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Bodystyle, dimensions and technical details

Ferrari has used much more advanced underpinnings for the 599 than with its 550 and 575M predecessors. The tubular steel chassis of those cars has been replaced by an all-aluminium chassis to bring vastly improved stiffness and reduced mass. The fuel tank now sits within a longer wheelbase, bringing a lower polar moment of inertia and centre of gravity. 

The Enzo’s 5999cc V12 was then reformatted for this GT application and the following numbers were settled upon: 612bhp at 7600rpm (it can spin to 8400rpm if required) and 448lb ft of torque at 5600rpm. In the context of a 1690kg claimed kerb weight, that gives the 599 a power-to-weight ratio of 362bhp per tonne, so far beyond the 291 offered by its predecessor that you could rightly conclude that this new car occupies an entirely new category. Let’s christen it ‘super GT’. 

Beautiful fuel filler caps are a Ferrari speciality, but despite having the usual lump of chrome, the flap under which it sits is attached to the body by a nasty hinge

As ever, Ferrari is keen to remind us how much technology has been gleaned from its F1 studies. The 599 is available with a paddle-shift gearbox, using the latest super-fast shift software. In the fastest setting, just 100 milliseconds elapse between clutch disengaging and fully engaging the next gear. The 599 has significant underbody aerodynamic aids, which bring a claimed 160kg of downforce at 186mph. 

The car uses magnetorheological semi-active dampers, so-called because when a magnetic field is applied to the liquid within the damper reservoir, its viscosity changes almost instantly. This function, along with the gearshift speed and the traction and stability control parameters, is controlled by a button on the steering wheel. 

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The 599 can also be specified with optional carbon-ceramic brakes, measuring 398mm at the front and 360mm at the rear.