Code red for F60
By Bob Jennings
The Sydney Morning Herald
Friday February 8 2002
The million-dollar supercar league has revived. Ferrari is poised to storm back with its latest weapon, the F60, the successor to the legendary F50 and F40.
The low, squat and threatening device is still secret, but it was spotted of all places in Lapland, where it has been undergoing extreme cold-weather testing.
The Lapps are accustomed to cars being tested above the Arctic Circle, but an F60 is a rarity.
At the top of the automotive food chain, the F60 will join German heavyweights from Porsche, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen.
Porsche has confirmed it will build the V10-powered Carrera GT and Benz, with its Formula One partner McLaren, is well advanced in developing the SLR.
Volkswagen, owner of both Lamborghini and Bugatti, has the Lamborghini Murcielago – reputed to be the world's fastest current production car – available in Europe for the equivalent of $600,000, a comparative bargain.
For the others, the sky will be the limit. If you can't spare a million dollars, don't bother.
People are only guessing at the price of the yet-to-be-released Bugatti EB 16-4 Veyron, whose 16-cylinder engine is claimed by VW to develop ''1001 hp'' – that's about 736 kW – and push it above 400 kmh. Finding a test pilot brave enough to to verify that could prove difficult.
Ferrari claims to have about 100 firm orders for the F60, whose design incorporates flip-up ''scissor'' doors, reminiscent of sports-prototype racing cars.
Not so obvious is the aerodynamically smoothed and shaped underbody. In the photo by spy agency Automedia (on the homepage), the front of the car is disguised, but it is expected to have elements of Formula One design.
Automedia's computer illustration, above, hints at the likely final styling. Power comes from a 6.0-litre mid-mounted aluminium V12, expected to develop about 485 kW, driving through a six-speed sequential manual gearbox.
Acceleration from rest to 100 kmh is expected to take only 3.2 seconds, and top speed will be about 330 kmh.
The Ferrari is due to break cover at the Paris motor show in September, ready to take on such challengers as the Murcielago.
Porsche chairman Dr Wendelin Wiedeking says it will build 1000 Carrera GTs. The model will be based on pure racing car engineering, with a new 5.5-litre V10 and six-speed gearbox.
With outputs of 416 kW and 600 Nm, Wiedeking predicts, the Carrera GT will top 330 kmh.
Meanwhile, as the F60 looks to the future, another figure in Formula One will back an attempt on the Le Mans 24-hour sports race in the first front-engined Ferrari to compete there since 1966.
The Prodrive operation of David Richards – who is now in charge of British American Racing's Formula One efforts, as well as Subaru's World Rally Championship team – will enter two Ferrari 550 Maranellos in the GTS class at Le Mans in June.
The last front-engined Ferrari at Le Mans was the 275 GTB, which competed there in 1966. Ferrari last won the event in 1965 with the mid-engined 250LM.
Go the rat !!!!