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At Ferrari everything is a question of teamwork. This is how Ferrari Speedform came about, bringing together wind tunnel aerodynamics experts, technicians who make the scale models for these tests, and a small group of painters working on specific projects.
"It all began four years ago with a drawing - a simple visualization of an air flow in the wind tunnel around a car body, which was created with CFD software (Computational Fluid Dynamics)," explains Luca Zanetti, Head of Global Sales, who is involved in the project Adalberto Cattabriga, Head of Special Sales, and Matteo Biancalana, Head of Aerodynamics. "The visualization of speed was fascinating: we asked if it would be possible to give it a shape to create a physical representation of the air flowing along the surfaces of the car."
The answer is seven models of a Ferrari 488 Pista, exact 1: 1 replicas of the cars used in aerodynamic wind tunnel tests. As the name Speedform suggests, the project itself gives shape to speed.
“In the wind tunnel, thanks to dozens of sensors installed inside the model and on its surface, we can measure the effects of the car's movement in the air,” explains Biancalana. Through the use of CFD software, these air currents can be visualized, which is fundamental for aerodynamicists to understand and control the factors that create the aerodynamic forces.
“Lines and colors of different intensities show the behavior of the speed and the air pressure acting on the model. The technicians can choose which of these parameters should be visualized, ”says Cattabriga. “The possible aerodynamic representations are extremely diverse, with dozens of nuances. It was not easy to decide which should be used for this project. "
The transfer of the vector quantities from the digital space to the models was done by hand with a brush. The spirit of Ferrari is very evident in all of this: using advanced technology to create something, but relying on the hand of an expert to complete the work and make it unique. “The colored lines along the models are 100 percent generated by CFD,” confirms Zanetti. "The painters paint them one after the other with millimeter precision and give the models a further material dimension."
The design and processes on which Speedform is based have been patented by Ferrari to protect this use of shape and color, which is a crucial moment in the creation of any new model. A moment when the car's design is judged by its fiercest critic, the wind.
The Speedform models are quite imposing, almost two meters long, all with a significant dynamic force due to the color scale and flowing lines. They are built from carbon using rapid prototyping around an aluminum structure to perfectly replicate the shape of the car on a scale of forty or fifty percent. There are five CDF visualizations, each made up of eight numbered parts.
This innovative project is aimed exclusively at Ferrari customers who would like to have objects in their collection with an individual certification that are part of an extremely limited series. Speedforms are truly a unique gift: they are not only an aesthetically pleasing object, but also real, tangible and precise examples of the technological processes that lead to the creation of a Ferrari road car.
Ferrari has added a new chapter to the never-ending story of the legend of the automobile.
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