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Track Superstar

07 febbraio 2020

Chris Rees

The FXX-K Evo is stunning to witness around the track, but what’s it like to drive? We find out from one lucky owner

Pretty much top of the tree for Ferrari fans has to be the sight and sound XX Programmes track cars in full flow. And top of the tree among XX Programmes cars is the FXX-K Evo. Arguably the most extreme car Ferrari makes this side of Formula 1, the track-only version of the LaFerrari is, as its ‘Evo’ tag suggests, an evolution of the already mighty FXX-K.

If it’s an awesome machine to see in action, what must it be like to drive? We asked just that question to John Taylor of Texas, USA. John’s FXX-K was one of the first three cars upgraded to Evo spec, some two years ago. He clearly loves piloting his car; every time you complete a drive on track, you get a sticker on your windscreen, and John’s screen now has one-and-a-half completed rows across it.

“I’ve now driven this car both as an Evo and as a non-Evo, so I have something to compare it against,” John told us. “Clearly the Evo has more downforce, and helps you brake later and carry more speed through the turns. The car feels much more stable at top-end speeds.”

John is right to point out the extra 23% downforce, which is the Evo’s main advance. Major changes to the front and rear ends, and the underbody vortex generators, make a huge difference.

So how challenging is it to drive? “Actually it’s an extraordinarily easy car to drive,” says John. “That’s the single most impressive thing about it to me. I raced a 458 Challenge for several years and I thought that was easy to drive, but the FXX-K Evo is even easier. I didn’t need a lot of training for this car but I did get a really good orientation at the factory when I took delivery.”

He has also been coached by ex-F1 pilot and Ferrari test driver, Marc Gené, whom he has known for years. “Whenever he’s around, I always do a couple of laps with him. It’s indescribable, you have to experience it. I did Spa both in the dry and wet with him – what a ride! Those memories will be with me forever.”

With a 6.3-litre V12 engine matched to KERS hybrid electric power, unleashing 1050 cv together, the FXX-K Evo is a tremendously quick machine. But just how fast? John says: “With KERS and V12 together, this is an extremely fast car, with an extraordinarily high top-end speed on the straights at most tracks.”

He continues: “The hybrid system is amazing. With the Evo, they’ve incorporated a button that you can engage the KERS while it’s in Long Run mode. You can really feel the extra surge of power.”

If you’re wondering about that striking black-and-yellow livery, it’s the work of Flavio Manzoni, Ferrari’s head of design, who John approached specifically to design the colour scheme. Knowing that John had bought a LeFerrari in yellow and that he also liked black, Manzoni came up with this incredible livery.