Fer­rari pon­ders new model line

Wait­ing lists an is­sue

Auto Car (UK) - - THIS WEEK - RICHARD BREM­NER

Fer­rari is con­sid­er­ing an ad­di­tional model for its main­stream range that would sit along­side the Cal­i­for­nia, 488, new 812 Superfast and GTC4 Lusso.

Fer­rari boss Ser­gio Mar­chionne, speak­ing at the Geneva mo­tor show, said: “We need to re­think sup­ply.” He ad­mit­ted that many cus­tomers are frus­trated by long wait­ing lists and mod­els that have been sold out, and he be­lieves there is “un­ex­plored space on the pre­mium side”.

He wouldn’t be drawn on what type of model it would be or the po­ten­tial price range or a launch date, but said: “If there isn’t a wait­ing list [for it], we’d be do­ing some­thing wrong”.

Iron­i­cally, wait­ing lists are part of Mar­chionne’s rea­son for ex­pand­ing the range. Fer­rari has a lot of frus­trated cus­tomers who don’t want to wait. “We are los­ing cus­tomers to Lam­borgh­ini,” he said. In­creas­ing the num­bers would partly tackle that, rais­ing Fer­rari’s over­all an­nual out­put from its cur­rent level of more than 8000 cars.

How­ever, Mar­chionne would not re­veal spe­cific de­tails. “There is a num­ber limit, but I won’t say what,” he said. Last year, Fer­rari sold 8014 units. This year, Mar­chionne is fore­cast­ing sales higher than that but “less than 8500”.

The V12-pow­ered 812 Superfast, which was Fer­rari’s main at­trac­tion at the Geneva show, is the first Fer­rari to fea­ture elec­tric power steer­ing as­sis­tance — Maranello is one of the last su­per­car mak­ers to adopt the tech­nol­ogy — but with a sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ence. The steer­ing as­sis­tance sys­tem’s elec­tronic con­trol unit is con­nected to the Superfast’s trac­tion con­trol sys­tem, with the aim of pro­vid­ing a de­gree of hap­tic steer­ing as­sis­tance when the car is driven hard.

As the car nears the limit of ad­he­sion, the Fer­rari Peak Per­for­mance (FPP) soft­ware pro­vides a hap­tic in­di­ca­tion through the steer­ing wheel rim that the edge of grip is be­ing reached. If the car over­steers, Fer­rari Power Over­steer (FPO) en­cour­ages the driver to coun­ter­steer, and by the cor­rect amount.

The 812 Superfast has just joined the line-up; an­other new model is also pos­si­ble

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