First written for Car Styling, Issue 173 (Tokyo, July 2006)
* Stories and cars from recent past you may like to read and see again.
To design a new Ferrari is the ultimate dream of every designer and student. However, actually designing one is probably the most difficult design job on earth, if not a nightmare.
Everybody always expects from Ferrari something that is really outstanding. From president and CEO, Luca di Montezemolo, to the young boy looking at a motoring magazine in a remote area in Guatemala, China or Kazakhstan.
Evidence of this came recently from the challenge presented to the top students of the most famous design schools around the world when Ferrari asked them to compete by submitting “new concept for the myth”. The students came up with excellent design propositions but no one with a new “concept”. Apparently only Pininfarina seems to be capable of delivering a convincing proposition that meets with Ferrari’s expectations.
The new Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano is the latest evidence, and indeed this is a very convincing design job, despite the given industrial (read investment) restrictions and the conservative market it must keep attracting. Business sense force Ferrari (and Porsche) to seek for innovations that do not shock their traditional customers but possibly attract new ones.
Listen to Ken Okuyama and Jason Castriota, respectively director of design and chief designer at Pininfarina, as they explain the design process and every single decision it went through, and you fully appreciate why designing the Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano was quite a challenge and why the outcome is going to be a winner; in the design circles as well as within Ferrari enthusiasts and collectors, and in the market world-wide.
The 599 GTB Fiorano is a strikingly sculptural car, with the purest Ferrari character and Pininfarina’s elegance.
When the project started at Ferrari and Pininfarina in the second half of 2002, the mission was clear: “create the most performing 12-cylinder Ferrari berlinetta” was Montezemolo’s directive to Okuyama. That is what they actually need to counter attack the strongest competition ever expected from an increasing number of powerful competitors.
Ferrari engineers had in mind what was needed to set the new standards in uniqueness, design and exhilarating driving. Their new two-seater GT supercar comes with the V12, 6.0 litre aspirated powerplant installed “mid-ship” behind the front axle. (see technical specifications and Evolution of the Ferrari V12 two-seater GT Berlinetta) Designed for the ultimate Ferrari Enzo, and newly tuned to deliver 620 HP (some 103 HP per litre of displacement), the engine has been engineered to play the magic music of a pure V12 soundtrack from both the intake manifold and the exhaust system.
The V12 is mated to the latest development of F1 transmission, a new generation that cuts overall gear-shift times to 100 milliseconds. On its turn a most sophisticated stability control system makes sure that the car has always the best grip to the road for cutting-edge performance in term of road-holding, safety and stability. Further innovations in the suspension system and the control of their oil viscosity greatly improve the driving experience through faster adjustments, reduced roll and superior body control when braking or accelerating.
At the same time the new Ferrari 599 GTB greatly benefits of the ultimate development of the aluminium construction technology and the revised architecture. Pininfarina had to dress-up this superlative ”performance” creature.
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