Geneva – The Prancing Horse brought two expressions of the Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano to the 79th International Car Show in Geneva: the sporty HGTE, which stands for Handling GT Evoluzione, and the 599XX. While the first one is a road car the second one can be called a proper technological laboratory. The technicians in Maranello modified the 599 GTB Fiorano HGTE as far as the mechanic and the setup are concerned, to underline the Gran Turismo’s dynamic and allow faster driving into corners and a faster reaction to commands given by the driver. There are new springs and the rear bar is more rigid now, while the dampers are calibrated to underline the 12-cylinder’s sporty behaviour. The F1 gearbox is now even faster, while the throttle control has been modified for faster reaction and the wide range of the engine. The car sits lower and runs on 20’’ wheels, fitted with a special rubber compound for better grip at high performance. The 599 GTB Fiorano HGTE was presented in Geneva with a brand-new three-layered metallic red livery.
The other novelty at the Swiss Car Show was the 599XX, a car, which will not be homologated for road use. It’s technological content derives directly from the experience in Formula 1, underlining Ferrari’s capacity of technology transfer from F1 to road cars. Thus the exclusive group of clients can experience the emotions of the 599XX, a car, which laps the Fiorano race track in a time of 1’17’’.
Many technical solutions made it from Formula 1 into road cars: such as the “manettino”, first introduced in F1, which can now be found in all cars with the Prancing Horse, or the traction control F1-Trac, for better grip due to an auto adaptive logic working with the available grip. Today the 599XX is introducing new technological content, absolutely innovative for a GT car. The 12-cylinder engine has been modified as far as the combustion, the aspiration, the outlet and the rotation are concerned. Friction of the different mechanical parts has been reduced and the rotation has been improved to up to 9,000 rpm, generating 700 BHP. As far as the gearbox is concerned, a new management system is applied, reducing the time for gear changes to a mere 60 milliseconds.
Furthermore the 599XX is fitted with completely new electronics, based on a system called “High Performance Dynamic Concept”, a complex of technical solutions to optimize the mechanical and the electronic parts, reaching the maximum output also during extreme operations. The sporty handling could be improved thanks to the use of second generation magnetorheological fluid suspension control, while sporty driving benefits from the so called “virtual car engineer”, monitoring efficiency and use of the car in real time, delivering, through a special device on board, the necessary information to the driver.
The 599XX’s aerodynamic has been improved with a new completely covered underbody and the cooling system for the engine liquids on the bonnet. But the 599XX is also the first car fitted with an Actiflow™ system, contributing to higher downforce, changing the car’s aerodynamic resistance, adjusting it to the conditions on the race track. Two fans in the boot are sucking air from the cars underbody (thanks to the diffuser’s porous material), ejecting it through two grills sitting next to the tail-lights. To improve the downforce a lateral winglet has been mounted on the fins, while the synthetic jets in the rear part allow to control the flow, reducing aerodynamic resistance. Furthermore two F1 aspiration screens, so called wheel donuts, have been introduced. They partially cover the disk brakes and the rims with the double function of improving aerodynamic and cooling.
The car’s higher performance also benefits from material such as carbon fibre and aluminium, which made the 599XX even lighter. These materials have been used for the body and the engine, but also for the brake pads (carbon fibre) to make the brake calliper smaller, while maintaining its efficiency. The new carbon-ceramic brakes for racing offer an improved overall efficiency. The 19’’ slicks have been developed ad hoc, delivering a higher stability in corners and improving the Ferrari 599XX’s lateral acceleration.
The 599XX programme can be compared to the FXX programme, which has been started in 2006 and renewed in 2008/2009. The 599XX clients will have the possibility to race their cars on tracks during events organised by Ferrari (in 2010/11), where they will receive advice from the Corse Clienti department’s team. Furthermore the 599XX clients will be supported by professional drivers, who are taking part in the different GT Championships behind the wheels of cars with the Prancing Horse. These special instructors will put they knowledge at the clients’ disposal and work as proper technical consultants as far as the technical driving details, the perfect line on the track and the car’s general management are concerned. Another difference of the 599XX programme is the possibility to drive the cars on very special tracks, such as the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife and other important circuits from the history of motorsports.
Ferrari was the first car manufacturer launching a programme with cars not homologated for road use and not aiming at competition, although developed for race tracks. The Company benefitted from its passionate non-professional clients. The start of the 599XX programme, with different characteristics and goals compared to the FXX programme, is an evolution and a diversification of this successful concept. Although the 599XX is an extreme car it still conserves characteristics on board as know from the road car, which is essential for non-professional drivers during an intense use of the car on the track.