Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano

Ferrari 599 GTB back Ferrari 599 GTB front

1st March 2006-One of the more exciting releases of 2006 is the 599 GTB Fiorano. It replaces the 550/575 Maranello and offers more interior space and power than its predecessors. It also leaves behind the 575 as the last Ferrari to use a steel chassis and completes Ferrari's overhaul of their entire range which is now all-aluminum.

As with all Ferrari introductions, the 599's initial screening was completed over dinner with trusted dealers and friends, this time at the Palazzo Re Enzo in the Piazza del Nettuno, Bologna. By diner time, so many photos of the car had surfaced, that the Geneva Motor Show release was almost old news. However, the accompanying ladies at Pininfarina's and Ferrari's Geneva stands ensured excitement, even if the cars didn't.

But how can the 599 not impress? Underneath its purposeful skin, the 599 retains the same front engine V12 layout which the 550/575 Maranello line successfully reintroduced, and to make up for its longer chassis, the 599 uses a 6.0-liter engine engineered from the same one found in the Enzo supercar that can reach 612 bhp and 8400 rpm! With it, the 599 is the most powerful front engine Ferrari!

Attached to this engine and sitting in the rear, is a considerably upgraded flappy paddle transmission called the 'F1-Superfast' that changes gears in just 100ms. This is a huge improvement compared to 250 ms in the older roadcar systems, but lags behind the 80ms FXX and 30ms Formula One unit it's named after.

Unfortunately, Ferrari's fully electronic E-Differential, first seen in the F430, is absent. It is intstead replaced with intelligent mototronics called Manettino that adjust the brakes and engine to control power delivery. Ferrari says this type of system is more suitable for the front engine design. When the Manettino switch is turned onto Race or Sport mode a system called F1-Trac montors the difference between the front and rear wheels for optimum traction.

Providing a base for the the 599 are three extruded aluminum sections on which the body is rivited and welded to. This lightweight design makes the 599's chassis 100 kg lighter than the 575 desipte being 250 mm longer. And since the V12 engine is 8 percent lighter and more compact than previous versions, it can sit further back in the engine bay. This means almost 85 percent of weight is contained bewteen the wheels.

At first glance the GTB's styling seems to mimic its larger 4-seat brother, the 612 Scgalietti. Both were designed at the same time and share the common interior bits, as well as similar front end designs which Pininfarina now sets as the enduring face of Ferrari. But unlike the 612, the 599 has an entirely new roof line and much tidier rear end treatment with two sexy rear buttresses that create 25 percent of the 599's downforce. Specifically it produceses 160 kg at 300 kph.

One aspect that gets constant debate are the Delphi-sourced magnetorheological dampers that actively stabilize the car and are totally adjustable. They use special fluid in the dampers that can change viscosity almost instantly with a magnetic field. What this means is that 599 reduces about 30 % more bumps than the 599, and the damping can adjust to what ever suits the driver. The exact same system is used on GM cars such as the Corvette but Ferrari are adamite that their own controlling software is unique.

Like all Ferraris, the 599 comes with a range of options, and for the spirited customers the 'Racing and Track' options include CCM (Carbon Ceramic Material) brakes, 20 inch Challenge one-piece rims with run-flat tyres, four-point harnesses and a cockpit roll-bar.

With the 599, Ferrari seem well on their way. Each year they are selling more cars, and offer increased levels of uncompromising luxury and power. The next chapter for the 599 will hopefully start on the track and end at LeMans.

engine Aluminum Alloy V12
position 65 Degree V12
aspiration Natural
valvetrain DOHC, 4 Valves per Cyl
fuel feed Multi-Point Fuel Injection
displacement 5999 cc / 366.1 cu in
bore 91.95 mm / 3.62 in
stroke 75.18 mm / 2.96 in
compression 11.2:1
power 455.6 kw / 611 bhp @ 7600 rpm
hp per litre Not Available litre
bhp/weight 361.97 bhp per tonne
torque 607.41 nm / 448 ft lbs @ 5600 rpm
redline 8400
drive wheels RWD w/F1-Trac Stability Control
front brakes Opt Carbon Ceramic Discs
f brake size 353 mm / 13.9 in
rear brakes Opt Carbon Ceramic Discs
r brake size 328 mm / 12.9 in
front wheels F 48.3 x 20.3 cm / 19 x 8 in
rear wheels R 50.8 x 27.9 cm / 20 x 11 in
front tire size 245/40 19 Pirellli PZero
rear tire size 305/35 20 Pirellli PZero
f suspension Double Wishbones w/Delphi Magnetorheological Dampers, Coil Springs, Anti-Roll Bar
r suspension Double Wishbones w/Delphi Magnetorheological Dampers, Coil Springs, Anti-Roll Bar
weight 1688 kg / 3722 lbs
wheelbase 2751 mm / 108.3 in
front track 1689 mm / 66.5 in
rear track 1618 mm / 63.7 in
length 4666 mm / 183.7 in
width 1961 mm / 77.2 in
height 1336 mm / 52.6 in
transmission 6-Speed Manual or F1 Superfast
gear ratios 3.15:1, 2.18:1, 1.57:1, 1.19:1, 0.94:1, 0.76:1
final drive 4.18:1
top speed 329.9 kph / 205 mph
0 - 60 mph 3.5 seconds
0 - 100 mph 6.9 seconds
0 - 1/4 mile 11.2 seconds
drag 0.336 Cd