The 2011 Ferrari 599 Fiorano hardtop grand tourer is one of Ferrari's most powerful and expensive models. It comes in GTB and F1A trim levels, and the GTE Package adds some handling upgrades to either trim. A new limited-production GTO has already sold out. Ferrari cites a top speed of 205 mph and a zero-to-60-mph time under 3.7 seconds. Competitors include the Aston Martin DBS, Lamborghini Gallardo and Maserati GranTurismo.
Styled by famed Italian design house Pininfarina, the 599's sleek body produces prodigious down force without using obvious or garish wings and spoilers. All of the various grilles and grates are functional. Two in the hood and one on each front fender allow hot air to escape. Inlets in front of the rear wheels provide cooling for the rear-mounted transmission.
Twenty-inch wheels with Z-rated performance tires are standard, and brake calipers come in red, Scuderia red, yellow and gray.
The two-seater is bedecked in leather, aluminum and carbon fiber. Characteristic of Ferraris, the 599 is highly customizable, with a choice of color and sometimes material of the gauges, steering wheel, shift knob, seat belts, pillars, seat trim, carpeting and more.
Buyers can opt for four-point racing harnesses and a roll bar. A navigation system is optional.
Under the Hood
The 599's front-mounted power plant is a 6.0-liter V-12 that produces 612 horsepower at 7,600 rpm and 448 pounds-feet of torque at 5,600 rpm. The redline is 8,400 rpm. The EPA mileage rating is 11/15 mpg city/highway on premium gas. A $3,700 gas-guzzler tax is due upon purchase.
The rear-wheel-drive car comes with a six-speed manual transmission with a gate shifter and twin-plate clutch in the base coupe, and a Formula 1-style six-speed automated manual in the F1A. The F1-SuperFast gearbox can be controlled with steering-wheel shift paddles. Ferrari claims gearshift times as low as 100 milliseconds, with the fastest shifts occurring during sportier driving, depending on accelerator position and engine rpm. Although Ferrari offers a launch-control feature overseas, it's not offered in North America. A limited-slip differential is standard. The front/rear weight distribution is 47/53 percent.
A "manettino" (Italian for "little lever") knob on the steering wheel selects among several modes to adjust the electromagnetic adaptive suspension and the behavior of the transmission and electronic stability system. The Control for Stability and Traction modes include Sport, Race, Ice, Wet and CST Off.
The optional GTE handling package includes stiffer springs, shock absorbers and a rear stabilizer bar, as well as lowered ride height and grippier tires.
The 599's safety features include front and side-impact airbags, antilock brakes and an electronic stability system with traction control.
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