Ferrari’s Enzo replacement, the F70, is still in development…but that doesn’t mean they aren’t starting to show things off. Even though the F70 will be a hybrid, the chassis will be 20 percent lighter with the help of carbon fiber. Rather than using manufacturing techniques such as RTM (Resin transfer molding), normally used in automotive carbon fiber manufacturing, Ferrari found it did not meet the quality and functional standards set by themselves. Instead, the chassis is made up of four different types of carbon fiber, which are hand-laminated and cured in autoclaves.
The main structure is made from T800 carbon with local, strategic applications of T800UD, a unidirectional carbon-fibre tape, for reinforcement. To ensure weight was kept to an absolute minimum, the structural underbody and the cross-member are made from another type of particularly high tensile strength carbon-fibre known as M46J. In certain critical areas, such as the doors, very tough T1000 was adopted as it is particularly efficient in terms of impact absorption which is why it is used in the nose-cone of the single-seaters. Carbon-fibre is combined with Kevlar® for the undertray to prevent damage from debris thrown up from the road.
The overall chassis is 20 percent lighter than the Enzo Ferrari, despite the extra weight required by housing the hybrid components and to meet regulatory obligations. Torsional rigidity is increased by 27 percent and beam stiffness is up by 22 percent.
Ferrari showed off its chassis at the Paris 2012 Auto Show (Pics courtesy of Autoblog):
The icing on the cake these videos put together by Ferrari that show some of the behind-the-scenes for manufacturing: