Carbon fiber won't be used extensively in Ferrari's production road cars until the company gets a better understanding of the material's long-term reliability, according to boss Amedeo Felisa.
In an interview with Autocar, Felisa said that carbonfiber will be used only on special cars like the Enzo that have a "very low rate of production" and which are not for daily use.
Felisa said that carbonfiber was used in the F50 and Enzo, but it is not prepared to use the material across its model range. On the other hand, McLaren is committed to using carbonfiber in its cars from 2012.
In fact, its MP4-12C supercar has a carbon tub. BMW is also expected to use carbonfiber in its models starting in 2013.
Felisa explains Ferrari's stand, stating that no one knows really what would happen if a carbonfiber structure is damaged or of what state its structure would be after 20-30 years. He stated that only the airplane industry has a long-term understanding of carbonfiber but then again, their "usage is very different."
He explained further that currently, a Ferrari can be fixed even if it has gotten into a really big accident and that it's unsure if a carbonfiber structure would be as fixable.
Felisa left hints that when the new Ferrari Enzo will be launched in 2012, it will be powered by a direct-injection twin-turbo V8.
There have been reports that the new Enzo would be powered by either a V8 or direct-injection twin-turbo V6. Felisa also said that a six-cylinder engine won't be considered until "customer attitudes towards smaller engines change."