is that, even with the top down, the boot capacity in unaffected. The boot can also be opened regardless of whether the top is up or down. For owner's who plan to use their car with the top down for extended periods, a special all-weather tonneau cover is available which can easily be fitted.
The use of electrochromic glass for the Superamerica's rotating roof is a first in the automotive history. The roof is around one square metre in size and the tint of the glass can be modified using a 5-position switch located on the central tunnel.
In fact, the electrochromic glass, manufactured in collaboration with Saint Gobain, contains special electrochemical cells which give a range of five different tint levels. At the very lightest setting, the amount of light coming into the cockpit is the same as a conventional glass sunroof, while at the very darkest setting only 1% of solar rays filter through. It takes just 60 seconds for the glass to go from the darkest setting to the lightest. When the engine is turned off, however, the glass automatically reverts to its darkest setting to protect the cockpit.
Engine and Transmission
The Ferrari Superamerica is based in the most prestigious of all Ferrari's layouts- the V12. It features 65 degree vee architecture with twin overhead cams per cylinder bank and four valves per cylinder. The crankcase, cylinder heads and sump are all in aluminium alloy.
In finest Ferrari tradition, the V12 also adopts a dry sump lubrication system. The Superamerica's engine has been boosted to deliver 540 hp at 7,250 rpm (25 hp more than the 575M Maranello). This extra power was achieved by the use of new higher intake tracts, an improved flow coefficient thanks to the optimization of the fluid-dynamic characteristics of the cylinder head inlet ducts and inlet manifold.
Similarly, the new exhaust system design reduces backpressure. The Superamerica has a transaxle layout featuring a six-speed gearbox with multicone synchronisers. With regard to the F1 style gearbox, the introduction of the latest generation electronics not only makes for faster gear changing times in the manual Sport mode (down to 180 ms), but also smoother automatic shifts in F1a mode.
Chassis and Bodywork
The Ferrari Superamerica chassis is based on the 575M Maranello with additional structural reinforcements for maximum rigidity. Adopting innovative rotating glass roof in fact called for stronger sill members, reinforcements in the chassis tubes around the central tunnel and A-posts, the external skins of which are now I steel rather than aluminium.
The rear buttresses add to the structural reinforcements carried out around the roof mechanism, while the rear firewall has been strengthened and additional bracing added around the transaxle area. The Ferrari Superamerica's roadholding has been fine-tuned by adopting active damping with four proportional-valve shock absorbers and six accelerometers. The system "reads" the road surface and adapts the damping almost instantly to suit.
The driver can chose from two settings: Sport and Comfort, which govern not only the damping but also the traction control and the F1 gearbox logic. On request the Superamerica can be fitted with the GTC Handling package which includes a more sporting suspension set-up, a lightweight sports exhaust with deeper rumble, red brake callipers, and CCM (Carbon Ceramic Material) brake discs (398 mm front and 360 mm rear).
THE FERRARI F612 SCAGLIETTI
The Ferrari F612 Scaglietti is the product of an avant-garde design that continues Ferrari's long and honourable tradition in 2 + 2 sector.
Although designed by Pininfarina, the new model is named after the great Sergio Scaglietti, the Modenese coachbuilder and stylist who penned some of the most beautiful Ferrari's ever, during the 1950s and 60s.
The 612 Scaglietti epitomises Ferrari's talent for innovation and design, perfectly melding a cabin capable of accommodating four occupants in comfort with the beautifully balanced body of nimble, sporty front-engined rear-wheel drive berlinetta, to offer unprecedented onboard comfort.
The 612 Scaglietti's bodywork was styled in close collaboration with Pininfarina and beautifully dovetails functional and aesthetic requirements. The curve of the wheel arches, the bonnet, cabin and tail, in fact, lend it a beautifully aerodynamic thoroughbred grace.
But what gives the 612 Scaglietti a real touch of character are its scalloped sides, a styling cue borrowed from the legendary 375 MM.
The traditional Ferrari air intake is given an original twist with the wheelarches protruding slightly further than the bonnet, while its projector headlights have transparent covers that display their inner workings. The rear section is big and solid-looking with the classic high round tail lights too.
The 612 Scaglietti is the first ever Ferrari 12-cylinder car to boast both an all aluminium space frame chassis and body.
The fruit of cutting-edge production and assembly techniques, the all-aluminium construction cuts the car weight by 40% and gives it excellent torsional rigidity. In addition to this, the 612 Scaglietti's near-perfect weight distribution (46% front and 54% rear) means that it offers both the high performance driving of a mid-engined car and the roomy versatility of a front-engine layout.
The 612 Scaglietti has a space frame chassis. In fact, its structure consists of straight aluminium extrusions (38%) connected by casts (34%) which acts as joints. Sheet aluminium (28%) reinforces the structure. Unprecedented levels of robustness have been achieved with the new Ferrari's chassis and bodywork too. In fact, they actually significantly exceed current international standards and cover many collision configurations which have yet to be applied.
The 612 Scaglietti boasts a wonderfully sophisticated sporty interior that reflects its all aluminium structure and advanced technologies. The pressed or solid aluminium used to trim the interior has been cleverly turned into a decorative element too.
The handcrafted leather, used to upholster the seats and in the interior trim, gives the cabin a sporty, exclusive ambience as well as making life aboard extremely pleasant indeed. The interior accessories include dual-zone climate control system, sound system (radio with CD player and sixchannel digital unit developed especially by Bose for the 612 Scaglietti), a dusk sensor that automatically switches on the lights, a rain sensor that activates the windshield wipers, and an antitheft system with volumetric features. The 612 Scaglietti's boot is bigger too: 240 litres as opposed to the 465M's 190 and the spare tyre cubby hole can even be used for extra luggage if necessary.
The 612 Scaglietti is powered by a 65 degree V12 engine that displaces 5,748 cc. it punches out 540 hp at 7,250 rpm, a full 98 hp more than the 5,474 cc engine mounted in the 456M.
Various modifications have been made to optimise the engine's performance and fluid-dynamics and make it perform even more stunningly than it first did in the 575M Maranello.
The 612 Scaglietti offers new more direct air intake tracts with separate ducts peer cylinder bank from the radiator grille opening on the front bumper, new exhaust system geometries and volumes to cut backpressure, a higher compression ratio (11.2: 1), and inlet tracks and exhaust porting with improved fluid dynamic characteristics.
The 612 Scaglietti also boasts a Bosch Motronic ME7 CPU and careful work on its dynamic handling means that it responds exceptionally quickly and smoothly, making it easier to control in all kinds of conditions.
Gearbox and Transmission
The 612 Scaglietti has a transaxle layout which sees the rear-mounted gearbox in unit with the differential. It features a six speed gearbox with multicone synchronisers.
In addition to the manual gearbox version, the 612 Scaglietti is also available with the F1a gearbox (the 'a' stands for automatic) one of the sophisticated new generation Formula 1 derived electro-hydraulic systems designed to deliver sportier yet still incredibly comfortable driving.
The CST electronic stability and traction control system enhances the 612 Scaglietti's dynamic handling even further. The system guarantees optimal performance together with complete safety.
The Personalisation Programme
Despite the fact that it is renowned for its unparalleled standard of technological excellence, Ferrari still retains a high level of skilled handcrafting in its production process and thus can offer owners complete flexibility when it comes to personalising their cars.
The "Carriozzeria Scaglietti" Personalisation Programme options are divided into three main areas: Exteriors and Colours, Interiors and Materials, Equipment and Travel. To give just a few small examples of what can be done, 612 Scaglietti clients can order a bodywork colour sample they have provided, modular wheels or heated seats with Daytona-style trim.
They can even go so far as choosing the colour of their upholstery stitching or a burnished finish for the interior aluminium trim. Obviously, owners can also order advanced in-car electronic systems, including a radio-satellite navigation system with phone.
THE FERRARI F430 SPIDER
The F430 Spider joins the F430 as the latest addition to the new generation of Ferrari V8-engined sports cars. The Spider boasts all of the F430's stunning technology, itself the product of a close working relationship with Ferrari's Gestione Sportiva F1 racing division.
The F430 Spider's all aluminium bodywork has also been carefully strengthened as has its chassis to guarantee both safety and the structural rigidity demanded by a car such as this.
Two very robust steel roll-bars are integrated into the windshield structure to guarantee maximum occupant protection. The electric hood is fully automatic and fold away under its own flush-fitting tonneau cover, allowing Ferrari's engineers to carefully hone the aerodynamics of the car with the hood down.
The F430's design, created by Pininfarina in collaboration with Frank Stephenson, is inspired by the car's exceptional engineering.
The aggression and performance of the F430's design has been effortlessly transferred to the Spider so that the new model exudes all of the breathtaking elegance typical of a Ferrari drop-top.
In design terms, this means that the new Spider has an even stronger personality and more muscular stance, both of which strongly hint at its powerful engineering and blistering performance.
Their shape was inspired by the Ferrari 156 F1 that Phil Hill drove to his F1 World Championship title in 1961.
The F430 Spider Hood
The F430 Spider is the only uncompromising mid-engine convertible to boast a compact, fully automatic electric hood that allows the engine to be seen at all times.
This stylistic flourish comes courtesy of a soft top system designed to take up very little space. The fully-lined electric hood is completely automatic, and is opened and closed by seven electrohydraulic actuators. The hood folds over twice before disappearing completely into a well just ahead of the engine compartment. Opening and closing the F430 Spider's hood takes 20 seconds from start to finish. The driver is alerted that the movement is complete by an audio signal.
The F430 Spider is powered by the new 90 degree V8 featuring Ferrari's traditionally uncompromising design approach with a flat-plane crank (180 degrees between throws). The improvement in terms of performance, weight and reduction of overall dimensions is yet another result of Ferrari applying its wealth to F1 experience to its road cars: + 25% (465 Nm at 5,250 rpm, 80% of which is already available at 3,500 rpm) and powered by 23% (490 hp/360 kW @ 8,500 rpm).
E-Diff/ Electronic Differential
The E-Diff or electronic differential, the real new feature on F430, is now standard equipment on the Spider. On the track, the E-Diff guarantees maximum grip out of bends, eliminating wheel spin. On the road it is a formidable technological refinement that improves road-holding.
For the driver, the E-Diff increases handling balance and grip (which noticeably improves acceleration), improves road-holding on the limit and also guarantees even better steering feel.
F1 Gearbox and Transmission
As with the coupe, the F430 Spider also features a new cast aluminium transmission casing that houses the gearbox in unit with the electronic differential and bevel type final drive, as well as the oil tank. The 6-speed gearbox incorporates multicone synchronizers.
The F430 Spider is available with either the classic Ferrari open-gate manual gearbox or with the F1 paddle shift that Ferrari has continuously developed and refined over recent years for its road-going berlinettas.
Manettino commutator switch and Vehicle Set-up
Just like the formula 1, the F430 Spider driver can change various areas of the set-up of his/her car using a single selector set on the steering wheel. The Manettino, as it is called by Scuderia Ferrari drivers, is a commutator switch has been adopted directly from racing, where total commitment to driving requires maximum efficiency and speed in controlling the car's various functions.
The settings available to the driver have been concentrated in five
The chassis of the F430 Spider fully exploits cutting-edge aluminium technology that allows considerable structural stiffness, excellent driver and passenger protection with minimal weight.
To offset the loss of the roof, the Spider's chassis has been significantly reinforced. The sill members have been strengthened with extremely light, rigid aluminium foam inserts where they connect to the rear B-pillar chassis members.
Similarly, at the front the sill members are strengthened by a robust connection with the A-pillars which include the Ferrari-patented integral door mounting points and the base of the windscreen surround.
The reinforced door structure, inner wheel arches and chassis, the positioning of the collapsible arm rest and a more enveloping seat shape provide excellent protection, as emerged from the very high scores achieved in side impact tests.
Traditional, Ferrari has clothed its mechanical package in forms that are dictated by the need for maximum aerodynamic efficiency. In the case of the F430 Spider, just like just like Coupe, this principle has been developed to the extreme, employing exactly the same engineering approach to computer development models and wind tunnel testing as used by the F1 team.
Particular attention was focused on studying the air flows in the cockpit to ensure that the F430 Spider would be as comfortable for occupants with its hood down as up.
Experimental techniques and fluid-dynamic calculations were used to establish the distribution of the loads and velocities on the occupants. This in turn led to the definition of the dimensions and position of the wind deflector to ensure optimal comfort in terms of wind and noise.
THE FERRARI F430
The F430 hails the arrival of a whole new generation of Ferrari V-8-engined berlinettas. Every inch of the car was inspired by the engineering research carried out at Ferrari's Gestione Sportiva F1 racing division.
The result is a highly innovative design characterised by cutting-edge technologies perfected for use on a road-going car. The most important of these is the electronic differential (E-Diff), initially developed by Ferrari for it's F1 single-seaters and designed to make to make the most of the engine's torque to optimise traction, and the handily placed steering wheel-mounted commutator switch (better known to the Scuderia's drivers as manettino) which directly controls the integrated systems governing vehicle dynamics.
The F430's light, compact 4,308 cc engine is completely new. Needless to say, its performance is outstanding.
The F430's aerodynamics are also highly innovative for a road car: its shape has been honed to generate special flows to increase downforce and improve cooling.
The F430's Pininfarina-designed shape is inspired by the car's exceptional engineering. Each and every styling cue highlights the aggression and performance of a thoroughbred Ferrari. The F430's nose is characterised by two distinctive air intakes that channel air into generously dimensioned radiators that cool the powerful engine.
Just like the predecessor the F360 Modena, the F430 has an aluminium chassis. The choice of the aluminium and the design methods used have allowed considerable structural stiffness and excellent driver and passenger protection to be combined with weight reduction.
The F430 is powered by a new 90 degree V8 featuring Ferrari's traditionally uncompromising design approach with a flat-plane crank (180 degrees between throws).
This is an all-new unit that does not share any components with the F360 Modena's engine. Despite a 20% increase in engine displacement (from 3,586 cc to 4,308 cc), engine weight has grown minimally by just 4 kg, while performance is considerably improved across the board. Torque has increased by 25% (465 Nm at 5,250 rpm, 80% of which is already available at 3,500 rpm) and power by 23% (490 hp at 8,500 rpm).
E-Diff (Electronic Differential)
The E-Diff or electronic differential has been used for years in F1 single-seaters to guarantee maximum grip out of bends, eliminating wheel spin. On the road it is a formidable technological refinement that improves roadholding.
The E-Diff consists of three main subsystems:
Transmission and F1 Gearbox
The F430 features a new cast aluminium transmission casing that houses the gearbox in unit with the electronic differential and bevel type final drive, as well as the engine oil tank. The 6-speed gearbox incorporates multicon e synchronisers, while both the 6th gear and the final drive have been lengthened to make the most of the greater power and torque of the new engine as well as to guarantee reliability.
Manettino and Vehicle Dynamics
Just like in Formula 1, the F430 driver can change various areas of the set-up of his car using a single-sector set on the steering wheel.
The Manettino, as it is called by Scuderia Ferrari drivers, is a
communication switch that has been adopted directly from racing and allows
the driver maximum efficiency and speed in controlling the car's various
functions. This switch quickly and simply controls the electronics
governing suspension settling and the CST stability and traction control,
E-Diff and the change speed of the F1 transmission, as well as the
integration between each of these individual functions. The settings
available to the driver have been concentrated in five different
strategies. These, in ascending order according to the level of
Traditionally, Ferrari has clothed its mechanical package in forms that are dictated by the need for maximum aerodynamic efficiency. In the case of the F430, this principle has been developed to the extreme, employing exactly the same engineering approach to computer development models and wind tunnel testing as used by the F1 team.
Perfecting the F430's aerodynamics has brought about a 50% increase in downforce compared to the 360 Modena, thus increasing high-sped stability and the car's active safety. At 200k,/h that equates to 45kg more downforce than the 360 Modena and this becomes 85kg at 300km/h, amounting to a total of 280kg.
The spoiler on the trailing edge of the engine cover works in conjunction with the new diffuser between to rear wheels. The latter features similar fences (deflectors) to those used on Ferrari's single-seaters, and increases the speed of air flow under the tail of the car creating an area of depression ad the ground effect that pulls the car down.
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