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High torque and AWD on F-cars, why not?

Discussion in 'Ferrari Discussion (not model specific)' started by Cavallini, Mar 14, 2004.

  1. Cavallini

    Cavallini Formula 3

    Nov 2, 2003
    1,818
    Greetings, Ferraristi.

    Having read most of the magazine reviews comparing the 360 to the various and sundry Porsches, Lambos, Ford GTs et al, the only true advantage I see the others having over the 360 is much higher torque and AWD, (the Ford GT excepted of course, although the amount of rubber they put on the road achieves almost the same goal as AWD.)

    What exactly is it about AWD and/or higher torque, and by higher I mean at least 300-350lbs of torque for a 400 hp car, that Ferrari methodically shuns or resists? Is it loss of feel and feedback, loss of throttle response, or something of this order?

    Would it ruin a Ferrari's "soul" if you could drive your F-car year round with utter confidence, a la the 911 Turbo, and of late, the Gallardo?

    Your expertise is appreciated.

    Cavallini
     
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  3. Doody

    Doody F1 Veteran

    Nov 16, 2001
    6,099
    MA USA
    Full Name:
    Mr. Doody
    well, as to your AWD comment.....

    i traded my 996TT on my 550 in part because i was damn sick of AWD. yes, i could drive the 996TT in nasty weather on performance tires and it did pretty damn well. BUT i also have other cars for that sort of thing. my big gripe was that it's FUN to break the ass end around. i enjoyed that on my 996 C2 Cab immensely - it was a blast! but on the 996TT, by the time you broke it loose, you were damn near scared (if not soiled) given the force required to break it loose.

    i'm sure that you could get used to it - it's just a matter of knowing the limits, but i nearly always felt "unsafe" when i'd break the TT loose. i nearly NEVER felt unsafe when i broke the C2 Cab loose.

    and i've always been comfortable breaking the 355 and 550 loose, although i can't say i did/do that very often, and the 355 moreso (comfort) than the 550.

    i think the GT is interesting in large part because (a) it's RWD and (b) it has no traction control ("that'd be your right foot, bob!").

    and the AWD systems add weight and increase costs as well.

    my two drachma. no real data to share on the torque comment.

    doody.
     
  4. TestShoot

    TestShoot F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Sep 1, 2003
    10,465
    Beverly Hills
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    Tim
    I remember seeing a '408' Ferrari test car which was awd, just before the 355 was introduced. Drivers will always adapt to their cars be it tail happy rwd or sticky awd. I personally prefer the rwd, although i am picking up an s60r Volvo and tuning the heck out of it and loved our SVX back in the day.

    I don't think it is in Ferrari's interest to increase gear box rolling resistance by adding in another transfer case.
     
  5. Cavallini

    Cavallini Formula 3

    Nov 2, 2003
    1,818
    I'm not familiar with what a gear box rolling resistance or a transfer case is or does. Would you be so kind as to clarify and to explain why that would not be in Ferrari's best interest?
     
  6. Brian C. Stradale

    Brian C. Stradale F1 Rookie
    Lifetime Rossa

    Mar 17, 2002
    3,603
    Dallas, TX, USA
    If you assume no blower, then higher torque means higher displacement, and thus heavier engine and car. A big part of the Ferrari 3xx appeal is the lighter weight of the car... making it tossable... making it fun. Hence, Ferrari gets its horsepower via higher revs rather than bigger engine.

    AWD is again heavier. Further, AWD reduces tossability as it removes control from the driver... the driver cannot apply power to just the rear, shifting balance of traction. Finally, driving the front wheels deadens the feel of the steering somewhat. If you want a light, highly tossable car, with extreme driver feedback and involvement, then you want RWD. AWD might be faster in certain cases; but RWD is faster in many cases, and more fun in all cases (IMHO).
     
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  8. PSk

    PSk F1 World Champ

    Nov 20, 2002
    17,673
    Tauranga, NZ
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    Pete
    Give it time, it will probably happen.

    The current direction in automotive design is all about technology removing the fun from the driver, but there is no doubt that in many cases the end result is faster for a greater percentage of time.

    I believe they are also developing sensors that will look forward and brake the car for you also ... and like my father recently said "The day a car brakes for me, I will get out of the car and never ever drive another, and it can fnck off and drive itself home"

    I have to agree. Why are we not designing cars to be fun anymore?

    Most cars now have ABS, Traction control, brake assist ... and probably should have an alarm to wake board drivers up after detecting that they are asleep.

    Call me an old fart (which I'm actually not, except maybe in driving enjoyment) but the best cars for driver involvement have been built and will not be surpassed, and we are racing towards a vehicle which drives itself and is about as exciting as using a toaster.

    IMO we have got so excited about technology (as we stupid humans often do) that we have forgotten about what attracts us to driving in the first place, ie. controlling and mastering the beast by OURSELVES, a huge feeling of acomplishment. If you are not a control freak then you probably also do not get the driving thing as bad as others (myself included) and have never thought about racing your car, etc. and pushed that I'm in control feeling to the limit

    Long live the 60's cars as that was when the best and free'est automobiles were designed. The 70's were not too bad but a bit like the terrible fashion of that period, we had some ugly cars produced ;)

    Pete
     
  9. BJS

    BJS Formula Junior

    Jan 18, 2004
    287
    Central FL and SW MI
    Full Name:
    Brad Stephenson
    If the rumors of the 360 replacement using the Maserati/Ferrari engine are correct, it appears the torque issue will be addressed. See the dyno graph for my bone-stock Maser 4.2: http://ferrarichat.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9823

    As long as Ferrari doesn't 'break' something in their quest to make that engine spin a little higher, it should easily break the 340-350 torque level.

    While we're in glorious times for engine performance, I'm not as certain AWD is required as an entry-level ticket for F-cars.
     
  10. Cavallini

    Cavallini Formula 3

    Nov 2, 2003
    1,818
    I see. Many thanks.
     
  11. Cavallini

    Cavallini Formula 3

    Nov 2, 2003
    1,818
    Many thanks. I believe the picture is clearer. One or two day journalist quotes and 0-60 times tell only half of the picture.
     
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  13. ferrari_kid

    ferrari_kid Formula Junior

    Jul 5, 2003
    768
    i guess that is to say the ferrari achieves more horsepower with less weight with a higher revving small engine. but, for example, a corvette Z06 uses a larger 5L V8 but maintains a similar weight. it doesn't seem like a larger displacement engine with more torque really makes weight a problem. but that assumes you cut the fat in other areas(luxury), which is what i guess ferrari isn't willing to do?
     
  14. Brian C. Stradale

    Brian C. Stradale F1 Rookie
    Lifetime Rossa

    Mar 17, 2002
    3,603
    Dallas, TX, USA
    Right... the Z06 has a heavier engine, but makes up for that weight by making many other things lighter. However, the Z06 rattles, shakes, and is horribly unreliable. It also has a very disappointing sound to go with those rattles.

    For most of us its not about "winning" or having the fastest car... its about having fun, enjoying the drive, etc.
     
  15. ferrari_kid

    ferrari_kid Formula Junior

    Jul 5, 2003
    768
    I wasn't about to say I'd rather have a Z06 over a 360 on any day.

    There have been a few threads about how the 360 should be a lot lighter. Seems like Ferrari goes with expenisive light parts only to add more leather or something else that tacks the weight back on. The 360 was supposed to be an all aluminum chassis that was lighter than the 355. But in reality they were pretty much the same weight.
     
  16. enzoz

    enzoz Karting

    Nov 2, 2003
    162
    SF Bay Area
    Full Name:
    Rob
    Ferrari should take a clue from TVR. Ferrari is more about GT's than sports cars I know, but do they really need all of the cars in their line up to weight over 3000 pounds? TVR makes an awesome sports car IMHO. They don't have any electronic aids in there cars and some weigh in around 2400-2600lbs. or something in that range. They don't even have air bags but they are still very stiff and safe cars. And the lack of weight doesn't mean lack of style either, TVR's interiors look better than Ferrari's IMHO. That and they still have a clutch pedal. :)

    AWD and hi torque output is NOT the only way to make cars perform great at the limit... infact most race cars, like F1 cars have neither.
     
  17. Auraraptor

    Auraraptor F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Sep 25, 2002
    11,557
    MO
    Forget all that junk, I dont want a Ferrari to drive in the snow and drag race...

    BRING ON A NEW GENERATION OF ULTRA LIGHT CARS WITH INSANELY HIGH REVING ENGINES.

    Seriously though, Ferrari needs a car like the Elise, but larger demensions, with a 12 and 8.
     
  18. enzoz

    enzoz Karting

    Nov 2, 2003
    162
    SF Bay Area
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    Rob
    I agree. Well said.
     
  19. bluekawala

    bluekawala Formula Junior

    Jan 22, 2004
    430
    Ormond Beach, FL

    Very true! TVR's have some of the best interiors, and their lack of electronic aids is great to see. :) Never driven one, but I can imagine they'd be as close to a drivers car as you can get in a modern car.
     
  20. enzoz

    enzoz Karting

    Nov 2, 2003
    162
    SF Bay Area
    Full Name:
    Rob
    Yeah, the interiors are a work of art. Performance is wicked too... but imagine if something like the Tamora had even the base 550 V12... that car would be sweet! It would NEED traction control! lol
     
  21. zsnnf

    zsnnf Formula 3

    Sep 11, 2003
    1,877
    Not sure what you mean here by "the Z06 rattles, shakes, and is horribly unreliable." The early C5's were rattle traps and IMO poorly made, but my '03 Z06 is very solid, doesn't shake at all and I have not had one reliability problem. The sound is no where near as sweet as that of my F40, but I don't find it dissappointing. I didn't buy it for the sound.
    My biggest complaint is that instead of spending $50k for a new Z06 that is worth $30k today, I could have spend $75K for an F355 that would be worth $75k today. But that is typical for new US cars and I knew it going in.
    A used Z06 is by far the best bang for the buck.

    Rick
     
  22. ferrari_kid

    ferrari_kid Formula Junior

    Jul 5, 2003
    768
    I think other exotic car companies can get away with making a less luxurious car (lighter) only because they aren't Ferrari. That isn't to say those other companies make poor cars, but it's just that Ferrari has a reputation. People who don't know cars understand that a Ferrari is a great thing. Here in the US if you were to drive a TVR down the street, people will look, sure, but won't know what the heck it is.

    I think Ferrari is on the right track with models like the CS. But they still seem a bit overweight. I guess it leaves them with room for improvement in the replacement.
     
  23. TimN88

    TimN88 F1 Veteran

    Jun 12, 2001
    5,032
    Northeast
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    Tim
    Its only 20lbs heavier than the engine of an F355, which according to ferrari's website, weighs 370lbs. The LS1 weighs about 390, the LS6 from the z06 is even lighter.
     

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