Ferrari, one of the most iconic luxury cars from Italy, is an epitome of superior engineering, unbeatable craftsmanship, and impeccable attention to detail. So what makes these red supercars tick? Is it their refined, exclusive parts or space-age engines? Let’s find out what Ferraris are made of in this article.
What exactly are Ferraris made of?
Ferrari uses a combination of materials to accomplish the high-performance and glossy finish every car enthusiast loves. The company combines aluminum, carbon fiber, premium leather, and a slew of other high-end materials to make its supercars.
Ferrari chooses each of its materials for specific qualities to deliver the best performance you will expect from a six-figure automobile!
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Which Parts Are Made of Aluminum on Ferraris?
Ferrari makes its engines and car frames with aluminum. The company seems to be a lone voice in the luxury auto manufacturing world for insisting aluminum and not carbon fiber is the future of car making.
Competitors like McLaren and Lamborghini have held onto the gospel of the black plastic, i.e., carbon fiber as the ultimate car building material thanks to its lightweight structure and strength.
Ferrari counters that aluminum is a multi-metal technology with extensive applications. It will continue to use various alloys of the light but highly tensile metal in its castings and extrusions. The shell of its road cars is aluminum, and its powerful, high-performance engines are extruded from aluminum alloy.
To put things in perspective, Ferrari has been using aluminum in its vehicles since the 1940s. The company claims that using carbon fiber is too time-intensive, laborious, and expensive for its production volume.
Ferrari also says that aluminum is easier to repair compared to carbon fiber in case of a crash. Because of its ductility, aluminum bends while the force of an impact will shatter carbon fiber, which is a composite material.
We also have an article here which talks about How Many Ferraris are Built Yearly?
Which Parts Are Made of Carbon Fiber on Ferraris?
Ferrari uses carbon fiber sparingly in its cars. Here are examples of Ferrari parts made of carbon fiber.
LaFerrari Style Carbon Fiber Bridge
One of the few products it produces with the black plastic is the LaFerrari Style carbon fiber bridge, which is used in the iconic LaFerrari, the 458 Italia, and the 458 Spider.
The bridge houses the three transmission control buttons and works exactly like the original part.
Carbon Fiber Side Skirts
The company also offers a set of carbon fiber side skirts for its 458 Italia and 458 Spider cars.
These side skirts feature sharp styling, reduced weight, and exceptional aesthetics.
Carbon Fiber Aerobridge
This product was designed for the F12 Berlinetta and the F12 TDF.
It is half the weight of the original equipment, has a distinctive weave design, and perfectly complements the car’s aggressive persona.
Exterior Trim Elements
Customers can now choose carbon fiber for their Ferrari’s exterior trim elements.
Owners of the F12 Berlinetta can opt for carbon fiber side skirts, door handles, front spoiler, and lateral rear diffuser fins and fender shield.
It is also noteworthy that Ferrari makes the chassis of the Enzo with carbon fiber to save weight.
What Other Materials Are Being Used on Ferraris?
Besides aluminum and carbon fiber, Ferrari uses a significant amount of steel. Steel is cheap, reliable, and easy to work with. It is still the preferred material of choice for many automakers. The company also uses plenty of premium leather in its cars.
Leather is used for the seats, steering wheel, gear stick, paneling, and even the dashboard in some models.
The vehicle maker also uses high-grade wood and plastic in many parts of its vehicle, including under the bonnet, the dashboard, center console, and many other parts of the cabin.
Ferrari packs its cars with industry-beating electronics. From sophisticated navigational systems, class-leading anti-theft mechanisms to powerful driver-assist and safety gadgetry, Ferrari cars blend luxury with world-class engineering.
The true number of materials inside every Ferrari is a trade secret, but the standard components are aluminum, carbon fiber, steel, wood, plastic, leather, and a coterie of others we may not know.
Also read our article on Are Ferraris Manual or Automatic?
What Are Ferrari Bodies Made of?
Ferrari uses aluminum for its bodywork. The frames are made at the Scaglietti plant, where skilled technicians and high-precision robots weld, glue, and rivet the parts together to create a perfect, defect-free aluminum body.
These metallic frames are then moved to Ferrari’s Maranello plant, where the transmission, engine, and other vital systems are installed on the frame.
With early Ferraris, the company used steel, aluminum, and even wood to make the body. But it now uses aluminum predominantly for its road cars.
While other luxury vehicles continue to bank on carbon fiber as the material of the future, Ferrari sticks to aluminum for its ease of use, endurance, and crash survivability.
What Type of Leather Is Being Used in the Cabin?
Ferrari uses an exclusive range of leather called Ferrari Nappa in the cabin of its car.
This special leather is made using Full Grain hides from cold climate cattle. The company uses a proprietary process to create this luxurious leather at its in-house facility where it can control all the quality parameters.
Everything from the fleshing to the finished product is performed by Ferrari’s ingenious leatherwork artisans. It uses vacuum drying to create a tight grain of the tough leather.
The result is a strong material with minimal flexion. It is available in different colors, including the famous natural medium brown called Cuoio and the Rosso.
Do Lightweight Materials Make Ferraris More Fragile?
No, Ferraris are perfectly reliable despite their lightweight design. The light materials play a huge role in their exceptional performance and neck-breaking speeds. Ferrari designers and other makers of high-performance road cars require materials like aluminum and carbon fiber to reduce weight and drag and boost their vehicles’ aerodynamics.
This does not make them inferior to cars made of steel. But it makes them more expensive to maintain.
If you perform regular maintenance, Ferraris will always serve you reliably. But don’t expect to hyper mile them for hundreds of thousands of miles without breaking something or even tanking the engine.
For such endurance trips, go for a Toyota or other reputable mass production vehicles.
Early model Ferraris were notoriously unreliable. But things have since improved, and most Ferraristas can squeeze their money’s worth out of their car if they do regular maintenance.
In fact, new Ferraris enjoy seven years of free service. Plus, the annual maintenance cost of Ferraris is commensurate with its outsized price tags.
Have Ferrari Cars Become Lighter Over the Years?
Yes, Ferraris have become more lightweight over the years. In the last decade, the company created a goal of increasing fuel economy by 40 percent and reducing emissions 25 percent without a drop in performance.
So it continues to experiment with aluminum alloys and carbon fiber in its vehicles to reduce weight without compromising reliability, safety, and that Ferrari experience.
In the early days of the brand, Ferrari used steel, wood, and other relatively denser materials in its cars.
Nowadays, most of the vehicles have composite materials that are stronger, lighter, and easier to repair.
Today’s Ferraris are far lighter than the early products. The company’s future cars will even be lighter to improve aerodynamics, lower carbon emissions, and deliver pure adrenaline-pumping performance.
Does Ferrari Make Their Own Engines?
Yes, Ferrari manufactures its high-performance engines at its Maranello plant in Italy.
Its V-8, V-10, and V-12 engines are all extruded from aluminum ingots in-house.
Robots pour the molten metal into molds to solidify. Later, technicians couple and finish the individual parts by hand.
The engines are X-rayed and stress-tested extensively before they are certified to be mounted on the aluminum frames in another department of the production facility.
Ferrari’s attention to detail shows in their fantastic and beautiful cars. Knowing what these vehicles are made of can sometimes lift the veil of these beautiful, seemingly unobtainable cars – but it also gives consumers an idea of exactly what they are buying when they get one.
Let us know what you think of these amazing Ferrari cars!