The 2014 Ferrari Finali Mondiali got underway in Abu Dhabi on December 2 of that year. This was an absolute first for the event that closes Ferrari’s racing season as it had never before been staged outside Europe. That day, the spectators and media milling about in the Middle Eastern heat of the paddock at the Yas Marina Circuit noticed a huge wooden box with several burly-looking gentlemen standing guard around it.
The container concealed a genuine treasure. Inside, in fact, was the Ferrari FXX K, a laboratory car based on Maranello’s first hybrid, the LaFerrari, which would be used as part of the new research and development programme. The K of the car’s name referred to the KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) used to boost performance on the track. The FXX K was eventually unveiled to the public on the morning of December 3. When the wooden panels surrounding it were removed, the mix of astonishment and admiration on the faces of enthusiasts and journalists said it all. The FXX K features a slew of technological innovations that guarantees an unprecedented driving experience to the exclusive group of Client-Test Drivers with whom Ferrari conducts its exclusive test programme. Unfettered by homologation rules and other regulatory constraints, the FXX K will never even be used in competition. Its enormous potential can be summed up in a few startlingly significant vital statistics: a total of 1,050 cv of 860 are delivered by a conventional V12 and 190 cv by an electric motor, producing over 900 Nm maximum torque in all. The 6,262 cc V12 has new camshafts, mechanical rather than hydraulic valve distribution, specific engine mapping, redesigned intake manifolds with a special treatment to reduce friction and amodified exhaust system with the silencers removed. The HY-KERS system was also evolved for pure performance with the driver controlling the various control logics via the specific 4-position Manettino.
The front of the car is dominated by a twin-profile spoiler with larger splitter which has a division in its centre which improves aero balance and generates downforce in line with hugely successful concepts introduced and developed in the GT category of the WEC. Two pairs of turning vanes at the sides together with vertical fins channel air to reduce drag and exploit the underbody as efficiently as possible. The rear of the car is striking too: the tail is higher and the chord of the spoiler had been extended. A vertical fin and a small wing were also added each side of the tail. These act as guide vanes in the low drag configuration, while in high downforce configuration, they function as endplates to boost the efficiency of the spoiler. The Ferrari FXX K made its track debut in the hands of the Client-Test Drivers in two test days at Imola on June 4 and 5 2015. However, the first public event it took part in was the Ferrari Racing Days in Budapest at the end of June. The car performed brilliantly, captivating the spectators dotted around the hilly Hungarian circuit. The three FXX Ks fielded that day even managed to steal the show from Sebastian Vettel, who was guest star at the wheel of the Scuderia Ferrari’s F1 car at the weekend.