599 GTO V12: Fastest ever road-going Ferrari tops 335kmh
By Jeff Salton
April 12, 2010
When we brought you our article on the Ferrari 599 GTB back in 2006, it was the fastest V12 production car on the market. Now, the company has released the 599 GTO, the fastest ever road-going Ferrari. Based on the 599XX experimental track car, this extreme V12 berlinetta has been developed to a specific performance-oriented brief and is available only to 599 clients.
The 599 GTO (Gran Turismo Omologata) has benefited from Ferrari’s racing commitment and set a record lap time at Fiorano in 1’24”. Ferrari says the Fiorano lap time provides just one indication of the potential of this car – 670hp packed into a 1495kg vehicle represents a weight-to-power ratio of just 2.23kg/hp, and delivers a neck-snapping 0-100kmh acceleration time of just 3.35” as well as a spine-tingling top speed of more than 335kmh (208mph).
Ferrari says the 599 GTO is practically devoid of understeer thanks to the highly sophisticated electronic controls married to a handling set-up tuned for level of responsiveness that is “close to the limit”.
The 599 GTO is equipped with many new features including the latest, second-generation carbon-ceramic brakes that are lighter and offer better performance, new aerodynamic innovations such as wheel doughnuts that increase aerodynamic efficiency and improve brake cooling, and the Supersport tires developed by Michelin with a wider front tire for greater road-holding.
Like something out straight out of video game "Need for Speed", the driver-car interface is also new with the adoption of the Virtual Race Engineer (VRE) which provides the driver with instantaneous information on performance.
The 599 GTO’s styling is more aggressive, borrowing characteristics from the 599XX and from the powerful sound of the V12.
The GTO moniker is not something Ferrari takes lightly. Two previous models, the 250 GTO (1962) dominated GT racing categories in the 1960s and is now a highly prized collector’s car, and the iconic 1984 GTO, which Ferrari claims basically invented the entire modern supercar genre.
599 GTO technical information
Engine and gearboxThough the 599 GTO’s engine is basically a carbon-copy of the 599XX unit, road-going modifications have been made so that it complies with Euro 5 and LEV 2 standards.
The 5999cc 65° V12 engine punches out 670CV at 8250rpm with maximum torque of 620Nm at 6500rpm without a loss of flexibility even at medium and low revs. This result was achieved by improving fluid-dynamics and components to reduce internal friction with a new crankshaft.
A new racing-type intake system with a new manifold and diffuser-type intake geometry and short inlet tracts designed has improved power delivery at high revs and reduced losses. Engineers have maximized volumetric efficiency per cylinder by creating a connection between the two plenums at the front to compensate for variations in the volume.
And so the driver can enjoy that unmistakable Ferrari sound, the engine noise inside the car is carefully controlled to balance the intake sound with the exhaust, which features a 599XX derived 6-into-1 manifold.
The 599 GTO features the 599XX’s lower 60ms shift times and the possibility to make multiple downshifts. Despite the increase in power over the 599 GTB Fiorano, fuel consumption and CO2 emissions both improve slightly to 17.5km/l and 411g/km respectively.
Vehicle dynamicsOne of the most significant innovations on the 599 GTO is the close correlation between the chassis set-up, which is close to the handling limit, and the input from the electronic controls which are developed to increase overall levels of performance.
HandlingApart from new springs and a stiffer rear anti-roll bar, the car also has a second generation magnetorheological suspension control system (SCM2) which, when combined with the VDC (Vehicle Dynamic Control) and latest-generation F1-Trac traction control, makes the car extremely responsive to driver inputs.
Weight reductionRather than dieting, the 599 GTO has used thinner gauge aluminum and thinner glass to help make the car lighter (1495kg). The brakes, transmission and exhaust system are also lighter than previous models. The result is a dry weight of 1495 kg (close to that of the 599XX with liquids, but less petrol).
AerodynamicsFerrari’s F1 experience has been instilled into the 599 GTO’s aerodynamics and downforce has been greatly increased without impacting on drag - the GTO generates downforce of 144kg at 200kmh.
Work on the nose of the car was aimed at reducing the width of the wake generated by the front and thus reduce drag. The front spoiler incorporates a separate lower wing that increases downforce at the front of the car and increases the flow of cooling air to the oil radiator. A new sill design on the flanks has a more pronounced leading edge that improves the efficiency of the central section of the underbody which incorporates a new, lower front section with diffusers ahead of the front wheels to optimize downforce, and a new double-curve rear diffuser.
Wheel rims and tiresThe GTO has 20” rims, the front tires are now 285/30 on a 9.5’’ channel with 315/35 on an 11.5’’ channel at the rear. Roll rigidity is greater at the rear to minimize understeer.
BrakesExperience with the 599XX on demanding circuits has helped hone the new car’s Brembo braking system, which has reduced stopping distances and therefore reduced lap times. The 599 GTO pulls up from 100kmh in just 32.5m.
Car-driver interfaceThe racing manettino puts the emphasis firmly on sporty, track specific driving settings by offering the driver full choice of electronic control parameters. The ICE position on the 599 GTB Fiorano has been replaced by CT-Off (traction control off). The GTO has longer carbon-fiber F1 paddles for easier use in high-speed driving and the Virtual Race Engineer gives the driver immediate visibility of vehicle performance.
An exclusive preview for a small number of Ferrari clients will be held on April 14 at the Military Academy in Modena. The public debut of the 599 GTO will be at the Beijing International Motor Show at the end of April.
- Ferrari 599 GTO technical specifications
- Carbon-ceramic brakes
- Electronic controls
- Fuel consumption
- CO2 emissions