Design, Engineering and Production of the Alcoa Aluminum Spaceframe for Ferrari's 360 Modena 1999-01-3174
A cooperative effort between Italian automaker, Ferrari, and the world's largest aluminum producer, Alcoa, has produced an aluminum spaceframe, an integral element of the first all-aluminum Ferrari, the 360 Modena. The aluminum spaceframe is one of the major reasons for the new car's enhanced performance. The spaceframe structure significantly increases overall body stiffness (42% in bending, 44% in torsion) and safety while lowering the weight (28%) and part count (35%) relative to its steel predecessor. In addition, this model is 10% larger than the one it replaced.
The spaceframe consists of cast, extruded and sheet components, assembled in Modena, Italy. Extruded and die-cast components are made in Soest, Germany. A Ferrari supplier fabricates the car's aluminum sheet components. Ferrari supplies sand castings, including integral parts of the spaceframe, such as the front and rear shock towers.
Component manufacturing and assembly processes were selected to be consistent with the anticipated production volume and associated investments. Spaceframe design was balanced to satisfy requirements for the lowest possible weight, highest performance, and least cost. As a result, the F360 spaceframe is cost competitive with a comparable steel body.