Ferrari is on track to launch its first ever hybrid model, an Enzo successor codenamed “F70″. Having already revealed the power unit’s architecture and components – HY-KERS midship V12 with two electric motors, one connected to the dual-clutch gearbox, the other powering auxiliary electronics – the Maranello firm showed its new composite chassis derived directly from F1 tech at Paris.
Ferrari said it drew on vast experience in working with composites for single-seaters for the F70, which will be produced in a limited-edition, special series. They chose not to use industrial carbon-fibre manufacturing techniques, such as RTM (Resin Transfer Moulding), normally adopted in the automotive sector, as they “did not meet the quality and functional standards Ferrari set itself”.
The materials, design methodologies, construction processes, staff and instruments used are all shared with Scuderia Ferrari, with the formation of a working group which relied on an important contribution from Rory Byrne, Ferrari’s F1 chief designer who was behind 11 of the team’s titles.
The chassis uses four different types of carbon-fibre and is hand-laminated, then cured in autoclaves following engineering processes which optimise the design by integrating the different components.
The main structure is made from T800 carbon with local, strategic applications of T800UD, a unidirectional carbon-fibre tape, for reinforcement. To ensure weight was kept to an absolute minimum, the structural underbody and the cross-member are made from another type of particularly high tensile strength carbon-fibre known as M46J.
In certain critical areas, such as the doors, very tough T1000 was adopted as it is particularly efficient in terms of impact absorption which is why it is used in the nose-cone of single-seaters. Carbon-fibre is combined with kevlar for the undertray to prevent damage from debris thrown up from the road.
The overall chassis is said to be 20% lighter than the Enzo, despite the extra weight required by housing the hybrid components and to meet regulatory obligations. Torsional rigidity is increased by 27% and beam stiffness is up by 22%. Supercar rivals wait in anticipation.