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Franco Cimatti

Discussion in 'Who's Who in Ferrari Universe' started by Gatorrari, Jan 13, 2010.

  1. Gatorrari

    Gatorrari F1 World Champ
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    Feb 27, 2004
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    Jim Pernikoff
    #1 Gatorrari, Jan 13, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Franco Cimatti is a 1981 graduate of mechanical engineering at Georgia Tech and now “concept engineering manager” at Ferrari Auto SpA in Maranello, Italy. He is in charge of all new-car platform design in the road-car division of Ferrari: as he says in his words, “the blank-sheet-of-paper part of the process”. Franco was the guest speaker for the 2006 Georgia Tech Auto Show.

    I met Franco at the 2006 show and enjoyed the conversation. In his keynote speech, he showed how the 612 Scaglietti was laid out starting from representations of the driver and passengers and going onward from there - very interesting!

    The photo of Franco on the Georgia Tech Auto Show website, which is reproduced below, shows a 328 in the background -- my car! The photo was taken after the speech and by that time all the other Ferraris had left. Sometimes it pays to stick around.
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  2. Gatorrari

    Gatorrari F1 World Champ
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    Jim Pernikoff
    Nice work photographing the screen, Carbon. It was interesting for everyone, but especially for us ferraristi!

    I continue to be amazed at how many important people that Georgia Tech has contributed to the automotive industry, considering how Georgia is hardly considered a big player in the industry. (Heck, both of our local auto assembly plants have been shut down in recent years, and one has been bulldozed!) But every year, Sterling Skinner, the show's organizer, finds someone of interest.

    For more info about the Georgia Tech Auto Show and its guest speakers thru the years, go to http://www.gatechautoshow.com/ and pick the "History" link. There are two pages, so be sure to pick the "Older Entries" link when you get to the bottom of the first page.
     
  3. gt1995

    gt1995 Formula Junior

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    #4 gt1995, Sep 25, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    As an engineering alum of Georgia Tech myself, I am always amazed by the incredible roles that many of our graduates play in industry. I was especially proud to see Franco Cimatti featured in the latest edition of the Georgia Tech Alumni magazine and then to stumble across this thread here on FChat.

    See the online version of the article, which features some different photos from the print version at Tech By Design | Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine. I have also attached a photo of the print article and accompanying photos which feature the LaFerrari, 458 Italia, 458 Spider, and a front-engine chassis of some type that I can't quite make out.

    In case it disappears, the text of the article states:

    Franco Cimatti, ME 81
    Automotive Designer, Ferrari SpA

    Over the last two decades, there’s perhaps been no more influential force on Ferrari vehicle designs than Tech alumnus Franco Cimatti. As director of vehicle concepts and pre-development for the famed Italian automaker, Cimatti holds a legacy that hit high gear in the mid-1990s when he took the lead on designing the Ferrari 360 Modena—which uncoincidentally bears the same name as his birthplace.

    Cimatti supervises a team of engineers and designers charged with developing new vehicle architecture and technologies upon which the Ferrari business plan revolves. “We investigate high-level, strategic directions, as well as detail decisions in terms of performance specifications, space allocations and design solutions,” Cimatti says.

    His body of engineering and design work is astounding: Cimatti explored a pronounced rear-biased weight distribution with a mid-front engine, transaxle layout in the 2004 Ferrari 612 Scaglietti; developed a new dual-clutch transmission, suspension geometries and a retractable hard-top for the 2008 California; patented Ferrari’s first all-wheel-drive transmission on the 2011 FF; and pushed physics-based design integration to the extremes on the radical, hybrid 2013 LaFerrari.

    Two fundamental principles drive Cimatti’s approach to automotive design. “The first is to explore and generate feasible ideas for functional and performance aspects that may be obtained by basic physics such as weight, weight distribution, position of center of gravity, inertia properties, aerodynamics and the like,” he says. “And to that end, I try to minimize parts count and size as much as possible.”

    The second is perhaps even more important: to maximize the interaction between human and machine. “Vehicle control should be natural and enjoyable, the feedback from vehicle to occupants appreciable, and life on board our vehicles a remarkable experience,” Cimatti says.

    As you can imagine, it takes a tremendous amount of effort to bring a Ferrari from original concept all the way to dealers’ showrooms. And that’s why such work takes not only a strong design team, but also a close relationship with other design and production partners in the business, Cimatti says.

    “My team devotes a considerable portion of its time to hands-on engineering design work and preliminary calculations,” he says. “At later stages, when single vehicle model development starts, our work becomes the engineering input on the automobile’s aesthetics, and the technical feasibility of the desired styling. We also coordinate all vehicle technical specifications and development right up to production launch.”
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