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New 599 GTO fastest Ferrari ever

2010-04-09 07:11
Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Ferrari
Model 599 GTO
Engine 6l V12
Power 500kW @ 8 250r/min
Torque 620Nm @ 6 500r/min
Transmission Six-speed
Zero To Hundred 3.35 sec
Top Speed 335km/h
Fuel Tank 105l
Weight 1 495kg
Ferrari’s 599 GTB has ceded its status as the world’s greatest front-engined car – to its sibling, the new GTO.

At its core, Maranello’s 599 range is an expression of traditional Ferrari values.

Featuring classic long-nose GT styling, a naturally-aspirated V12 fixed above (okay, behind) the front axle and sporting effortlessly integrated driving dynamics, all 599s are peerless performance machines.

Some are more equal than others though.

Those front ceramic rotors are 2mm shy of 400mm in diametre. Bonnet ducts one of the styling details differentiating it from its GTB sibling - feed the best 500kW V12 there is.

Making sense of the 599XX mystery - finally

When Ferrari unveiled its track only 599XX last year, even the brand’s most ardent supporters were perplexed.

Here was a 510kW version of the 599 with composite bodywork and all the track-biased goodies you could ever desire. There was a problem though - you could not drive one on the road. The 599XX, you see, was purely a test mule for Ferrari’s engineers.

The 599XX development program, which appeared to be rather ill-conceived marketing jargon, has now germinated a 599 roadcar which is truly worthy of the hallowed GTO suffix.

Improved aerodynamics and an upgraded engine and transmission package have elevated the GTO to a level of performance 599 GTB owners could not even dream of - and the 599 GTB is a phenomenal car at that.

Aft diffuser is not for show - 599 GTO is quicker on circuit than Ferrari's Enzo. Six-into-one exhaust manifold should ensure epic acoustics.

Plenty of downforce (and power)

In terms of aerodynamics the 599 GTO is not quite as radical in application as the XX, yet it manages to generate a neat 144kg of downforce at 200km/h, a little less than half the XX’s 280kg worth at the same speed. Mass has been liberally trimmed too, with the GTO nearly 200kg lighter than its GTB sibling.

Factor in the XX sourced induction system and the GTO’s 44kW power hike over a GTB is hardly surprising.

Ferrari’s engineers added fluid dynamics components to reduce internal friction, slotted in the 599XX’s crankshaft within the sub-assembly and rounded off the new engine regime with a racing manifold featuring diffuser type intake geometry.

The new intake manifold, with its exceptionally short inlet tracts, allows the GTO to deliver peak power at very high engine speeds.

When you tally the figures it all makes sense. The 599 GTO produces 500kW at 8 250r/min (peaking 650r/min higher than GTB) and peak rotational force of 620Nm at 6 500r/min. Those numbers guarantee the benchmark 0-100km/h sprint is blitzed in 3.35 seconds.

Ferrari says the 599 GTO will run a top speed beyond 335km/h, but this figure is purely to satisfy teenage boys with supercar screensavers.

The figure of true importance is the GTO’s time around the Fiorano test track, where it navigates from start line to finish in a time of 1:24. This makes it, for all intents and purposes, the quickest road going series production Ferrari ever.

Elongated carbon-fibre shift paddles (shift times are down to 60ms) and driver orientated ergonomics ensure the performance variable is your ability behind the wheel.

Clever dampers, time altering brakes

To enable such agility Ferrari’s added second-generation magnetorheological dampers (borrowed from the 599XX), new springs, a less flexible rear antiroll bar and a more direct steering ratio.

Blending all these facets of chassis engineering together is the company’s latest car-driver interface system and F-Trac power delivery control.

Reigning in the 599 GTO’s epic performance potential are ceramic brakes at each wheel corner, which enable 100-0km/h deceleration in a distance of only 32.5m.

There is an unenviable burden of expectation which accompanies the suffixing of GTO to any Ferrari series car.

The company’s original GTO (the 1962 250) became, in the fullness of time, one of the most collectable cars ever made.

In the 1980s Ferrari built the turbocharged 288 GTO for racing homologation purposes and inadvertently made a modern classic too.

Is the third incarnation of GTO, this 599 version, worthy of this famous lineage? Is this a real Gran Turismo Omologata? Most definitely. Which is the reason why Ferrari will only be building 599 - and they'll be going at £300 000 a piece...


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