In Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ [NYSE:FCAU] five-year strategy announcement for Ferrari, it was revealed that the Italian maker of some of the finest supercars on the planet planned to give its cars a lifespan of about eight years, with a significant update—Modificato in Ferrari-speak—after the first four years.
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We saw this first with the transition of the California to the latest California T in 2014, and later this year we’ll see the 458 Italia receive its update. With the FF originally going on sale as a 2012 model, an updated version of the four-wheel-drive grand tourer is due in the next year or two, and it appears we now have our first look at a prototype for the updated car.
A video uploaded to YouTube by supercar spotter Marchettino shows engineers testing a version of the FF at the Fiorano test track with a makeshift exhaust system. According to onlookers, the sound the car made was much louder than normal, which together with the makeshift exhaust suggests that a more potent version of the FF’s 6.3-liter V-12 is being developed or perhaps a new engine altogether.
According to a previous report, the updated FF will maintain a naturally aspirated V-12 but have an output close to 700 horsepower instead of the current 651-hp rating. The car will also maintain its 4RM all-wheel-drive system albeit with revisions to enhance performance.
A new V-8 option is said to be in the hopper, to increase the car’s appeal, though the move would be strange given Ferrari’s preference for only a single engine for its respective models. Instead, we may see the V-8 reserved for a more coupe-like FF variant that may also be in the works.
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The final mechanical update is said to be a new eight-speed transmission instead of the FF’s existing seven-speed dual-clutch unit. The extra gear will allow a tall overdrive in top gear to reduce fuel consumption and help Ferrari reach its emissions targets.
As for the styling, this is likely to feature only evolutionary updates, like those we saw in the California’s transition to the California T. Interestingly, the previous report also stated that we may see some carbon fiber and other composite materials employed above the waistline to help lower the car’s center of gravity.
Look for a debut of the updated Ferrari FF late this year or in early 2016.