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Ferrari Enzo successor to boast 920HP hybrid V12?

by Mark Kleis

Rumor has it that Ferrari will break the 900 horsepower barrier very soon.

Considered by many enthusiasts to be the ultimate modern Ferrari, the limited-edition and now discontinued (for eight years) Enzo's replacement will be a tough act to follow up for the Italian automaker. The second-generation Enzo, also named after the marque's illustrious founder, promises to take performance - and, surprisingly, efficiency - to a new level.

Just how it will do that isn't known for sure, but if rumors from Motor Trend are to be believed, one should expect a combination of a 6.3-liter V12 and a KERS (kinetic energy recovery system) driveline to produce a grand total of 920 horsepower. The grand total of 920 is derived from an 800 horsepower contribution from the gas engine, along with 120 additional ponies from the KERS system.

Previous suggestions had painted a picture involving a mid-mounted V8 engine, rather than the Maserati-based V12 that motivated the Enzo. That V8 was believed to be direct injected and twin-turbocharged, but it is believed now that the V12 will be the engine of choice, at least at launch, with the V8 possible coming later down the road.

Like the original Enzo, the car's successor will be a range-topping supercar aimed at immortalizing the legendary founder of the brand. Available only to select current Ferrari owners, the next-generation Enzo will serve as the brand's performance and technology showcase. Based - at least in concept - on the Ferrari Millechili show car (though the production Enzo replacement won't carry that name), the performance car will be loaded with the technology learned from years of Formula 1 experience.

Key to addressing the fuel economy issue is a significant weight and size reduction, which should bring the car well down from the just-over 3,000 lbs. of its predecessor; previous rumors out of Ferrari's Maranello headquarters indicated that weight could approach 2,200 lbs, but with the larger engine now back in the picture, that number will likely grow. Improved aerodynamics, including adjustable front and rear spoilers, will not only help the new Enzo stick to the road at maximum speeds, but it will also ensure reduced fuel consumption.

Its platform could go one of two ways: Either a heavily-modified version of the FXX race car's architecture - itself a variation of the road-going Enzo - or a slightly longer derivative of the F430's aluminum space frame. As of now, it seems most likely that the FXX platform will find its way under the Enzo "II."

Production will probably be at least as limited as the original Enzo, meaning no more than 400 of the 1 million Euro-plus supercars will emerge from Maranello when it goes on sale in over a year's time.

(The illustrations were done in 2009, and given more recent product reveals, the design will likely adapt to the latest offerings from the brand by the time the Enzo arrives in 2013.)