The Ferrari 575M Maranello | Part Two

The Ferrari 575M Maranello

Ferrari 575

Styling & Aerodynamics

The styling of the 575M Maranello was entrusted to Ferrari’s long-time creative partner Pininfarina. The balanced lines and understated design that made the 550 Maranello an ‘instant classic’ when it first appeared, have been left largely untouched. The modifications made to the original forms are subtle and designed to meet specific technical requirements. The shape and size of the front air intakes, for instance, have been optimised to increase the flow of cooling air to the more powerful engine and there’s a new, full-width front spoiler design which increases downforce.

The new nose section of the car incorporates redesigned headlights, with body-colour surrounds and grey detailing, featuring xenon technology bulbs for dipped beam, as standard. The slim-spoke, 18 inch diameter wheels now also have a much sportier look more in line with the new car’s racier temperament.

The increased demand for cooling required a greater flow of air through the engine bay and necessitated re-examining the aerodynamcis of the underbody. Raised channels were introduced to guide the under-car airflow and those, together with small fairings around all four wheels, enabled the 575M to achieve the same aerodynamic efficiency, a Cd figure of 0.33, as the 550.

Design & Construction

Following long-standing Ferrari tradition, the 575M has an extremely robust tubular steel spaceframe chassis to which the aluminium bodywork is welded to further increase structural rigidity. The welding is carried out using an innovative process that involves interposing a special steel foil betwen the components, chemically treated with Feran. This foil allows the aluminium body panels to bond with the steel chassis.

The chassis is constructed from high tensile steel tubes of varying diameter to optimise strength and weight, depending on their level of stress and location. High torsional and flexional rigidity is achieved and the central cage offers excellent occupant crash protection.

The new car boasts a perfect weight distribution of 50 per cent over both front and rear axles with the driver on board. This results from mounting the six-speed gearbox at the rear, in unit with the limited-slip differential and the final drive.

continues... | Part Three
Published 22 May 2004 Melanie Carter

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