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Exotic Cars: A Survey of the Top Manufacturers

Posted 06-18-2016 at 04:14 AM by AnthonyNapper
Updated 06-18-2016 at 04:23 AM by AnthonyNapper

Ferrari's charismatic founder may have already passed away but he is immortalized in a supercar that bears his name. The 2002 Enzo Ferrari was made to usher in a new generation of vehicles for the new millennium. It was designed by Ken Okuyama who was the former head designer of legendary firm Pininfarina. Only 400 were ever produced and all of them were sold even before production began. It appeared in the movie Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle where it was driven by Demi Moore. Enzo Ferraris (exotic cars original sold for $659,330) now goes for over a million dollars each at auctions.

Carbon Fiber Body
Part of the appeal of the Enzos is the Formula One styling and construction. To make it as light as possible, the company wrapped it in a carbon fiber body which was extremely rare at the time. In truth, the use of this material in such an extensive manner is still rare today. Carbon fiber reinforced polymer is known for its exceptional strength-to-weight ratio. It is expensive to produce so it is usually reserved for specialized applications like aerospace crafts, performance sporting goods, and top tier automotive designs. Thanks to this, the Enzo weighs only 1,255 kg or 2,767 lbs.

F1 Transmission
This model uses a transmission system that mimics those used in Formula One cars. Electrohydraulic manual transmission is a type of semi-automatic system. There is an automated clutch which is controlled by computers and hydraulics. The driver has access to a shift lever that can be used to switch gears. Once a selection has been made, the system takes care of everything to ensure a smooth transition. Incredibly fast shift times can be achieved which is measured in milliseconds. Drivers enjoy driving with this kind of system as it simplifies things while enhancing performance. They can respond quickly to changing road situations.

C/SiC Ceramic Disc Brakes
Exotic cars like the Enzo can reach incredible speeds. While this is impressive, it creates a safety issue because it is harder to stop the vehicle from moving compared to a regular sedan. The brake system needs to be elevated as well to become at par with the overall performance. Ferrari used another advanced technology for this called carbon fiber reinforced silicon carbide or C/SiC. This tech is often used in the most demanding automotive applications. The material can be found on disc brakes to stop the wheels from turning within an acceptable timeframe.

Active Aerodynamic Control
There are certain things that f1 racing rules don't allow but are perfectly legal for road cars. Ferrari chose to equip the already remarkable Enzo with another innovative technology: active aerodynamics and traction control. It is an automatic system that kicks in when certain conditions are met. Sensors around the car monitor downforce. When 7600 N is reached at a speed of 300 km/h, then an actuator for the rear wing moves to keep the force steady. This improves traction with the ground even when the car is flying, so to speak. It keeps the vehicle stable.

F140 B V12 Engine
The V12 engine on the Enzo was based on the design of Maserati's V8 for the Quattroporte. This was a welcome change for the new millennium cars for Ferrari. It features variable valve timing, dual overhead cams, and 4 valves per cylinder. It also has Bosch fuel injection, a 5998 cc displacement, and 651 of horsepower. Overall, it is a capable powerplant that allow the unit to achieve fantastic speeds, especially with its lightweight body. Acceleration from zero to 60mph was measured at 3.14 seconds and top speed is at 355 kph.
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