It's obvious watching and listening to a jovial Emerson Fittipaldi talk about his car on video that he's passionate and knowledgeable about every piece. He has the air of a man living out his personal fantasy—in this case, building a reliable race-capable supercar for drivers of all levels. The two-time Formula 1 world driving champion and two-time Indianapolis 500 victor chose to unveil the first prototype to emerge from Fittipaldi Motors: the Fittipaldi EF7 Vision Gran Turismo by Pininfarina.
The Brazilian race-car driver, the Italian design firm, and German engineering company HWA came together for this special project with the prototypical modern supercar ingredients in mind: high power, low weight, and a slippery downforce-driven design. The result is a vehicle that could stand in pit road alongside cars like the Ferrari LaFerrari, , the Ford GT, and even the . Race cars have a purpose-driven, functional design that sticks out.
According to Fittipaldi, the car has a shark theme: aggressive and streamlined but with a grace in motion. About three years in the works, the shape came from the pens and sculpting tools at famed design firm Pininfarina, as did the chassis. It uses a carbon-fiber body over a carbon-fiber monocoque chassis to create a lightweight yet rigid and safe package. Fittipaldi claims it weighs about 2200 pounds all told with weight distribution of 52 percent in the rear and 48 percent up front.
The team also wanted to keep the center of gravity in the sleek racer as low as possible. German engineering company HWA kept this in mind when developing the powertrain, gearbox, suspension, and braking. The heart of the EF7 is a naturally aspirated V-8 that's claimed to make more than 600 horsepower with low-rpm torque that can be accessed "almost instantly." The engine and integrated transaxle were designed so that the top of the unit is kept extremely low to ensure top-of-the-line handling. Fittipaldi also states that, once complete, the car should run from zero to 60 mph in less than 3.0 seconds. But that's about as detailed as he gets, with no mention of more in-depth information about the suspension, brakes, transmission, or any other mechanicals. The EF7 does, however, come with something much more important or valuable than anything that could be defined by numbers: access to Fittipaldi.
Each person who buys one of the hyper-limited supercars will receive personal coaching on how to drive it from the world champion himself. Fittipaldi has set up a driver-training ladder that each owner will go through. They'll also be able to join the Fittipaldi Racing Club, which will open up VIP opportunities to drive the "some of the world's premier racing circuits," though these are not specified. We're pretty sure he'll let you call him Emmo.
"I have tried for years to explain to others what it truly feels like to be behind the steering wheel of a championship race car," Fittipaldi said. "There is adrenaline and elation all rolled into an awe-inspiring inner fulfillment that leaves you craving for more. This is what our dream team created in the EF7 Vision Gran Turismo by Pininfarina."
Although no official release date, price, or availability were announced, it's certain anybody with a PlayStation 4 will be able to experience the car. The EF7 will be an option in the upcoming Gran Turismo Sport game, and Polyphony Digital says it will have the same personality as the car in real life. Guess we'll just have to drive the car and play the game back to back to find out. Darn.