Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano F1–D&M Motorsports Video Review with Chris Moran

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A gorgeous 2007 Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano F1, presented by D&M Motorsports. Hosted by: Chris Moran

The boss came into my office the other day and asked if I wanted to write the road test on Ferrari’s latest-and-greatest GT machine, the 599 GTB Fiorano. What was I going to say? “Gee, you know, I think I’m busy that week….” Yeah…right. Anyone with half a heartbeat and an able right foot would leap at the chance to spend some quality throttle-time with Maranello’s second most powerful (to the Enzo) street car ever.
And this is no creampuff, despite Ferrari calling the 599 a Gran Turismo. Its front-mounted 6.0-liter all-aluminum V-12 positioned well aft of the front axle is serious business, derived from the much vaunted, limited-production Enzo powerplant. Its power is breathtaking: 611 bhp at 7600 rpm and 448 lb.-ft. of torque at 5600.
The 599 may be down 39 bhp to the Enzo, but as we found at the track, that didn’t matter one bit.
Using a special launch mode shown to us by a Ferrari test driver on hand, the computer handles traction control and shifting. Launched in this manner, the 599 squats down hard on its rear 305/35ZR-20 Pirelli P Zero tires, lifts its nose and, with nary a bit of wheelspin, pins you back into the seat as it explodes to 60 mph in just 3.2 seconds. Yes, that’s right, quicker than an Enzo. That’s also quicker than the McLaren F1, the Porsche Carrera GT and 911 Turbo and the Saleen S7 Twin Turbo, and a tie with the 650-bhp Ruf Rt 12.
How is this possible? The special launch mode, for one thing, along with the latest 6-speed F1 gearbox (called F1 Superfast) that accomplishes shifts in just 100 milliseconds, versus the F430’s 150 milliseconds and the 575M Maranello’s 250 milliseconds. And those super-sticky P Zeros, developed specifically for the 599, with a tread-wear rating of 60. (That’s R-compound adhesion, as most performance tires exceed 200.)The 599 is not just quick off the line, but forges relentlessly up to speed, running the quarter mile in 11.2 sec. at 129.3 mph, eventually topping out at a claimed 205 mph.
It’s bested by 0.1 sec. through the quarter by the Enzo, and, of course, it’s no match for the Bugatti Veyron (2.6 sec. to 60 and a full second quicker in the quarter-mileā€”and .4 million, versus the 599’s base price of 8,345). How does the 599 GTB handle? Thanks to front and rear forged-aluminum double-wishbone suspension and the first use of magneto-rheological dampers in a Ferrari road car (developed in collaboration with Delphi), the 599 exhibits sports-car handling in the guise of a GT. This damper system reacts four times faster than traditional versions, according to Ferrari, and reduces brake dive, acceleration squat and body roll. Although the steering was lighter than expected around the skidpad, the 599 circled at an impressive 0.97g. Its slalom speed of 71.2 mph is impressive in anyone’s book, even more so when you consider its curb weight (3865 lb.) and the length of its 108.3-in.
wheelbase. It’s not the easiest car with which to navigate the orange cones, showing a tendency to swing its tail out if steering inputs are too abrupt.
On the road, the 599 simply dazzles, and if you find fault with what can only be called a “slightly harsh” ride with a bit more road noise than your Honda Accord’s, then you’re buying the wrong car. Throw the 599 into a corner and it just flat sticks, providing excellent feedback.
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