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The FF’s styling, created by Pininfarina, is completely new in every sense of the word. The FF is modern, innovative, futuristic and stunningly elegant: the perfect marriage of aerodynamic constraints and the rules of design. On closer examination, however, the FF also exhibits, at its very heart, a recognisable Ferrari signature that manages to make it different from any other car whilst linking it to its genetic heritage. This is because the FF’s lines not only respect Prancing Horse tradition, they are also so innovative that they hail a complete break with the past. A revolution, one might say: an evolved modernity, a meshing of the trends of the third millennium, creating a look destined to go down in motoring history.
And yet the FF’s styling is classic. The new Prancing Horse car is clothed in beautifully streamlined yet sculptural lines with neatly understated forms and volumes. It combines compactness, subtle overhangs, soft rounded forms, and an imposing muscularity. It is future and history in one: the very best of the past is alive in the unique architecture and design of this fourseater, conceived to underscore the sporting stance of a car designed to tackle all weathers and all road surfaces.
In fact, the demands of a sleek, elegant design are all part and parcel of the car’s extraordinary aerodynamic efficiency. Simulations and wind tunnel testing have optimised the car’s external and internal air flows to guarantee the most efficient cooling possible of the FF’s running gear, on the one hand, and achieve leading-edge drag and downforce figures on the other. The car’s aerodynamic efficiency, which is expressed scientifically as the ratio of its drag coefficient Cd (0.329) to its downforce coefficient Cl (0.200), is 0.608, is the highest ever achieved by a car of this type.
The air that flows into the engine compartment exits through side vents that also lend the car’s flanks a deliciously aggressive yet sleek allure. The external architecture is exceptionally streamlined and aerodynamic. The engineers focused on creating a captivating, aggressive line by sculpting each area of the car with its function in mind, in line with a conceptual minimalism that characterises its forms and volumes. This air flows are channelled along curves around the tail-lights and over the roof and the nolder to guarantee low drag.
Detailed aerodynamic research and numerous wind tunnel test sessions were lavished on the rear section of the car. Air vents beside the rear lights help reduce pressure in the wheel arch area whilst also reducing wake turbulence, through the Base Bleed effect. The two air outlets on the bumpers separate the air flow along the car’s side at the exact point that will minimise both the size of the wake and its depression. The rear diffuser, which optimises air extraction from the underbody, has three channels, and incorporates two new features. The first of these is an airfoil that boosts its extraction capacity as well as downforce at the rear of the car, using a slight curve in the middle channel. The second innovation is that the side channels have an inverted (concave) curve that ensures the depression area remains uniform across the entire width of the undertray. Another completely new element is the FF’s chassis, designed to meet higher cabin comfort and space requirements and future safety standards (2015). It also sets the benchmark for a new generation of chassis.
It is a predominantly spaceframe construction and, like all recent Ferraris, is made from aluminium. Different alloys have been employed throughout to guarantee maximum component efficiency and an improved performance-weight ratio. Hollow, cast nodes have also been used to boost structural rigidity and decrease weight. The new chassis was also designed hand-in-glove with the bodywork to minimise the number of components used for each. The structural parts of the bodyshell are now more efficient as they are mostly made up of extrusions and castings. The result is that the FF’s chassis is 10% lighter than the previous generation yet has 6% greater torsional rigidity.