The first car Enzo Ferrari built under his own name was a racing car, dubbed the 125S. It won in only the second race it was entered in which was a clear sign of many great things to come for the Maranello based firm.
In those early years Ferrari focused both on sports car racing and single seater racing, both with success. These winning machines might have looked very differently on the outside but under the thin skin many parts were the same, especially the engines. Ferrari built road cars as well but they were nothing more than de-tuned race cars.
The late 1950s were the golden years for Ferrari with 1958 as highlight; 'The Scuderia' clinched both the F1 World Championship and the overall victory at Le Mans. The Ferrari name had become synonymous with racing. The road cars also became more popular as everybody wanted to own a car that was similar to a Le Mans winner. By the end of the 1960s, Ferrari was competing in more classes than ever before; endurance racing, Formula 1, Formula 2, Tasman and Can-Am. This proved too much as Ferrari wasn't on top in any of the classes and therefore withdrew from all classes except Formula 1.
Formula 1 had become Ferrari's marketing strategy and incorporating Formula 1 technology in the road cars was the logical thing to do. Ferrari's racing success in the 1970s was a direct result of the 180 degree V12 engine used both in sports cars and in Formula 1. It was no surprise that this engine showed up in Ferrari's new GT, the Ferrari 365GT/BB. This racing car derived engine that won Ferrari three driver's Formula 1 championships was used until 1996 in cars such as the Testarossa.
Turbos were the way to go in the 1980s and only a lot of bad luck kept Ferrari from winning the driver's World Championship in 1982 with the Turbocharged Ferrari 126 C2. Following their tradition of bringing Formula 1 technology to the road, Ferrari introduced the Turbocharged 288 GTO and a couple of years later the F40. These two exotics also showed that technology had widened the gap between road cars and racing cars. The F40 didn't look anything close to the rest of the Ferrari road car line-up.
The Naturally Aspirated V12s used by Ferrari in the early 1990s were equipped with five valves per cylinder. A slightly larger version of this engine found its way to the road in the back of the Ferrari F50. Not only the engine but also the carbon fibre sheets showed the racing pedigree of the F50. At its launch, the F50 was described as the closest one could get to driving a Formula 1 car on the road.
In the late 1980s Ferrari had pioneered a paddle operated semi-automatic gearbox that of course found its way on to a road going Ferrari in the form of the Ferrari 355 F1. This gearbox is now available on two of the three Ferrari models, the 360 and the 575.
Ferrari took another big step with the introduction of the 'Enzo'. The 'Enzo' incorporates modern day technology neatly packaged in an aggressive no-compromise body shell. It is Michael Schumacher's three-time World Championship winning Ferrari with a complete body. It is all there; carbon fibre chassis, carbon ceramic disc brakes, paddle operated gearbox, and traction control. It is equipped with even more enhancements that are not allowed on F1 cars like a full ground effects floor pan and active aerodynamics. The F50 had a smooth body to cover the F1 technology but the Enzo's body just screams F1 with the pronounced nose and huge rear Venturis.
Unlike most of Pininfarina's designs, the 'Enzo' isn't overly nice to look at, especially from the side with the huge front overhang and lack of rear overhang. The rear view is a more appealing since that is what most people will see of the Enzo. The nose looks like it comes straight from Schumacher's F1 car and it gives the Enzo an aggressive look, something the F50 clearly lacked. A prominent feature on both the F40 and F50 was the fixed rear wing, which is no longer needed on the Enzo because of its ingenious underbody design. The active aerodynamics designed in Ferrari's own wind tunnel has given them the opportunity to use the best of both worlds. A high downforce configuration for when the car is moving at lower to midrange speeds and then actuating the small rear spoiler and other fins in the underbody to decrease the downforce, and therefore allowing it to reach it's maximum top speed.
All 349 cars initially available for the public were sold before Ferrari released any details or images of it. This shows how much faith these buyers have in Ferrari building the best available road car. This faith was compounded by Ferrari's recent racing successes in Formula 1. The 'Enzo' owners own a direct product of that success, and to them it's irrelevant whether it's the fastest car available; it's the ultimate Ferrari.
These Enzos are pictured on the German Nürburgring track where they took part in the 2003 Modena Motorsport track days.
I read some of your comments on the Enzo, and someone had written that the front looked too much like a f1 car. The Enzo was produced as a street f1 car, and have nothing to do with the f40 and f50, so you can't call it "f60". And yes the design doesn't look like other supercars but so what ?. The Enzo is much more race than for instant a Lamborghini Murcielago. When you see the car in real is it just the coolest car you've ever seen. So before you just talk down on it, do a little research. I'm a 16 year old danish boy so it is not that hard. (:
Sad to hear so many negative comments :o(
"I was so excited to hear about the Ferrari Enzo and waited patiently for years to see and hear it for real. My first impression was, I have to say, a big disappointment- proportions all wrong, those nasty silver partner stickers, all of it just wasn't what I was expecting after what was, well for me at least, the Ferrari perfection of the F40 and F50. My biggest regrest was that it retained the two-up front seating position. It's just not natural for a car of this calibre to be driven off center. McClaren appreciated this and took a unique step in rectifying it whereas Ferrari missed that opportunity, and in *the* car bearing Enzo's name too, I thought it would be different. So really I was kinda let down. My mission in live is to own a Ferrari- it's all I work for, all I think about. When the 360 came out again, I fealt a bit sad. To me it didn't have the distinctive Ferrari nose, or the beautiful rear, it was more like a Supra for gawds sake! I dont really want practicle: I want what I'm dedicating my life too, and that's perfection, nothing less will do. I like character, no, I LOVE character- the F50 to me is still drop-dead beautiful, seeing it in motion and listening to its exhaust note brings tears to my eyes everytime. So anyway, on to the Enzo. Initially I was sad, no pictures were doing it justice, surely Ferrari could not allow this misshapen car to bear Enzo's name?! Then I saw a video, and this squat, squished, bobbly Ferrari suddenly took on the correct aspect. It certainly wasn't short, as the camera panned around the car my eye caught so much more subtlety. I began to get excited again, there was more to this car. Like the 450M, she was beginning to grow on me. When at last we set off to view Ferrari's current supercar I can't tell you how emotional I fealt. I was still prepared to perhaps be a little disappointed, that yeah, there's always a next time. As we drew into the car park I could see this rocket ship with it doors in the air and a crowd of people stood around, the sun and lighting glinting over its body. I did feel tears in my eyes already being so close to it, but I held on and turned away until we entered the showroom. When we went in and were greeted my hands were shaking, I could see her, long, and flat and graceful from the corner of my eye, basking in the attention. Stunning! Forza Ferrari! Moving in close your eyes flick from detail to detail...the huge nose, that F1 style wing so perfectly blended into to the nost and lighting arcs, and the lights, even the lights of course on closer inspection were...just perfect. Such subtle inlets along the door frame to big scoopes to the rear...and those ""stickers"", as Tiff put it, glinting, beatiful...a real racer. So we all stared, some through misty eyes at what I could only describe as pure art, kinetic art, its like the violence and speed of racing caught in a moment. Moving around the Enzo it is certainly not misproportioned in any way at all. She's long and low and lithe and oh so wide, pure, pure thoroghbred. What I thought of from the pictures as the wrong rear for this car simply ""extends"" naturally when you appreciate the real flow and lines this car has. It's like the icing on the cake, its the perfect compliment to the mid-section and the nose, just as they are to it. It's all, as you can guess, just wonderful. It is the most disctintive and natural Ferrari I have ever set my eyes on. I never got to listen to the music this car can no doubt generate. That's almost a given looking over the engine and knowing how much care Ferrari give to the sounds of their children. My comments then are that you need to appreciate this supercar first hand to appreciate the sophisticated Italian design. She is a work of art and a predatory racing car at the same time. Imagine what a challenge it is to achieve that! Bearing the great man's name and the prancing horse and inheriting the history that goes with the marque this car, for me, represents what it is to alive. So she's expensive and elusive, but I just feel happy knowing that she exists and that Ferrari are still capable of such wonders. I wont even mention the name of its so called competitors. Tifosi aren't interested in the other pretenders. My heart just aches to be the owner of a Ferrari Enzo."
By Far the Best
The Ferrari Enzo is by far the most beautiful machine to ever come out of Maranello. This Automobile has set records in almost every category. The Enzo is a big leep forward for Ferrari, the great F50 had power and finesse although it lacked the speed of the Enzo. The F50 gave up 50kmh's to the Mclaren F1, sure the Mclaren was the fastest at the time and still is, but it was extreamly grotesque and never deserved to even compete with Ferrari. This is where the Ferrari Enzo came in, it destroyed the competition in everything from Acceleration to the Best quarter mile, Ferrari now only needs to improve the Top Speed of the automobile, the next Ferrari super car will truly be the best, but for now the Ferrari Enzo is by far the best.