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What happened to the flat 12´s ?

Discussion in 'Ferrari Discussion (not model specific)' started by AndersJL, Dec 19, 2003.

  1. AndersJL

    AndersJL Formula Junior

    Apr 16, 2001
    374
    Sweden
    Full Name:
    AL
    Why did Ferrari stop producing the flat 12 ?
    Was it technical problems, was it cost or what...?
    The CG was great, the torque was even better, so what was it that made them go back to the "clumsy" V12 (and V8) ?
    Look at Porsche, they are improving it year after year. (OK, the Cayenne has a V-cylinder)
    -Any comments or ideas ?
    Ciao, Anders
     
  2. Aircon

    Aircon Eight Time F1 World Champ

    Jun 23, 2003
    83,606
    Melbourne, Australia
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    Peter
    Actually, CG was terrible because the engine was on top of the gearbox! Check it out sometime.
     
  3. kenny

    kenny Formula Junior

    Nov 9, 2003
    376
    Greenwich , CT
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    Kenny
    A) The Boxer 12 engines were positioned on top of the gearbox giving it a high center of gravity making high speed handling twitchy..

    B) Front engined V12's have neutral weight distribution and more predictable handling..
     
  4. Aircon

    Aircon Eight Time F1 World Champ

    Jun 23, 2003
    83,606
    Melbourne, Australia
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    Peter
    Obviously I agree with you 100%, but it begs the question...why did Ferrari change from front engine/transaxle to the boxer/tr??
     
  5. parkerfe

    parkerfe F1 World Champ

    Sep 4, 2001
    12,887
    Cumming, Georgia
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    Franklin E. Parker
    Didn't they change the transmission position in the BB512LMs to improve the handling. I believe that is why the LM was so much longer than the road Boxer .
     
  6. Willis360

    Willis360 F1 Rookie

    Aug 4, 2001
    3,928
    Redmond, WA
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    Willis H
    I think it's a matter of management felt that the flat-12's "been there and done that". Besides being used in road cars (365 GT4 BB to the F512M) for a couple of decades, the competition flat-12's have won championships over the years.
     
  7. Boxer12

    Boxer12 Formula 3

    Jun 1, 2003
    1,672
    Personally, I think the high CG has nothing to do with the demise of the flat 12. As a stand alone engine, I suspect it has lower CG than a V10 or V12.

    Of course, low CG enhances handling and stability, but high CG is not inherent in a boxer 12, it is the former design of the engine/transaxle combo.

    Mid engine is a superior design. Look at McLaren F1, Saleen S7, Enzo or Carrera GT. The can design a car with a transaxle behind the engine as in open wheeled racecars, and these cars could just as easily be a boxer 12 as a V10 or V12.

    I think everything is now V engines because the F1 engines changed by design to take advantage of new rules and the manufacturers generally stick to what is being done in the race shop. The TR is an example of that. It got the flat 12 from the exotic F1 designs of the day.

    I don't think the public likes mid engine designs much because the cockpit is considered too far forward and the rear wheel too far backward. Maybe the Carrera GT and Enzo will change that perception, but I doubt it. I think it is more a marketing decision than an engineering or road handling one. The front engine cars are visually more appealing to most car buyers...they like the long front nose look, it makes them feel like chairman of the board at a big desk. Better to look down over at the opposition. :) JMHO.
     
  8. Mitch Alsup

    Mitch Alsup F1 Veteran

    Nov 4, 2003
    6,992
    The demise of the boxer/ tranny combination was due to the high center of gravity. Too much engine mass up to high (Crank, con rods, flywheel, clutch}. In addition having the output shafts of the tranny near the center of the engine almost qualifies the boxer/TR series as rear engined cars, the center of mass was too far back!

    The demise of the flat 12 for racing has to do with underbody aerodynamics. Until this point in time, the Flat 12 was a winning combination. After this point int time, the space where the cylinders, intakes, and headers occupied became more useful for venturies (down force).

    In a front engined car the current optimal V12 arrangement is the classical 60 d V12. This narrow engine is easy to package given a long enough engine bay. Ferrari road cars are currently using a 65 d V12 so that the intake runners are more optimally positioned at the expense of ultimate engine balance.

    In a mid-engined modern car, the optimal V12 arrangement would be a 120 d V12. Narrowness is not as useful with the engine in the back bacause the rear wheels don't have to articulate as do the fronts (steering). A V12 can be perfectly balanced in 0 d (inline), 60 d V12 (classical), 120 dV12, and 180 dV12 (flat).A 120 d V12 is flat enough to obtain the center of gravity advantages, but with enough room under each bank for headers and underbody aerodynamics. To gain access to this useful center of gravity, the transmission would have to hang off the back in 360/355 like configuration.

    Notice that the previous FRenault V10 was in the 110 d Range for center of gravity and aero reasons, however being a V10 it had (lets just say) interesting balance issues.
     
  9. Ken

    Ken F1 World Champ

    Oct 19, 2001
    16,078
    Arlington Heights IL
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    Kenneth
     
  10. Sean F.

    Sean F. F1 Rookie

    Feb 4, 2003
    3,003
    Kansas
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    Sean F
    Ferrari were running a 1.5L V-6 Twin Turbo in F1 until 1989. Then, they made a 3.0L V-12. They ran the flat 12 in the 70's.
     
  11. CodeRed

    CodeRed Formula Junior

    Nov 8, 2003
    368
    LALA LAND
    What would you rather have, a TR512M or a 98/99 550?
     
  12. kenny

    kenny Formula Junior

    Nov 9, 2003
    376
    Greenwich , CT
    Full Name:
    Kenny
    From an interview years back that I read with the President of Ferrari Luca Montezemolo (spelling?) ; he wanted Ferrari buyers to experience a more traditional feel which means front engined V-12's.. He also wanted to see Ferrari's used on a more regular basis and give it more comfort and driveability for everyday use... The 550/575/456 series delivers that in comparison to its predescessor the Boxer/TR series.. They're also easier to service..
     

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