Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Ferrari Enzo is a 12 cylinder mid-engine berlinetta

The Enzo Ferrari is a 12 cylinder mid-engine berlinetta named after the company's founder, Enzo Ferrari. It was built in 2002 using Formula One technology, such as a carbon-fibre body, F1-style electrohydraulic shift transmission, and Carbon fibre-reinforced Silicon Carbide (C/SiC) ceramic composite disc brakes. Also used are technologies not allowed in F1 such as active aerodynamics and traction control. After a downforce of 775 kg (1,709 lb) is reached at 355.6 km/h (221 mph) the rear wing is actuated by computer to maintain that downforce.
The Enzo's V12 engine is the first of a new generation for Ferrari. It is based on the architecture of the V8 found in sister-company Maserati's Quattroporte, using the same basic architecture and 104 mm (4.1 in) bore spacing. This design will replace the former architectures seen in V12 and V8 engines used in most other contemporary Ferraris. The 2005 F430 is the second Ferrari to get a version of this new powerplant.

In developing the Enzo, Ferrari set itself two pure performance targets which would represent a milestone for ultra-fast cars: to increase the grip limit in medium-fast bends by increasing downforce (lateral dynamics,) while maintaining a very high top speed, over 350 km/h (longitudinal dynamics.)
This meant that different aerodynamic configurations with contrasting characteristics had to coexist on the same car. In racing cars, this problem is solved by developing wings and special aerodynamic accessories for each circuit. But in the case of the Enzo, for which the various targets had to coexist in a single aerodynamic configuration, a concept of active, integrated aerodynamics was developed.
The high downforce configuration was obtained with a basic aerodynamic set-up developed on the basis of contemporary concepts for the definition of covered-wheel racing cars combined with the expertise of Ferrari Gestione Sportiva.

The optimal aerodynamic set-up is kept stable by special elastic features of the car's engineering and by active aerodynamic control.

As the speed increases from low-medium to high-very high, the engineering ensures that the car takes on the optimal aerodynamic set-up (maximum downforce obtained with an optimal load distribution) by varying the rigidity on the basis of ground clearance. As the speed climbs even higher, this set-up is maintained by the combined action of the flexible mechanical components and by active control of the spoilers. At very high speeds, the actively controlled spoilers (front and rear fins) limit the maximum vertical load, thus making it possible to keep the car above a set minimum ground clearance. On the Enzo, the aerodynamic load and balance can be modified on the road by means of a pair of flaps positioned in the front slides and a rear spoiler.