The Ferrari LaFerrari is already the over-powered Italian menace that rules the world of the prancing horse. But now there is a new king, and it's based on the old king. Please welcome the 1,035 horsepower Ferrari FXX K.
The FXX K is the latest in a line of Ferrari uber-track specials, beginning with the progenitor of the group, the completely nuts Enzo-based Ferrari FXX. That was followed by an upgraded Ferrari FXX Evoluzione, with an even bigger dollop of power, and the Ferrari 599XX (accompanied by an Evo model of its own), which was fast enough to re-arrange your eyeballs, if it didn't make your ears spontaneously combust first.
The FXX K promises to be faster and louder than any of these. Or maybe quieter, thanks to its extremely race-oriented hybrid system, which is what the "K," or Kinetic Energy Recovery System, stands for.
Instead of the little switch on the center console (known as the Manettino) giving you modes like "sport" and "race" and "wet," the hybrid system switch functions have changed, because the FXX K is about nothing but being on track. Now it gives you Qualify, for balls-to-the-walls performance over a short distance, Long Run to for grinding out laps over what would be a full race distance, and Fast Charge, for a fast recharge of the car's battery.
But I've saved best switch setting of all for last – Manual Boost. That pushes everything up to 11, giving you the hybrid system equivalent of electric afterburners for instant maximum torque delivery and an extremely fast pass maneuver.
And because it's a Ferrari, and Ferrari loves fiddly little electronic switches these days, there's another Manettino on the steering wheel to control the E-Diff electronic differential, F1-Trac traction control, Racing SSC (Side Slip Angle Control) - now specially calibrated to suit the car's slick tyres - and the high-performance ABS.
If you're wondering why all these electronic bits are featured so heavily in the FXX K, it's because it is fundamentally not a race car, but part of what Ferrari calls a "Client-Test Driver" program, like all Ferrari "XX" cars before it. It will essentially serve as a rolling laboratory, allowing Ferrari's paying customers to test out new ideas and techniques for the company out on race tracks. In that regard, it's a win-win for Ferrari, since it will give them a competitive edge when it comes to real racing, and they should be able to make some money off of the program, too.
But since it won't be racing in any sanctioned series, Ferrari gets to have some fun that wouldn't normally be legal under race standards. Along with the super-hybrid system ready to flatten your organs into pancakes every time you step on the accelerator pedal, it's got some innovative aerodynamic bits as well.
I'll let Ferrari themselves explain how it all works:
The front of the car is dominated by a twin-profile spoiler and a larger splitter, which is 30 mm lower, with a gap in its centre. This design is an application of the concepts developed to improve aero balance in the GT category of the WEC, which Ferrari has won for three consecutive years. Two pairs of vertical elements, an endplate and, externally, a dive plane, together with vertical fins channel the air towards the car's flanks, generating a longitudinal vortex that creates a localised depression. This in turn sucks the wake from the wheels to the outside of the aerodynamic underbody. Along with the side skirts that extend out from the sills, the vortex helps isolate the airflow from the underbody to boost its efficiency.
The solutions on the rear of the car are highly sophisticated, too. The tail section is now higher and the mobile spoiler extends further for a total increase in extension of 60mm when fully deployed. A vertical fin and a small wing each side of the tail act as guide vanes in the low drag configuration and boost the spoiler's efficiency in the high downforce one. This system also creates considerable downforce at the rear of the car, allowing the use of an extreme diffusion volume for the rear diffuser which optimises air extraction from the underbody. The section of the flat underbody just ahead of the rear wheels is also exploited to the full to generate downforce thanks to the reduced pressure in the wheel arch guaranteed by the direct connection to the rear of the car by a by-pass duct.
All of that adds up to a 50% increase in downforce when it's in low-drag mode, and a 30% increase in downforce in high-drag mode.
In short, it'll go like stink. Powered by a nuke.