Cars

Ferrari’s private Fiorano circuit has given its name to the Assetto Fiorano package, available for two very special cars: the SF90 Stradale and the 296 GTB
Words: Ross Brown
Film editor: Oliver McIntyre

From the very beginning, the Pista di Fiorano was designed to test machines to the very limit of their capabilities.

Built in 1972 on land next to the Maranello factory, the three-kilometre, figure-eight circuit provides both track and road cars with demanding scenarios through which handling, braking capabilities, weight distribution and acceleration can be measured. 


For F1 cars (when testing was allowed) the corners were designed to emulate those that would be faced in a typical season: the Tarzan corner of Zandvoort in Holland, the Brunchen jump at Germany’s Nurburgring and even the famous Gasometer hairpin at Monte Carlo.

The Assetto Fiorano pack works to three concepts: reduce overall weight, enhance aerodynamic downforce and improve the dynamic performance to make the most of the car's abilities on the track

  For road cars, track cars and Ferrari driving training programmes there are also innovations such as the full circuit telemetry sensors, skid pan and even an irrigation system, designed to soak the entire circuit at the press of a button.

 

As Enzo himself told the assembled press on the day of the circuit’s opening: “From this moment on, I don't want any Ferrari to tackle the track or address mass-production without passing the Fiorano test with flying colours.”

Watch how the Assetto Fiorano pack transforms the SF90 and the 296 GTB's ability to tackle the track they are named after  

Two production cars that have passed with ‘flying colours’ on the Fiorano circuit are Ferrari’s two PHEV hybrid machines, the SF90 Stradale and the 296 GTB. As Ferrari’s most powerful ever road car, it’s little surprise that the SF90 holds the lap record in that category, beating the LaFerrari which had held the title for four years. Just behind it, in fourth place, is Ferrari’s other PHEV Hybrid, the V6 turbocharged 296 GTB. And it’s these two cars which have the honour of being the only two Ferrari’s available with the Assetto Fiorano pack. 

 

The Assetto Fiorano improvements are not simple additions designed to improve aesthetics. It is a complete reassessment of both cars, designed to place focus directly on the track experience.

 

The concept is straightforward. Take an already blisteringly quick road-car and make it more track focused through a reduction in mass, an enhancement in aerodynamic downforce and an improvement in dynamic performance.

The Fiorano circuit as it looked when it opened in 1972, how the circuit has evolved into today's elite testing track and the only two cars honoured with the Assetto Fiorano package

For the SF90 Stradale (and the SF90 Spider), the Assetto Fiorano’s wide range of changes include the overall weight being lowered by 40kgs, a re-engineering of the suspension and the replacement of the adaptive dampers with passive aluminium Multimatic dampers, calibrated specifically for track use and derived from Ferrari’s GT racing experience.

 

High performance materials such as carbon fibre and titanium are also prevalent throughout: The new enlarged carbon fibre rear spoiler can generate 390kg of downforce at 250 km/hr, while Titanium suspension and exhausts keep the weight as low as possible. 

 

Finally, to keep Ferrari’s 1000 cv, 211mph machine firmly on the track, softer compound Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres have been included, while louvres within the rear screen work to keep the powertrain cool under extreme track conditions.

The revolutionary V6 turbocharged 296 GTB in its Assetto Fiorano pack

For the 296 GTB, the attention to detail is no different. Like the SF90, weight reduction has been achieved through the addition of carbon fibre, and areas such as the door panel have been completely redesigned to save more than 12kgs. Again, Multimatic dampers derived from GT racing are in place, optimized for track use and the Assetto Fiorano pack would not be complete without the Michelin Sport Cup2R high performance tyres, especially suited to track use because of their grip. 

 

Both cars have the option of unique livery. The SF90’s two tone approach is inspired by the world of Ferrari racing and is designed to draw your eye from the overhang on the front nose, right through to the carbon fibre rear spoiler.  For the 296 GTB, the livery design is inspired by the classic which inspired the car itself; the 250 Le Mans.

 

Time will only tell which Ferrari is deemed worthy for the next Asseto Fiorano classification, but one thing is sure, the Pista di Fiorano will be waiting.