As the 1021bhp LaFerrari FXX K joins the Prancing Horse's most elite ranks, we look at the other members of Ferrari's exclusive driver's club
Darren Moss
6 December 2014

The 1021bhp LaFerrari FXX K has become the third eligible vehicle in one of the most exclusive driver development programmes in the world.

Starting in 2005 with the launch of the original FXX – itself based on the legendary Enzo supercar – Ferrari began offering owners (or client test drivers, as it calls them) the chance to take part in six annual exclusive track days all over the world, including locations such as Spa and the Nürburgring.

As well as all that, owners would actively take part in helping Ferrari to develop the next generation of road car technology.

To buy into the XX programme, each of the 20 specially selected owner-drivers would have to be approached by Ferrari, and ‘invited’ onto the scheme. At each event, drivers would be supported by a full Ferrari pit crew and technicians.

As well as track days, owners could also arrange extra track time in their car with Maranello. Contrary to what many believe, cars taking part in the XX programme were never forcibly kept at Ferrari’s Italian HQ, though the likelihood is that many chose to.

Just 29 examples of the FXX were built, with the 30th presented to F1 legend Michael Schumacher – who also took part in the XX scheme. Such was the hardcore nature of the FXX that each car also came with an advanced driving course at Ferrari’s Fiorano test track included in the price.

Just like later XX cars, the FXX was never homologated for road use, nor was it ever designed to be used in competitive racing.

Though the initial XX programme was designed to run for just two years, in 2007 Ferrari decided to extend it – as well as offering an “Evoluzione” package for the XX.

The package bought drivers another six track events over another two years – but also offered a series of upgrades for the FXX. Power from the 6.2-litre V12 engine was increased to 848bhp at 9500rpm, while revisions to the transmission cut shift times to just 60 milliseconds.

Extra settings were also added to allow drivers to turn the FXX’s traction control off completely, while the suspension and brakes were also modified. It was rumoured to cost upwards of €1 million, excluding local taxes.

In 2010 Ferrari added a new vehicle to its XX line-up, the 599XX. Costing around £1.3 million, production was similarly limited to 29 models. 

The V12 engine, lifted from the regular 599, featured new enhancements and a titanium exhaust, taking power to 720bhp at 9000rpm and torque to 505lb ft at 6500rpm.

Weight over the standard car also dropped by 270kg to 1430kg - all of which added up to provide a 0-60mph time of less than 2.9 seconds and a top speed of 196mph. Autocar was one of the few media outlets to drive the car at Fiorano.

It was only two years later though, in 2012, that Ferrari upgraded the 599XX with its own Evoluzione package, featuring new active aerodynamic bodywork, chassis tweaks, new Pirelli tyres, weight loss equivalent to 35kg, torque boosted to 516lb ft and another power hike – this time to 729bhp.

The result was car a car that could lap Fiorano in just 1min 15sec – a full ten seconds faster than the Enzo - and could achieve up to 400kg of downforce at 124mph.

Now a firmly established part of the Ferrari repertoire, the XX programme will again be bolstered by the arrival of the €2.2 million FXX K. 

Given the developments that have already reputedly come as a result of the XX programme, it’s fair to say the cars – and drivers – will continue to shape the future of Ferrari. Bosses have already hinted that the programme will look to develop technology for use in cars like the 458 replacement, as well as future versions of the F12 Berlinetta.

Speaking at the launch of the FXX K, Ferrari test driver Marc Gené said: "We put in place the XX programme, to build a car that is performance orientated and has the latest technology available, and also so that the technology can transfer back into the road cars.

"Technology from performance, if it works here, will be put into the road cars. But we also have these Ferrari clients, who are big clients and who have big Ferrari collections, so we value their input about what they want.

"XX will give us some of the technology for the next models, in five or so years time. XX is a laboratory for Ferrari, where our clients have an input." 

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6 December 2014
What an awful tuning!

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