The Ferrari first launched a model similar to the 599 as a two-seater housing a front-engined V12 Berilinetta. This was the 2002 575 Maranello—a failed attempt that didn’t hit the same mark as its predecessors and sister vehicles. Ferrari decided to make up for this frustration by designing the 599 GTB Fiorano. The 599 impresses through all its numbers, primarily with its less than 600bhp power output. You can expect the 599 to outperform even the most expensive and exclusive vehicles in the top range.
The 599 is a serious upgrade from its predecessors, the 575M and 550. The previous model’s tubular steel chassis has been replaced with an all aluminum chassis that gives the vehicle reduced mass and better stiffness. Another improvement is the lower polar moment of inertia and centre of gravity thanks to the longer wheelbase position of the fuel tank.
In terms of power, the V12 engine was reformatted into the following numbers. First there’s the 612bhp at 7600rp. A lower offer would be the 448lb ft of torque at 5600rpm; given its 1690kg kerb weight this would mean the 599 would have a power-to-weight ratio at 362bhp a tonne. Given these numbers, it’s no exaggeration to call the 500 a super GT.
Time is another impressive number with the 599. Its 3.5 seconds average to arrive at 60mph from standstill is equal to the Pagani Zonda S. Rest’s capability. The engine isn’t just quick, but also boasts of staggering civility and character. You won’t experience any troughs or peaks as you go into 8400rpm from an idle state. The more hardcore version of the 599 is the HGTE or Handling Grand Tourer Evoluzione model. This variation offers revised calibration for the magnetic dampers, lower ride, and stiffer springs. Anyone who can afford the luxury of enhanced performance will definitely get more value despite the £14k addition to the list price. Another worthy upgrade is the 599XX, which came in 2009. The XX is 10 seconds faster than the Fiorano, but was exclusively released in just 29 units. The 599 GTO model was released as a more “unexclusive” model of the XX, but the HGTE is still the better bet among the three.
The 599 has its setbacks, particularly with ride and handling. Damping tends to be too firm on sport mode and even on winter mode the gearchange feels sluggish. However, most British roads work best with the 599 Winter mode given its well controlled roll angles, wheel travel, and steering. The performance is enhanced but tends to lifeless.
The other 599 Mentinno settings, such as sport, race, and snow tend to hamper the car’s ability on regular UK roads. The sport is the only decent setting of them all, able to balance conditions for everyday driving and allow for more slip before the traction/stability system turns off the throttle.
Although higher end competitors offer faster cars at bigger prices, the 599 GTB Fiorano still stands out as a complete GT car. The engine is almost as powerful and offers enough control over its supreme capability. Plus the structure is lighter and better than its predecessors.
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