In the course of its history, Ferrari has, at regular intervals, produced extreme sports cars that are the pinnacle of the technological and performance-oriented achievement of their day and made them available to its clients for road use. This policy has produced some of the most extraordinary in the marque’s entire history. Each one represented the very state of the art in terms of performance-oriented engineering, the most recent being, of course, the likes of the 288 GTO, F40 and F50. What all of these cars shared, however, wasn’t just their benchmark performance but the fact that they were produced in strictly limited edition runs. Joining their exclusive ranks in 2002 was the Enzo Ferrari, a superb car of which just 399 were built. At the time of its launch, the Enzo contained the most advanced track-derived technologies of its day. What made it truly unique was the fact that it was benefiting from the technological crossover at a time when Ferrari was on an impressive winning streak in Formula 1.
The goal Ferrari set itself was to turn the Enzo into an integrated system that would actually improve upon the driver’s performance capacities through the use of a Formula 1-style human-machine interface.
Never before had a Ferrari’s styling been so heavily influenced by function. Work in the wind tunnel, on the track and on the road focused unswervingly on achieving maximum performance possible and resulted in a completely uncompromising car. The Enzo’s front section was inspired both in terms of its form and function by the Formula 1 car’s nose cone while its composite flanks were sculpted to channel air flows for superb internal fluid-dynamics.
The tail section didn’t have a big rear wing either, as the engineers opted for much more subtle aerodynamic aids and a highly efficient ground effect instead. Pininfarina did a majestic job of drawing these and other functions together and moulding an incredibly charismatic line out them.
The car’s uncompromising stance, compact size and weight reduction objectives made for a strictly functional cabin. In fact, all of the main surfaces were unadorned carbon-fibre while the steering wheel bristled with vehicle control buttons and switches like a Formula 1 car. Even the racing seat’s structure was carbon-fibre. Different backrest and seat sizes could be combined to ensure a perfect driving position in line with the owner’s own driving style and body shape.
The Enzo hailed a new generation of cabin styling: the human-machine interface was more efficient than ever and every effort was made to ensure that the driver was in the optimal position to make the very most of his car’s extreme performance.
While the F50 will go down in automotive history for being the first car to take Formula 1 technology to the road, via an engine directly derived from the one used in the 1990 single-seater, the Enzo offered a range of solutions more focused on melding the teaching of both track and road. As a result, a whole plethora of the Enzo’s cutting-edge solutions would go appear in the Ferraris that came after it: its incredibly light compact V12, its carbon-fibre brake discs, human-machine interface, aerodynamic features and many more besides.
The Enzo’s chassis was made entirely from carbon-fibre and aluminium honeycomb sandwich panels which delivered the required results in terms of stiffness, weight reduction and safety.
The Enzo’s engine was a completely new 65° V12 that drew on Ferrari’s F1 experience and as a result featured some unique technical solutions. It had an overall displacement of 5998 cc, a maximum power output of 660 hp at 7800 rpm and maximum torque of 67 kgm at 5500 rpm. It also had a compression ratio of 11.2 and a specific power output of 110 CV/lt. The new V12 was completely focused on delivering a unique blend of blistering power, huge torque at low revs and a broad range of use. Its rear-mounted gearbox was connected directly to the engine with just the F1 version being available.
The priority with the Enzo design was to cut gearshifting times (which went down to 150 milliseconds) to deliver superbly sporty driving. This was thanks to a new control logic and further refinements which, in line with the car’s extreme vocation, were less influenced by comfort considerations.
The Enzo’s braking system was specifically developed for it by Brembo and featured CCM (Carbon-Ceramic Material) discs, the first time these had been used on a Ferrari car despite having been employed for years by the Scuderia in Formula 1. This also contributed in no small part to the benchmark braking performance results delivered by the Enzo across the board.