What is it?
The car you are looking at is, no more and certainly no less, the fastest, most powerful road car that Ferrari has ever built. It’s called the 599 GTO, it costs £299,280 and it takes the idea of the front-engined V12 GT car to an entirely new level dynamically.
Thanks to an exhaustive program of upgrades not just to its engine, gearbox and chassis but also its braking system, aerodynamics and electronics, the 599 GTO can lap Ferrari’s test track at Fiorano faster than an Enzo. Yet it is also, says Ferrari, more fuel efficient and cleaner than a regular 599 GTB – and at the same time provides a level of driver interaction that has never before been available on a production Ferrari.
Essentially a road legal version of the extraordinary 599XX, the GTO features numerous engineering aspects that were pioneered on its track-only ancestor that we drove exclusively in March. The V12 engine, just like that of the XX, has been “super-polished” internally and features “diamond-like-carbon” coating on its hydraulic tappets which increases its overall efficiency (compared with the GTB unit) by an impressive 12 per cent.
It also has a new six-into-one exhaust manifold and a completely revised intake system that helps it sound both louder and “even more magnificent” from inside the cockpit while still conforming to Euro 5 and LEV2 homologation standards.
The headline power and torque figures make impressive enough reading on their own; the GTO’s 5999cc V12 produces a whopping 671bhp at 8250rpm and 457lb ft at 6500rpm, up from 612bhp and 448lb ft in the GTB. Combine this with a full 100kg weight reduction and you begin to realise how potent a machine the 1605kg GTO really is.
What’s it like?
Climb aboard, hunker down into its high-backed bucket seat and the sense of purpose inside the GTO is almost overwhelming. From its carbon fibre instrument surrounds to its drilled alloy pedals and its 10,000rpm rev counter, it feels every inch like a road legalized racing car inside. There’s even a row of Christmas tree lights atop the steering wheel to remind you when to shift up.