Considering the company's rich racing heritage it is no surprise that the competition potential of every new Ferrari sportscar is subject of heavy speculation. When the Ferrari Enzo was launched in 2002, the speculation was fed by a number of grainy pictures of a black racer looking not too dissimilar to the new supercar. However with the sport's governing bodies' moratorium on moving aerodynamics it was unlikely that the Enzo could be turned into a racer. Until this day there are still many questions surrounding the mysterious black car shown in the spy shots, but it could very well just have been a pre-production test bed.
Shortly after the Enzo's production finished early in 2004, Maserati revealed an ambitious racing program with a mid-engined V12 sportscar. Although this MC12 looked completely different, it was soon clear that its roots lay in the Enzo supercar produced by Maserati's parent company. Maserati had combined the potent Enzo chassis with a fixed aerodynamic body to create an elligible racer before building road going replicas for homologation purposes. This controversial scheme recalled the days of GT1 racing and the car was not accepted well by the governing bodies. Le Mans' ACO refused the car and the FIA only accepted it after some modifications were made. While some anticipated a Maserati walk-over, the forced alterations had slowed the cars down considerably, but it still racked up several victories in the FIA GT World Championship.
It was a big surprise when Ferrari announced a third chapter to this story in June of 2005 after 400 Enzos and 50 MC12s were constructed. In an unusual arrangement the new EUR1.5 million product was to be a combination of a track day and development program for future products. The car involved was the Enzo derived FXX, which combined the original chassis with a 800 bhp engine and a highly modified body. The original plan was that the customer could buy the FXX and then only drive it at various track-days with full Corse Cliente assistance. Much like a contemporary F1 racer the car's every move were tracked by technicians to use the data and driver input for future Ferrari products. Ferrari stressed that the car was neither homologated for the road or the track, making it the world's most expensive track-day machine.
The FXX shares its carbonfibre chassis and greenhouse with the Enzo, but both the nose and tail were completely redesigned. The revised aerodynamics resulted in a downforce increase of 40%. To suit a particular track the angle of the rear spoiler can be adjusted by the driver. The biggest news was found under the large engine cover; a 6.2 litre version of the 6 litre engine found in the Enzo and MC12. Ferrari claims the engine produces at least 800 bhp and we have no reason to doubt that. The exhausts were re-routed and now exit right under the rear wings, swapping places with the tail lights. The engine is mated to a paddle operated semi-automatic gearbox that can change gears in a staggering 100 ms. Huge 19 inch alloy wheels were required to clear the specifically developed carbon ceramic break discs. Bridgestone provides a special 'Potenza Scuderia' slick tire for the FXX.
After the initial announcement in June of 2005, there was no news from this unique project for months until the car broke cover at Ferrari's season finale at Mugello in October. A few weeks later it was officially introduced at the Bologna Motorshow. Initially Ferrari expected to sell around 20 examples, but remarkably the demand was sufficiently high that 29 examples could be produced late in 2005. The first deliveries were made in December while the remaining cars were shipped to their owners in the first months of 2006.
During 2006 and 2007 around 20 examples were regularly exercised by its owners around the world. Then Ferrari used all the data gathered to produce an evolution package for the existing cars, needless to say to make them go faster still. The aerodynamics were modified and efficiency improved by 25%. The drivetrain was also overhauled and the output of the howling V12 was increased to 860 bhp while the shift-time was lowered by 20 ms to 60 ms.
Over the 2007/2008 winter most of the existing examples were sent back to Maranello and refurbished with the 'Evoluzione' package. Featured are a number of those cars during the FXX event at Laguna Seca in August of 2008.