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How Automobiles Work


Steve Sutcliffe: The Ferrari museum in Maranello
nestles in a back street just around the corner from the legendary factory itself. It costs
just a few Euros to enter, and contains some of the rarest, most expensive Ferraris on
earth. The centrepiece to the museum is an entire
room dedicated to the design of the new LaFerrari. Here in an exclusive interview, Ferrari’s
design director talks a little bit about why the new LaFerrari is the way it is. Flavio Manzoni: This is like a manifesto for Ferrari
for the next generation. We say we have to create something, a milestone to simulate
the creative process in the next project. Sutcliffe: Do you have to be an engineer now,
as well as a designer, in order to understand? Flavio: No. I’m a architect, and I’m very passionate
about these things. This in a way, is a must. If you don’t understand exactly the specific
needs in every part of the car, it’s very difficult to make a car like this also beautiful. Here, we are ready in probably April or May
2011; this was the first big presentation with a 1:1 scale model. Three were developed
by Ferrari Design and two from Pininfarina. By the way, one of them
is missing, one that I found very beautiful because I wanted to keep it secret; very different. Another concept, but still very interesting.
That’s why we are thinking on some, maybe, some one-off car. There was a first installation of
three of them. One from Pininfarina, two from Ferrari Design. Ferrari Design; this, we call
Manta. Sutcliffe: Manta, as in manta ray? Flavio: The fish, yes, which is the model
you see over there. This, we call it the Tensostruttura, is this one. Sutcliffe: We already know a little bit about
the LaFerrari’s amazing V12 hybrid power train and its potentially mind-blowing straight
line performance. What about it’s radical but beautiful, styling? Was the president himself, Mr. Montezemolo,
influential in the way the car looks? Flavio: Mr. Montezemolo wanted something really
strong, original, futuristic; not conservative. We tried to learn a lot about the Ferrari
DNA, the Ferrari tradition. I didn’t want any retro feeling. I didn’t want any quote
or quotation coming from the past and simply translated into a modern language.
I wanted some feeling of the most beautiful Ferraris, like for instance, the P3, the P4,
but not the same, not tradition. A kind of flair. Sutcliffe: A spirit, but not a pastiche. Flavio: Exactly. Sutcliffe: It had to be a totally modern,
contemporary… Flavio: I don’t like…I want to stop retro
design. Let’s look forward and not always looking to the past. This is design, this
is not style. We must do something functional. Every millimetre, every single centimetre
of this car, this body, is designed to get the maximum performance in every aspect, so
it’s normal. Sutcliffe: That’s a little bit about why the
LaFerrari looks as breathtaking as it does. All they need to do now is let us drive it
and maybe even compare it with the McLaren P1 and Porsche 918 Spyder. Fingers, toes,
and pretty much everything else crossed that we can make that happen sometime soon. In
the meantime, we can only dream.

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