While some critics have accused Tesla of making “toys for the rich,” Ferrari’s second hybrid is expected to fetch enough greenbacks to buy 25-30 Model S P85D sedans once its price is officially announced.
For what may cost north of $3 million, the limited production run of 30 units is not a real race car, but a track day special – by any other definition, a toy.
“Unfettered by homologation and racing regulations, the FXX K will never be used in competition,” says Ferrari. “It was, in fact, developed to be completely uncompromising, incorporating technological innovations that will guarantee an unprecedented driving experience to the exclusive group of Client-Test Drivers with whom the Prancing Horse will roll out a test programme over the coming two years.”
What does the car that could make a P85D look like it came from the Good Will get you? The FXX K laboratory car will be shown at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit with KERS kinetic energy recovery system – that’s what the “K” stands for.
Also updated is the hybrid system utilizing a 6.2-liter (6,262cc) V12 mated to a 190-horsepower electric motor. Peak output is rated at 1,036-horsepower, 664 pound-feet of torque for the high-revving beast.
The 190-horsepower just from the electric motor may be dialed in with the HY-KERS system, essentially like a zero-emission, instant supercharger.
The car has four driver-selectable modes.
Qualify Mode gives full boost for a limited number of laps.
Long Run optimizes “performance consistency.”
Manual Boost gives instant torque delivery.
Fast Charge allows for a quicker recharge of the car’s battery.
The carbon-intensive, hand-made vehicle also incorporates aero technologies like a twin-profile spoiler and a larger splitter developed from Ferrari’s work to improve its race cars’ aero balance in the GT category of the WEC.
These and other tricks yields 50-percent improvement in downforce in the low drag configuration and a 30-percent in the more aggressive downforce configuration. This means 1,191 pounds (540 kg) of downforce is pressing the sticky Pirelli slicks into the tarmac at 124 mph (200 kph), a rather benign speed for this over-200 mph screamer.
Who will buy it? It’s a hybrid, but we suspect these are not necessarily environmentalists. What’s its real value? Besides all the bucks they’ll spend, it is another extreme effort into electrification tech.
If nothing more, it’s a halo effect for the entire industry as it becomes one more among the world’s most exclusive and desired sports cars – that shares, however remotely, technological thinking found also under the hood of a Prius.