Automakers never cease to amaze; just when you thought you had seen it all, they come up with even more wild innovations. This is particularly true for the master of track racing, Ferrari. The current Ferrari FXX-K is one extreme car and it is difficult to figure it getting more extreme but trust Ferrari to find ways of making it even better. The automaker has revealed a more hardcore iteration of the track brute dubbed 2018 Ferrari FXX-K Evo (Evoluzione). Ferrari has developed an evolution package for the model which makes it even more extreme. The package will be available to current FXX K models but will also be incorporated into the new FXX-K models that will be developed in limited numbers. The new models will go by the FXX-K Evo designation. Ferrari unveiled the model at this year’s Finali Mondiali held at the Mugello circuit in native Italy. The Finali Mondiali is a Ferrari event that marks the end of the track-racing season.
The FXX-K is based on the LaFerrari supercar but unlike the LaFerrari, the FXX-K cannot compete in actual races. Ferrari produces XX models as prototypes; design studies of future automotive engineering. Buyers of the model are treated as “supercar enthusiasts” who are willing to take part in the innovative engineering projects by offering their experiences derived from driving the development mules. Due to this, Ferrari designs the FXX-K without any limitations as the automaker does not have to conform to any regulations. Ferrari, however, compensates the lack of competitive races by arranging its own racing events. In 2018 alone, Ferrari has planned nine racetrack events for FXX-K and FXX-K Evo owners.
The Evo package is an embodiment of the knowledge Ferrari has derived from its various racing programs including Formula 1, GTE, GT3 and Challenge one-make series. The 2018 Ferrari FXX-K Evo features most of the exterior and interior design cues of the current FXX-K.
Designers of the new Evo package focused on improving aerodynamics and curb weight. Despite the extra aero elements added, engineers managed to reduce the model’s weight making it lighter than the FXX-K; Ferrari has however not released details about the actual weight loss but disclosed that weight distribution is biased towards the rear with a 41/59 front-to-rear split.
In terms of aerodynamics, the package has enhanced the model’s downforce to a level close to that of a GT3 racer; it has a rating of 1,410 lbs of downforce at a speed of 124 mph and can reach a high of 1,830 lbs when the model is running at its maximum speed. The enhanced downforce is courtesy of a twin-profile fixed rear wing. The wing works in harmony with the active rear spoiler that is already mounted on the FXX-K. There is also a new central fin offered as part of the Evo package. The front bumper has also been tweaked to support the increased downforce. The underbody too has also been revised to adapt to the improved aero features. Suspension (front double wishbones and rear multi-link units) has also been recalibrated.
There are also new air intakes for the front brakes; the units are narrower but more efficient due to a better design of the intakes themselves. The brakes are carbon-ceramic units sourced from Brembo; the front discs of the units span 15.6 inches. The package also adds Pirelli P Zero rubber (285/650R19 in front and 345/725R20 at the rear).
At the current output of 1,035 hp, Ferrari did not see any need to improve the model’s power. Therefore the drive-train carries over from the FXX-K unchanged. The model is powered by a V-12-based hybrid drive-train. The drive-train also uses the same 7-speed dual-clutch transmission system as the FXX-K.
The cabin features few changes; among the new changes is a new steering wheel with new driving mode selector that enables the driver to exercise greater control of the hybrid power-train. The cabin also features a larger rear-view display. This screen also displays data from the model’s new telemetry system in a clearer manner.
Ferrari does not usually disclose how much buyers pay for these types of cars but rumor has it that owners of the FXX-K paid over $3 million. This is quite a considerable price to pay for a car that one doesn’t even take home as Ferrari retains them for maintenance and storage only releasing them to buyers during racing events. The Evo will definitely be more expensive. Despite this, all 40 FXX-K models produced were sold out. Ferrari has not also said how many units will be produced for the FXX-K Evo but I believe the number won’t exceed 40 (both new cars plus upgrade packages).
To capitalize on the ever-rising crossover and SUV demand, BMW is set to release a new model to slot between the X1 and the X3 crossover-SUVs. Dubbed the 2019 BMW X2, the small crossover made its official debut at the recent Tokyo Motor show. BMW had earlier unveiled the model at the Paris Auto show in 2016 in concept form. The automaker has designed the X2 with a sporty design with the aim of attracting young urban buyers. Ideally, the model is a coupe/hatchback variant of the X1 which follows in line with the automaker’s strategy of basing one SUV after the other; for example, the X6 is a coupe-like SUV version of the X5 while the X4 is also based on the X3. Unlike the concept, the production model has been toned down a little bit but still looks still pretty aggressive.
The production model has retained most of the concept’s design cues but the wide side mirrors and rear bumper have been modified but still, the new units resemble the concept’s units. The X2 is underpinned by the UKL structure that is used on the X1. However, contrary to what the name portrays, the X2 is smaller in size than the X1 by 3.2 inches. The X2 is also lower by 2.8 inches but the two models have a similar wheelbase.
The design of the 2019 X2 is aggressive than other BMW SUVs; it is characterized by a low roofline, short windows and a roundel on its C-pillars. Overall the model has a low, wide posture. The X2 rides on18-inch wheels but one can opt for 19-inch rollers.
If you are looking to take your X2 through spirited paces, you can opt for the M Sport X package that adds an M-sport suspension, sport-tuned transmission, sport-tuned paddle shifters, M spoiler, modified bumpers, adaptive dampers and an option for 20-inch wheels (19-inch wheels are standard for the M Sport X package).
The cabin styling in borrowed from the X1 and features only subtle upgrades. The layout is identical to that of the X1. The cabin features a 6.5-inch infotainment screen which is mounted at the top section of the center console. A navigation system is optional with this screen (adding it also introduces touch control capability to the screen). This unit is standard but buyers can go for the optional 8.8-inch touch-screen display.
The Driver Assistance Package is optional; it features automatic emergency braking (AEB), pedestrian warning system, lane departure warning, automatic high beams and speed limit information. Like the X1, BMW does not offer blind-spot monitoring even as an option but a parking assist and adaptive cruise control are optional.
The X1 offers little cargo space of 21.6 cubic feet with rear seats in place which is less than what is offered by the X1.
Initially, the 2019 BMW X2 will be powered by a single engine but more engines will be added later on. The engine given this honor is the 2.0 L, turbocharged inline-4 (xDrive28i) good for 228 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. This engine is also used in the X1.The engine is linked with an 8-speed automatic gearbox that powers all the four wheels. However, the X2 operates most of the time in the front-wheel-drive; power is channeled to rear wheels only on demand. According to BMW, the drive-train enables the X2 to reach 60 mph in 6.3 seconds. BMW also says the X2 mill’s fuel economy is laudable; it is rated at 26 mpg on combined drives.
Going for the M Performance treatment boosts the inline-4’s engine power output to over 300 hp.
During the release, BMW did not say anything about the new X2 prices. However, I think the model will attract an MSRP of around $35,000 just above the price of the current X1. Actual details will be released closer to its on-sale date which is slotted for the spring of 2018.