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Prancing Horse meets Red Dragon

2009-10-06 08:02
If ever you doubted the importance of China’s burgeoning auto demand, witness Ferrari’s China Limited Edition 599 GTB.

When the famous Italian marque starts pandering to the cultural whims of your country (or People’s Republic) in terms of its design statute, well, then it really is a sign of the global power shift from West to East.

Ferrari is always keen to cash in on some limited edition trinkets.

The Italian company has now taken its quite fabulous 599 GTB Fiorano, sharpened by the company’s latest GTE handling pack, and dressed it up to appeal uniquely to its Chinese customers.

To ensure the China Limited Edition is as true to marketed intension as possible, Ferrari invited Chinese artist Lu Hao to embellish it with all manner of culturally astute details.

Hao’s touches include a start button which glows jade green (instead of red) and an engine speed dial with ancient Chinese characters replacing the numerals.

We think it’s a shame the road speed dial was not converted in similar taste.

It redlines at how much?

Other differentiating features include a Rosso Fuoco finish contrasted with a grey roof – which is a lukewarm attempt at passing the China Limited Edition 599 off as an 599XX of sorts.

The dozen Chinese customers (it’s a very limited edition production run) will also receive custom leather luggage sets embossed with a Silk Road map – the route taken by Marco Polo when he allegedly visited China.

Patriotic bag, if you believe the Marco Polo story - and we don't mean the swimming pool game

For the rest it’s stock 599 GTB handling pack stuff.

A magnetorheological damping set-up with revised springs, supported by special compound tyres, ensure cornering G-forces should be negligibly up from a 599 GTB’s, hence the strengthened anti-roll bars…

The gearbox and engine management software has been upgraded too, rendering a more vicious shift and blipping response, with a revised exhaust system, featuring new tips, rounding off acoustic validity.

Under the elongated bonnet is 6l of Ferrari’s finest V12 engine architecture, producing 456kW at 7 600r/min and peak rotational force of 607Nm at 5 600r/min.

Both numbers should ensure you're never late for that critical Beijing business appointment.

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