The Car Connection Ferrari 599 Overview
Over its six-year life, the Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano and its variants set a benchmark for performance, style, and luxury in a grand touring coupe.
The 599 replaced the previous 575 Maranello, and while it shared much in the way of its proportions, as well as its mission within the Ferrari brand, the 599 was its own car. At launch, the 599 came with a 6.0-liter V-12 engine rated at 612 horsepower. Revving as high as 8,400 rpm, the screaming Ferrari V-12 was a highlight of the car's performance, but also of its qualitative presence. The massively powerful engine allowed the 599 GTB to accelerate to 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds and hit a top speed of over 205 mph.
Long, low, with muscular fenders and highly aerodynamic body work, the 599 GTB Fiorano benefited from much of Ferrari's racing knowledge in not only its mechanical construction, but also its exterior shape. Large cooling inlets at the nose, small cooling vents in front of the rear fenders, and extractors behind the front fenders all worked to help manage air flow into, under, and around the car.
The 599's suspension used Delphi's MagneRide system, a magneto-rheological damper setup that allows for variable forces, allowing the 599 to range from comfortable and smooth to track-ready aggression with the push of a button--or the turn of a dial on the "manettino" steering-wheel-mounted control in the Ferrari's case.
On top of the 599 GTB Fiorano's already high degree of handling competence, a number of upgrades and special editions were available. The HGTE package, standing for Handling Gran Turismo Evoluzione, for example, upgraded the 599 with a stiffer suspension via springs and anti-roll bars, as well as re-tuned calibrations for the MagneRide suspension system and a lower ride height for a lower overall center of gravity. A convertible version of the 599 was built as a one-off example, dubbed the 599 SA Aperta.
About mid-way through its model run, Ferrari introduced the 599XX, a track-only version of the 599 offered to an exclusive set of clientele. Maintained and controlled by Ferrari, the 599XX offered an upgrade to 720 horsepower and extensive use of composites in its body for reduced weight. Upgraded aerodynamics delivered up to 1,400 pounds of down force at speeds over 186 mph, and helped the car achieve a sub-7-minute time around the Nürburgring-Nordschleife circuit.
The 599XX EVO expanded on the 599XX's performance with even more horsepower (740 hp) and an active rear wing for improved high-speed downforce.
A number of other special editions, concepts, and one-off examples of the Ferrari 599 were introduced, such as the P540 Superfast Aperta and the Superamerica 45. The 599 GTB Fiorano was succeeded by the F12berlinetta.