2005 Ferrari FXX Evoluzione
Words by Samuel Cuthbert with photography courtesy of RM auctions
With all the hype surrounding the recently unveiled FXXK (the bloke at Ferrari responsible for naming new models is on fire lately) I thought it would be fun to have a look back its predecessor, to remember the car that paved the way for this latest track-only hypercar from Maranello. Ferrari build the XX series (FXX, 599XX, and the FXXK) for their most rabidly enthusiastic customers, and employ a rather unusual agreement with them that results in a unique "ownership" of the cars. You may have read about how particular Ferrari can be about who buys their more exclusive models, aiming to place them with true fans of the brand who will drive them and keep them in their possession for a long time, rather than obtain an example only to flip it to another buyer for a hefty profit. Fair enough. Their cars, they can decide to sell them however they wish (and it clearly hasn't backfired), but the XX series is quite different.
It wasn't simply a matter of ponying up the €1.5 million (plus taxes) required to secure an FXX, and bringing it back to nestle in amongst the other collectables in your stable. Ferrari literally wouldn't let you take it home - retaining custody of the beastly cars at Maranello, and only letting them loose at special events for the owners to race against each other at some of the worlds finest race tracks. Instead, those customers purchased the right to become something akin to "owner test drivers" of their FXX (as with the other two cars in the series), where they would be invited to drive their cars at 14 very special track days in Europe, North America, and Japan. That's it. It's a bit like joining an exclusive club then, where your entry fee buys you two years access (after which you can then pay Ferrari an undisclosed fee to keep attending these events) to the very pinnacle of Ferrari racing technology, but the price to pay is you can only access it under factory supervision.
There are other perks to joining the club though. Every event would see owners surrounded by Ferrari engineers and racing instructors that would coach owners on how to get the best out of the cars, and then perform in-depth analysis on the data logged from each event. It's genius really, because they are getting feedback which helps them develop their road cars (La Ferrari etc) to better suit the Ferrari customer. It's one thing to have superhuman test pilots like Alonso give you incredibly accurate feedback for development, and another thing entirely to have data on how real Ferrari customers can actually drive and how best to enhance their experience. So rather than have this development done in secret and at great expense, they created the XX series - which only expands their reputation for racing and gives the brand huge amounts of press - and they have customers foot the bill. Clever Italians.
Onto our featured car, which quite unique and is in my opinion, the most striking of all FXX models produced. Being the first customer FXX produced is the first feather in its cap. That's right, this single-owner car started life as a standard FXX, only to be converted to Evoluzione specification by the factory in 2008. Some people are never satisfied. It meant a leap up from the FXX's 789hp version of the V12 found in the Enzo road car, to an almighty 860hp at 9,500rpm in Evo trim. Gear ratios were changed to accommodate the extra 1,000rpm, the F1 gearbox had shifts reduced to a scant 60ms, significantly upgraded aero, beefier brakes, and a more intelligent traction-control system. Then there is the stunning pearl white and red trim colour scheme (photographed beautifully I might add) that is unique among the 38 FXX cars produced. It's simply a monster, taking the already incredible Enzo and increasing downforce by 40% (but with active aero to produce just enough to stick to the track) and dropping the curb weight by 510lbs by ditching the road car's necessities, even with the inclusion of racing-style pneumatic jacks.
Just like this sensational FXX Evoluzione (going under the hammer in Arizona on January 16th for interested buyers), there will be a FXXK Evoluzione to look forward to in around two years if history is any indication. So we will have another album to share in the future, one that will undoubtedly redefine what it is exactly to be the most extreme example of a customer-driven Ferrari. Can't wait to see what they come up with.