There are a couple of really important things you should know about the Ferrari 599XX. First, it is illegal to drive this car on the road. Secondly, it laps Ferrari’s Fiorano test track two seconds faster than the Enzo-based Ferrari FXX racer. Two whole seconds! That much time is basically an eternity on a track as short as Fiorano. Turning the already impressive 599 GTB Fiorano into a finely-tuned track car is a remarkable feat, considering we are talking about a big, front-engine grand tourer and not a mid-engine hypercar. Ferrari presented their new track beast to the world at the Geneva Auto Show in 2009. By the time of the Beijing show in 2010, the car had set the Nürburgring lap record for production-based sports cars.
Things start heating up under the hood, where the 5.99-litre V12 carried over from the base 599 GTB Fiorano has been lightened and modified so it now puts out 720 horsepower and doesn’t hit its redline until an astronomical 9,000 rpm. Everywhere you look there are divots, creases, holes, and scoops meant to direct airflow around the car in the most effective way possible, so that by 186 mph, the 599XX is procuring 620 kgs of downforce from the air moving past it. The interior has been stripped bare, down to just some seats, a roll cage, and some instruments set against a carbon fibre panel. No carpeting, no luxuries of any kind. Another impressive feat the 599XX pulls off is the ease at which it can be driven. Unlike the FXX, which has a reputation of being quite a handful, the 599XX can be driven by just about anyone. Light steering and perfect balance combine with the state-of-the-art stability control technology to prevent the car from making drivers ever look sloppy or unskilled.
Ferrari intended for the 599XX to be an entire experience for the 29 lucky buyers, including an entire season of shipping the cars to various tracks in order to allow the owners to test their skill on a variety of settings. The price of entry was a high as you would expect; about £1.3 million. So only a very few lucky, well-heeled enthusiasts will ever get the chance to own one, but the rest of us can always find plenty to enjoy from afar.
Andy’s Thoughts – Ferrari 599XX
What’s not to like about the Ferrari 599XX? It looks, goes, and sounds great, and is a tuning enthusiasts dream. But what Ferrari have done with this car is remarkable, by taking the base of a road car and making it a world beating track monster. That’s what I find most amazing, that they have squeezed every last bit of potential, that on paper it could be mistaken for a completely different car.
The fact that then clients can own and drive them was also a clever move by Ferrari. OK fair enough, they will need deep pockets, but it’s every boys dream to race a finely tuned beast on a track. Gran Turismo didn’t sell in droves for nothing you know. I had the pleasure of being trackside with a dozen of these last year, and firing up had we been in the Alps we would have had an avalanche!
Ferrari chose not to make an F12 version of the 599XX, so it’s probably likely that we will see an 812XX at some point. With the 599XX being as good as this, who knows what that will be like!