Always keen to listen to client feedback, in 2004, Ferrari spotted the potential for a programme that would first deliver owners a very extreme, leading-edge car and then allow them to make an active contribution to developing both the car itself and those that came later.
This was an ambitious gamble indeed but Ferrari has turned what it dubbed the XX Programme into a real success story. The laboratory car it decided to build was the FXX, which was inspired by the 2002 Enzo Ferrari, a model that itself already drew to a massive extent on the Scuderia’s Formula 1 experience and had been given the design name of FX. As this new car was to have an even more extreme, track-specific vocation, the design team referred to it as the FXX. The name proved popular and it stuck. The car sported a 6.2-litre V12 that punched out over 800 CV. Its aero package was meticulously crafted, so that it delivered 40% more downforce than the Enzo. The cockpit was also customised to each Client-Test Driver’s requirements. Developed to be absolutely uncompromising, the FXX, however, could only be used on the track but not in competition. A total of 29 were built and sold to clients that had proved particularly dedicated. With the support of qualified instructors and professional drivers, these individuals became, to all intents and purposes, test-drivers for Maranello, with a constant flow of information between them and the Prancing Horse’s engineers. During every track session, the technicians used the cars’ sophisticated telemetry system to gather invaluable data which not only helped improve the FXX itself but also test out solutions for use on other Ferraris. At the time of its launch, the FXX was the world’s most expensive car, outdoing even the record held by the Schuppan 962CR since 1994. A calendar of track events was organised to which programme participants were invited. That said, one unique feature of the programme is that owners can also ask for their car to be made available to them at any FIA-approved track.
The FXX was previewed on August 17 2005 at the Ferrari Day organised during Pebble Beach week, although it didn’t make its debut proper until the Finali Mondiali at Mugello in October. Thereafter it was sent to the Bologna Motor Show at the start of December and then the Detroit Auto Show in January where it won the Eyeson Design Award. The FXX Programme activities got underway in 2006. The car made its track debut in April 2006 at Homestead in the US. In the same year, the thirtieth example, clothed in an all-black livery and sporting the number 30, was presented to the Scuderia Ferrari driver Michael Schumacher when he returned from the Turkish Grand Prix. The Kerpen champion was amongst the team of special Client-Test Drivers that gathered in early September at the Nürburgring. Schumacher’s suggestions were also used in the development of the Evo kit that allowed the programme to be extended into the 2008 and 2009 seasons.
As the first XX Programme car, the FXX still makes appearances at the events organised by Corse Clienti, Ferrari’s client racing division, on the world’s most spectacular circuits. Two further cars have since been added to the programme: the 599XX, presented in 2009 and later upgraded with an Evo kit in 2012, and the FXX K, unveiled the Abu Dhabi Finali Mondiali at the end of 2014 and on the track since 2015