Cars

FDE+ on the F8 Tributo

FDE+ on the F8 Tributo

The Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer has been improved for the F8 Tributo. We reveal how it makes the V8 sports car even more exciting
Words

Richard Aucock

The F8 Tributo is the latest evolution of the Ferrari V8 sports car. Its storied lineage dates back to 1975 and the 308 GTB, Ferrari’s first two-seater mid-engined V8. The F8 Tributo builds upon this rich heritage by pushing the boundaries once again. And while the F8 Tributo is a celebration of Ferrari’s multi-award-winning V8 engine, chassis dynamics is another area where Maranello engineers are setting new standards.

Back in 2013, the first generation of Side Slip Angle Control (SSC) was introduced on the 458 Speciale. This is an electronic vehicle dynamics control system that works with the E-Diff electronic differential and F1-Trac traction control to perfectly balance agility and stability – it makes the thrill of drifting a Ferrari sideways easier to achieve. Like the V8 engine, it has continually evolved since.

FDE+ now works in the manettino dial's RACE mode as well as CT-OFF
FDE+ now works in the manettino dial's RACE mode as well as CT-OFF

On the 2015 488 GTB, SCM magnetorheological adaptive dampers were integrated into the system. Development continued and, in 2018, the Ferrari 488 Pista launched the sixth iteration of Side Slip Angle Control, SSC6, incorporating a new, world-first piece of technology: Ferrari Driving Enhancer, or FDE. For 2019 and the F8 Tributo, this technology has been honed yet further, to SSC6.1, which includes FDE+. We sat down with chassis engineer Stefano Varisco to explain what the enhancements deliver to lucky F8 Tributo drivers.

FDE works by applying brake pressure to individual calipers during cornering. “It makes the car easier to control when it is oversteering in on-the-limit handling situations,” says Varisco. FDE only operates in corners and never under braking. In the 488 Pista, FDE functionality was restricted to the CT-OFF setting on the Manettino dial. This is where traction control is disabled; Varisco describes it as the “fun to drive” setting for the most experienced drivers. In the F8 Tributo, FDE+ functionality is extended to the RACE setting, which gives drivers the safety barrier of electronic stability support – but only in the most extreme situations.

“The CT-OFF setting gives maximum oversteer and the most drama. RACE actually gives the best performance and lap time, though. The car does not slide, and it helps drivers achieve the fastest and most consistent times around a circuit.” The enhanced FDE+ system, said Varisco, lets drivers get onto the throttle earlier, and apply more throttle sooner in the corner. The F8 Tributo thus begins to accelerate earlier, which is why it is faster against the clock.

Driving thrills are considerably enhanced by FDE+, but owners still have the security of a safety net
Driving thrills are considerably enhanced by FDE+, but owners still have the security of a safety net

By intervening earlier in the corner, FDE+ is now smoother and more linear, which adds to the confidence felt by the driver. It does not need to add in any brake energy ‘spikes’ to bring the car in line; the blended system is calmer and more natural, and the corrective forces much lower. Varisco stresses that this is the result of tireless development and evolution by Ferrari – perfecting it has taken years, because the objective was to make the driver feel heroic, without it seeming at all obvious there was any electronic assistance from the car.

The FDE+ system, which is part of the enhanced SSC6.1 system, adds to the thrills of driving the F8 Tributo around a circuit. Bringing it to RACE mode as well as CT-OFF allows even more drivers to experience the thrills it delivers – and the best compliment you can pay Stefano Varisco is that you are not even aware the product of all his hard work is operating…

Ferrari