Fastest Road Ferrari to Sport Custom Michelin Rubber
Production of the new Ferrari 599 GTO will be limited to just 599 vehicles, and all of these will be fitted with Michelin super sport tyres specifically designed for this car. Michelin says that it partnered with the Italian super car manufacturer to co-develop the tyre in a record time of just 18 months. Testing with Ferrari engineers and test drivers took place at a number of race tracks, including Fiorano and Nardò in Italy. In matching the tyres’ performance with the chassis characteristics of Ferrari’s fastest road car, priority was placed upon finding the correct balance between safety and optimal track handling, the tyre maker reports.
The result of the year and a half development process are 285/30 ZR 20 tyres for the Ferrari’s front wheels and size 315/35 ZR 20 for the rear. “Despite the generous dimensions they are exceptionally light, with the front tyre weighing just 10 kilograms and the rear 15 kilograms,” notes Michelin. “This means a weight saving of up to 10 per cent compared to other tyres of similar dimensions.”
The lighter tyres deliver two main benefits, says Michelin. First of all, they reduce unsprung weight, which in turn improves handling. Furthermore, a lighter tyre helps to reduce fuel consumption and thus carbon emissions: The tyres designed for the Ferrari 599 GTO are said to have up to 20 per cent better rolling resistance than other similar tyres, enabling a reduction in CO2 emissions of up to seven grammes per kilometre.
Michelin says its engineers developed innovative rubber compounds that ensure safe and precise handling in all conditions, even when the tyres are delivering 670 horsepower from the 6-litre V12 engine. The tread, which Michelin comments is unique to the tyre, comprises three different compounds: a track-type compound on the outer shoulder to withstand the extreme pressure of circuit driving, a compound at the centre of the tread especially designed for superior performance at very high speeds, and an inner shoulder compound designed in combination with the tyre construction to maximise the amount of rubber in contact with the road for surer road-holding.