Two Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano supercars arrived in the DC area on an early November morning, stopping at the 15,000 mile mark of their 20,000 mile, 84-day Pan American Tour. The cars rolled into the Ferrari of Washington headquarters in Sterling VA, looking in fine condition in spite of the pounding they’ve taken along the way (the long way!) from Brazil to New York City. From the DC area the two 599 GTB cars took a circuitous route throughout the East and ended their journey in New York on November 17th.
The new, all-aluminum, 599 GTB Fiorano can accelerate from 0-60 mph in 3.7 seconds and has a top speed of 330 kilometers per hour, or nearly 205 miles per hour. Its magnetorheological suspension control system, developed jointly with Delphi, reacts every 10 milliseconds to change shock settings, thus perfectly maintaining tire-to-road adhesion and optimum ride characteristics.
The cars needed such sophisticated ride control, since over 1,200 miles of the Tour’s route consisted of gravel, rut-filled roads in South America. Drivers mentioned that they found the cars quite comfortable, thanks to ergonomically designed seats and Bose sound systems.
The 12-cylinder, 620-horsepower Ferrari cars are the latest in the stable of offerings by the legendary Italian company and the Tour was created to showcase the reliability and comfort of the cars as well as their astounding performance. The new model’s name “Fiorano” comes from the Formula 1-style track built near the factory in 1972. The state-of-the-art track has been continually updated with telemetry, special bitumen surface and a watering system that can wet the entire 2,976-meter (1.78 miles) track in a few minutes. All formula 1 cars and production models are tested on the track to assure maximum performance.
You can also watch the Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano Panamerica Preview Video on YouTube.
The 12-cylinder engine is a marvel of technology and art. It displaces 5.999 cubic centimeters (365 cubic inches) and produces 103 horsepower per liter. The all-aluminum engine features chain-driven, twin overhead camshafts, continuously variable timing on both inlet and exhaust cams for optimal torque – 608 Nm at 5,600 rpm. Efficient combustion technology allows the engine to be classified as LEV2 for emissions. To give perspective on the engine’s sophistication, on the Pan American Tour the cars were fueled at local Shell stations (the company has a 70-year relationship with the oil company) wherever available. In Bolivia the only octane rating available was 72. The cars ran on the fuel without pinging or knocking. Electronic alterations done by the engine management systems significantly lowered horsepower, but the cars ran fine. Then again, there was plenty of horsepower to spare in the first place!
The new car was extensively wind tunnel tested during its design phase. The flying buttresses on either side of the wraparound rear window help channel air without increasing drag and all body parts contribute to the car’s aerodynamic stability. At top speed the car’s shape generates an impressive 190 kg (418 lb) downforce. The coefficient of drag is 0.336.
The 599 utilizes a new generation F1 gearbox that cuts shift times down to 100 milliseconds – far faster than an average person could shift manually. This is accomplished internally by contemporaneously lifting off the clutch, disengaging and then re-engaging the proper gear and then letting out the clutch. Gears engage in 40 milliseconds, allowing sufficient time for the clutch action.
Ferrari’s Formula 1 experience is incorporated into the 599’s exceptional handling systems. Its stability control software estimates the maximum available grip in real-time, compares the information with the car’s stored parameters and then adjusts its reactions to optimum traction by modulating power delivery and shock ratings. Ferrari claims a 20% increase in lateral acceleration over traditional traction control systems.
Drivers will find all necessary controls on the steering wheel. Aside from the F1 paddle shifters, there’s a wheel-mounted vehicle dynamics control switch that operates the manettino. The manettino integrates the stability and F1-Trac traction control systems, the SuperFast sequential gearbox and the SCM (Magnetorheological Suspension Control) fluid suspension and engine management unit. The car’s settings can be changed to suit any weather condition and the driver can select “sport” or “race” settings. Readouts are displayed on a Multi Display unit that incorporates lap times and trip computer data.
The new car is designed so that 85% of the kerb weight is concentrated between the axles (47% front, 53% rear) and the center of gravity is lowered from that of other models. The all-aluminum body shell and chassis are exceptionally rigid while allowing for good cockpit space.
Owners of the 599 GTB Fiorano can choose personalization in several ways: Racing and Track options include ceramic brakes, four-point harnesses and a roll bar; Interior options include a carbon fiber steering wheel with LED rev display and matching trim kit; Scuderia Ferrari shields, Daytona seats, satellite navigation and other comfort accessories make the driving experience all the more individualized.
All this doesn’t come inexpensively and buyers can expect to pay $250,000 and up. Production is limited and the wait for delivery can exceed 9 months, but some things are worth it.
You can discuss the new GTB on our Ferrari Forums