Meet Ferrari’s astonishing XX cars | Top Gear
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BBC TopGear

Meet Ferrari’s astonishing XX cars

With Ferrari considering a faster FXXK, meet the track-honed rarities

  • Back to the Future II lied: it’s now 2016, and we’re still no closer to actual hoverboards, self-drying clothes or flying Deloreans. Our only consolation is that today, in 2016, there exists a 1036bhp LaFerrari clothed in more aero you could want in this or any other timeline. And it emerged from a very unique series that kicked off way back in 2005.

    Because in 2005, we saw the very first fruit from Ferrari’s ‘XX’ programme. That first car, the FXX, was an Enzo like no other. It was modified by Ferrari to be run exclusively on track. You see, Ferrari had the idea to take on board a ‘special group’ of customers in developing future Ferrari road cars.

    The idea being they’d drive these hyper-realised machines on Ferrari’s terms, and provide important data back to the engineers to inform thinking around what the company could do for its future customer cars. It also allowed Ferrari to push the boundaries of its technical expertise and build bewinged track monsters that don’t need to adhere to any regulations, and allow wealthy owners the chance to live out a life as a bona fide Ferrari tester/racing driver.

    “Their input from the XX programme is going to have an effect on the road car division,” Marc Gene, who works on Ferrari’s F1 Clienti programme, told us. They hammer around the track, while Ferrari logs all the data and discovers what Ferrari customers - the people that keep the cogs of the company spinning - actually want in their cars. You have them to thank, in part, for the company’s current line-up.

    So following’s news that the company is considering an even faster version of the already ludicrously quick FXXK, here’s a quick, whistlestop tour of the current XX cars.

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  • Ferrari FXX – 2005

    The first of the XX cars, this one pumps out more than 800bhp (the ‘standard’ Enzo pushed out 650bhp) from its 6.3-litre V12, at a staggering 8,500rpm. The gearbox punches through changes in less than 100ms – the result of Ferrari’s F1 tech transfer. Plus, it’s got 40 per cent more downforce, while that spoiler is configurable to suit your chosen (or Ferrari’s chosen) circuit.

  • Ferrari FXX Evoluzione - 2007

    And so we get the first example of using an 'XX' car to develop another Ferrari. "Thanks to readings taken over the 16,500 kilometres of tests carried out in 2006 and the 18,500 kilometres covered in 2007," explains Ferrari, "the modifications made to the car have focused on honing its aerodynamics, running gear and electronics.

    So, what you get is this: the FXX Evo. Extending the FXX programme by two years, it was a harder version of a harder version of Ferrari's most hardcore (at the time) hypercar. Make sense?

    Good. Because this one was developed not only in collaboration with Ferrari's client test drivers, but the great Michael Schumacher hinself, too. Each one came with an even more powerful 6.3-litre V12, now pumping out a whopping 860bhp at 9,500rpm. The gearshifts rifle through in just 60ms, while it will lap - in the right hands of course - Fiorano in under 1m 16s. The 'standard' FXX only managed 1m 18s.

    There's also an improved nine-way adjustable traction control system, a new rear diffuser and rear flaps, which apparently boost aero efficiency by 25 per cent. The active front spoiler has been adjusted to account for this too. Also, the brakes are larger composite ceramics.

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  • Ferrari 599XX – 2010

    Ferrari modified the 599 GTB’s V12 – specifically the combustion chambers and inlet/exhaust tracts, as well as fitting a new crank and carbonfibre intake plenums – to help massage the power output to 700bhp at 9,000rpm. The new gearbox also shifts in less than 60ms. That’s absurd.

    The main theme here though, is getting the mechanical grip to work with the electronic systems on board, for consistent lap times. There’s a second-gen ‘SCM’ suspension management system, more downforce (280kg at 124mph), carbonfibre and aluminium body parts, and carbon-ceramic brakes.

    If you need all of this moulded into an easily digestible pub fact, the 599XX recorded a Nürburgring lap time of 6mins 58.16secs. It is, says Ferrari, the first production-derived sports car to dip under seven minutes.

  • Ferrari 599XX Evoluzione – 2011

    All the goodness of the 599XX, but with an active rear wing. Total downforce at 124mph is now 330kg with the flap open, rising to 440kg with the flap closed.

    Also, that 6.0-litre V12 has been pumped up to 740bhp while torque swells to 516lb ft, meaning that on a dry Fiorano test track at least, it’ll lap in 1m 15s (two seconds off the original 599XX’s lap time, and a whopping nine seconds faster than the 599 GTO).

    What’s the fastest Ferrari around Fiorano? Find out here

  • Ferrari FXXK – 2014

    Too much to list here, but in brief, there’s the same V12-plus-electric drivetrain as the road-going LaFerrari, but here total output is 1036bhp, while torque stands at ‘over 664lb ft’.

    It’ll lap Ferrari’s Fiorano test track in 1m 14s - five seconds faster than the standard, road-going LaFerrari. There’s much aero: a deep, double-deck front spoiler, and a monster diffuser for optimal air extraction from the underbody.

    You can read the full story here. Which will allow you to mentally prepare yourself for a potential FXXK ‘Evoluzione’...

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