Engineer Mario Vernacchia, in charge of Pininfarina R & D (1981 - 2002) as Staff to the General Manager, was appointed for different strategic tasks: Director of the Transport Division (Chief Designer of Railway vehicles, Buses, Sea crafts, Aerospace). Director of the Financed Research for Automotive Innovation (one-off show prototypes). Design Manager of the Aesthetic Quality in the industrialization process of the new car-models (ex.: Cadillac Allantè, Fiat Coupè, Peugeot 405 Coupè, special prototypes, etc.). In addition to handling responsibilities in the area of Styling, Mario Vernacchia was also Manager of the Aerodynamic Development for Pininfarina R & D. Regarding the supercar Ferrari ‘Enzo,’ Mario Vernacchia gave to the Pininfarina Designers a specific briefing with sketches and guidelines about the basic aerodynamic features to be considered in the styling research. One of the most significant directives was the way to manage the aerodynamic balancing of a hi-performance sports car. By designing the shape of the car and its underbody profile correctly, it is possible to guide properly the air-flow and create the needed downforce without applying ‘big wings’ to the car (avoiding the rear big wings of Ferrari F40 and F50). Over a defined speed limit an active device (for example a small rear spoiler), can be activated automatically to maintain the proper downforce. In this way the styling of the car is more ‘clean’ without showy aerodynamic devices applied to the bodywork. Mario Vernacchia also met Rory Byrne (1), the Aerodynamic responsible and chief engineer of the Formula 1 Ferrari Team for a preliminary brain storming about the aerodynamic statements for the new model ‘Enzo’ at Ferrari's Maranello headquarter. (1) Rory Byrne is a famous South African engineer who secured 71 race victories, six consecutive constructors' titles and five consecutive drivers' titles for Michael Schumacher/Ferrari with a sustained level of dominance never seen before in the sport. As the evolution of the ‘Enzo,’ Ferrari decided to develop a small-scale program for use in racing programs. The result was the Ferrari FXX. based on the Enzo's design with a highly tuned 6.3 litre engine putting out roughly 800 PS (590 kW; 790 hp). The car was also driven by Michael Schumacher (see pictures below-bottom). Below-top, some pictures of Ferrari models developed in wind tunnel by the Engineer Mario Vernacchia - when in charge of Pininfarina as Manager of the Aerodynamic Development - in cooperation with the Ferrari technicians.

10 January 2000