The Ferrari 612 Scaglietti - Design | Part Six

In the 612 Scaglietti, the masses are distributed to favour the front axle. Thanks in part also to the use of differently dimensioned rear and front tyres, and most particularly to the lowering of the car’s centre gravity, this solution means that the 612 Scaglietti delivers the same kind of traction, cornering and braking efficiency as the company’s sports cars.

The architecture was designed over a generous 2,950 mm wheel base. It sees the engine positioned behind the front axle (mid-front position), the gearbox in unit with the differential at the rear to ensure that the cabin can be pulled back as far as possible, and the centre of gravity 20 mm lower than the 456M. These achievements were, of course, further enhanced by the aluminium structure which makes the car significantly lighter.

The 612 Scaglietti’s 46% rear- 54% front weight distribution is unique in its category too and its kerb weight is around 1,840 kg (European version) which translates into an excellent power to weight ratio of 3.2 kg/bhp (measured on dry weight).

The 612 Scaglietti’s top speed is in excess of 315 km/h and its 0 a 100 km/h sprint time is just 4.2 seconds.

Aerodynamics

The new Ferrari 2+2’s aerodynamics are the fruit of the designers’ very specific decision to aim for just the right download without increasing drag. The first step in this process was to optimise the car’s form, achieved using a special computer programme developed by Ferrari in collaboration with the University of Pisa. This was followed by intensive testing of a scale model in the wind tunnel to refine certain details of the design. In all, the development of the 612 Scaglietti’s aerodynamics took 3,500 hours, half of which were spent in the wind tunnel.

The bodywork styling, developed in close collaboration with Pininfarina, melds functional demands with pure aesthetics. The development of the wheelarches, engine hood, cabin and rear results in a slender, aerodynamic-looking car.

Careful research also went into the design of the underbody of the car (double in the rear section) to ensure optimal air flows. The rear diffuser helps dissipate the heat from both the exhaust system and the gearbox oil radiator.

The results are exceptional, particularly given the fact that this is a front-engined car: Cx 0.34; Cz 0.12 (equivalent to a vertical load of 115 kg at 300 km/h).

continues... | Part Seven
Published 19 February 2004 Melanie Carter

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