Once in the blue moon we hear about one of the thirty Ferrari FXXs: one recently got sold, one got stuffed into a wall, and another was on TopGear driven by someone who retired but didn’t, claiming to be someone he wasn’t. The truly lucky ones get to see an FXX in person, and if you see one being properly driven on the track, by all means buy a lottery ticket. Imagine my surprise when on the same day I received two emails from two different people, about two different FXXs spotted in North America on the same day.
The Ferrari FXX was a research and development project put on by Ferrari from 2005 to 2009. Where the project brilliantly differed from all other R&D projects was that the development vehicles were leased to a group of hand-picked Ferrari owners for a ridiculous amount of money. The manufacturer would retain the cars but transport them to scheduled track events around the world where the cars would be driven by the testers/owners and the data would be collected.
Over time, the collected data led to a $300,000 Evoluzione package. To get this package installed, each FXX would need to make a trip back to the factory. There, the V12 engine got a bump in power from 800 to 860-horsepower (at 9500rpm!), shift times were reduced from 80ms to 60ms, new gear ratios, new traction control system, two extra rear-view cameras installed, and aerodynamics reworked. All this lead to reduction of laps times around the factory’s famous Fiorano circuit by two seconds to 1:16.
At the end of this project, for the lack of better terms, the FXXs were available for purchase by their testers. However, they were not built to a race spec nor were the FXXs street legal, making them one helluva pricey track day car. Decades from now random FXXs will come up for sale at an auction, probably at ten times their current value.
The first email was from my friend Mike, whose friend attended an exotic car display benefiting The Michael Fux Foundation, in Red Bank, New Jersey. There was a white FXX, numbered one, which has undergone the Evoluzione treatment. The car belongs to Michael Fux who, not surprisingly, has an extensive collection of cars which includes a Bugatti Veyron, Maserati MC 12, and an Enzo, among other lesser vehicles such as an SLR and random Rolls Royces and Aston Martins.
The proceeds from the event, which included a number of other exotic cars, went to Children’s Cancer Caring Center Inc., which provides volunteer cancer treatment to children whose families are without health insurance. The other recipient of donations was Operation Smile which provides free surgeries to repair cleft lip, cleft palate, and other facial deformities for children around the globe.
The second email came from Christo Tinkov, an auto-cross and track junkie from my local chapter of BMWCCA. Christo, a regular contributor to the chapter magazine has recently launched One Hot Lap, a website deals with stuff that adrenaline seeking track junkies deal with, and other car-related stuff too. Make sure to check it out.
Christo was at Circuit Mont-Tremblant for a weekend track event where he spotted a red FXX number six. This FXX also underwent the Evoluzione treatment. Being who he is, Christo’s pictures focused on the details which would draw the attention of every carguy – the roll-cage, interior, vents, cameras, tire pressure and even lug-nut torque spec. Check out all the pictures at One Hot Lap.
In the process of one weekend we have seen a red and a white FXX. I know that there are also yellow, blue, and silver FXXs, at least one of each. Then there is the TopGear-famous black without stripes FXX, which was presented to Michael Schumacher (is that his F1 car next to the white FXX?) when he retired from Ferrari. If you see an FXX, make sure to take some pictures. The easiest way to distinguish the Evoluzione models is by their black wheels, whereas the non-Evoluzione have silver wheels. From what I have seen the numbers on the cars do not correspond to the production number.