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  Ferrari Enzo

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Country of origin:Italy
Produced from:2002 - 2003
Numbers built:399 + 1
Introduced at:2002 Paris Motor Show
Designed by:Ken Okuyama for Pininfarina
Predecessor:Ferrari F50
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:Before December 1st, 2004
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Click here to download printer friendly versionThe 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.

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  Article Image gallery (131) Chassis (6) Specifications User Comments (24)