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Ferrari's stunning 'lab rat'

2009-04-28 07:12
Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Ferrari
Model 599XX
Engine 6l V12
Power 515kW @ 9 000r/min
Ferrari has released additional images of its ultimate track day tool, the 599XX, first seen at the Geneva auto show last month.

Based on the already redoubtable front-engined, rear-wheel drive 599 GTB Fiorano, those affixed Xs indicate this car as the ultimate 599. It also happens to be one of Ferrari’s most sinful-looking cars.

Despite this Ferrari colloquially refer to it as a laboratorio technologico - in minds of Ferrari's engineers it's just an automotive lab rat then.

Very trick aerodynamics

Dressed in trick aerodynamically optimised bodywork, 599XX is able to generate 280kg of downforce at 200km/h, and an even more reassuring 630kg of airflow generated stability at 300km/h.

Ferrari’s “Actiflow” system is the key to these outlandish downforce figures, increasing downforce or minimising drag depending on the 599XX’s cornering posture.

Actiflow works courtesy of the 599XX’s diffusers being finished in a highly porous material and two boot-mounted fans that channel airflow from under the car's flat undertray through dual grilles flanking the tail-lights, markedly smoothing airflow and reducing drag.

Rear three-quarter view shows off the monumental diffuser and rear air porting embellishments, which have supplanted the rear headlights - priorities, priorities...

A supercar which does not pander to ego issues

Beyond the 599XX’s mechanical there is a humbling level of electronic interaction of potential drivers to engage with.

Ferrari’s accurately named "virtual race engineer" is a touch screen system (which factors in tyre temperature and pressure, engine and coolant temperature – and a host of other variables), then calculates how close a driver is to reaching the 599XX’s maximum level of performance under said conditions.

Put more concisely, virtual race engineer will tell you how big the disparity between your skill level and the 599XX’s ability is.

Concerning this car's capabilities, it laps Ferrari's Fiorano test circuit in 1:17; a factory 599 is nine seconds slower, Ferrari's mental FXX only a second quicker...

Considering the significantly modified 6l V12 (producing 515kW at 9 000r/min versus a stock 599’s 456kW at 7 600r/min), unwittingly quick semi-auto gearbox (with 60 millisecond shift-times who needs a dual-clutch gearbox?) bespoke SCM racing suspension and carbon-fibre brakes, there really are no excuses to not sharpen up those driving skills.

The point of the 599XX? As previously mentioned, Ferrari calls it a laboratorio technologico (rolling laboratory) for experimental technologies, which hopefully should find their way to the 599 road-car range in time.

For the rest of us, 599XX is pure car pornography.


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