Ever since the 651 horsepower Ferrari Enzo (pictured) went out of production in 2004, rumors have circulated about its successor. Ferrari CEO Amedeo Felisa said recently that the Italian company is thinking about building a new Enzo, codenamed F70, and that it would be powered by a V12 engine and an electric motor with a Formula 1-style kinetic energy recovery system (KERS). The F70 must be nearing completion, because Ferrari is taking deposits.
To woo customers into purchasing its new F12 Berlinetta, Ferrari invited a few to its Maranello, Italy factory for a preview, before the car’s Geneva Show debut. There, they were also shown renderings of the F70, and asked if they would be interested in buying one. When Ferrari is working on a new model, following the money is usually the best way to find out. Ferrari’s wealthiest and most loyal customers often can sneak peeks of cars that are still under development, and they get first right of refusal before the cars go public. This was the case with Ferrari’s last extreme car, the 599 GTO, as well as the Enzo. While the press fed on rumors of the mysterious “F60,” Ferrari hand-picked customers for its 349 Enzos.
Ferrari Chairman Luca di Montezemolo later confirmed that the F70 is heading for production. He told Automotive News Europe that the Enzo replacement will be unveiled to a select group of Ferrari VIPs and buyers before the end of the year. He said the car will make its public debut at either the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit or at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. “We want to surprise people not just in terms of price but also with the car itself,” di Montezemolo said.
Rumor has it that the F70 will be a mild hybrid, power by an 800 hp V12 based on the one in F12, and a 120 hp electric motor, for a total of 920 hp. The electric motor will get its power from kinetic energy, recovered when the car brakes and stored in a spinning flywheel. This means the F70 will will be driven primarily by its gasoline engine, but the kinetic system does save weight over a traditional battery storage system.
Low weight will be an important part of the F70’s design. Ferrari has been working hard to add lightness, as evidenced by the Enzo-based FXX and the Millechili concept, which was designed to be a featherweight 1,000 kilograms, about 2,200 pounds.
Cost may not be the F70’s biggest surprise, but that may be because Ferrari is used to building exclusive cars. The Enzo started at $700,000, but dealers quickly resold some for over $1,000,000. With the F70 packing more power and technology, don’t expect it to be cheap. Still, at least the F70, or whatever Ferrari chooses to call it, is real. Have your checkbook ready.