Four short years after Ferrari introduced the world-conquering Enzo, the world was shocked when a large, comfortable GT car capable of nearly matching the Enzo’s performance in every dimension debuted. That car? The Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano. Who else but Ferrari would have been able to accomplish such a feat? Just check out this stat line: a 620 CV V12 up front, a conservatively-reported 3.7 seconds to 62 mph (compared to the Enzo’s 3.6), and a top speed of over 205 mph. Not a bad stat line for a much heavier and more comfortable vehicle. The range of advancements Ferrari was able to implement within 4 short years was simply stunning.
Some of those advancements include a quicker-shifting F1-SuperFast transmission and an enhanced electronic differential for improved traction. Combine those improvements with laser-sharp steering and optional carbon-ceramic brakes, and the 599 GTB simply springs to life when the going gets twisty. It possesses an astounding nimbleness that belies its large size. You know that Ferrari was supremely confident in their new GT car’s track capability because they named it after their own private test track. Living up to its name, the 599 set a blistering 1:26.5 lap time around Fiorano, a remarkable 5 seconds faster than its predecessor, the 575 Maranello. In fact, an even more track-oriented variant of the 599, dubbed the GTO, lapped Fiorano in 1:24 flat; nearly a full second faster than the Enzo.
Another testament to the amazing work Ferrari does is the fact that loading the 599 to the gills with the latest performance technology didn’t ruin the car for comfort cruising. Keep the manettino pointed away from its “race” setting and go easy on the throttle and you have a quiet, comfortable GT car comfy enough for leisure rides. And we haven’t even mentioned the car’s handsome good looks yet. Pininfarina took Ferrari’s big front-engined V12 model in a new stylistic direction with the 599, and the results were stunning. The elegant-yet-aggressive lines are the perfect exterior for a car as comfortable on the track as on a cross-continent road trip. Ferrari worked their magic on the 599 GTB Fiorano, creating some mighty big shoes for its successor, the F12berlinetta, to fill.

599 GTB – Andy’s thoughts

In some respects, the 599 GTB Fiorano is the first of its kind. Yes, there had been front engine V12s before this, including the 550 and 575 Maranello that this replaced, but they did not share an engine with the hypercar of their time. The fact that the 599 GTB used the same engine as the Enzo shocked many in the supercar world and made it an instant bargain. The Enzo had been tamed into what is a remarkable car.

But it’s also the end of the line, for the 599 GTB was the last V12 car to be sold with a manual gearbox. Not many were sold as most people opted for the F1 gearbox, but of the Eleanor cars out there, it’s something you simply cannot buy new today. The click clack of the gearbox is a sound we will never hear from new Ferraris ever again. That married up with a Hypercar engine is just the perfect combination.

Images Copyright of Foskers

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