Is this the “ultimate” Ferrari?
Before our eagle-eyed readers start firing letters off to our editors, let us be clear that we know the Enzo is the fastest and most powerful sports car ever to emerge from the house that Enzo Ferrari built. That said, if you’re talking “reasonable” price and “high” volume — all relative terms, of course — it would likely be hard to beat the new F599 GTB Fiorano, the long-awaited replacement for the 575M Maranello.
Hard as it might imagine, the new sports coupe might actually qualify as a daily driver, as a factory team set out to demonstrate by driving a pair of F599s all the way from the far end of Brazil all the way to New York City, where they wrapped up the Panamerica 20,000 earlier this month.
The sleek shape of the new coupe sweeps from the low, aggressive nose across a bulging hoodline, and back to its broad, rear fenders. The shape is visually intimidating, and was heavily influenced by the aerodynamic demands of high-speed driving. The flying buttresses help improve downforce, something quite useful when you’re approaching a top speed of “over 205” mph.
Under the Fiorano’s curvaceous hood, in a mid-front configuration, sits a 611-horsepower, 48-valve, 6.0-liter V-12 — a retuned version of the Enzo engine. That V-12 is, by itself, awe-inspiring, but even more impressive is the six-speed electro-hydraulic transmission it’s mated to. There are a growing number of these auto-shifted manuals on the market, but no one seems to have gotten it quite as right as Ferrari has with its Formula 1–inspired gearbox. The F1-Superfast can shift in as little as 100 milliseconds — barely the blink of an eye. That’s significantly faster than with previous Ferraris, and compares with shift times of 50 milliseconds in a Ferrari F1 racer.
The automaker’s numbers suggest the F599 will outperform that other classic Ferrari supercar, the F40, launching from 0-60 in about 3.5 seconds, “making it the fastest production car we’ve built,” notes a Ferrari official. “I know that’s confusing, but we consider the Enzo a ‘limited-production’ car.”
As you’d expect, the Fiorano offers an extensive array of performance and creature comfort options, ranging from customized exterior paint colors to F1-derived ceramic brakes. Expect to shell out at least $260,000 — or more — for a well-equipped one. That is, of course, when you can get your hands on one. The waiting line, according to Ferrari officials, is running at least two years.
2007 Ferrari F430 by Eric Peters (11/15/2006)
2007 Ferrari 612 Scaglietti by Eric Peters (11/15/2006)