Ferrari 599 GTO: The Fastest Street-Legal Ferrari Ever

Illustration for article titled Ferrari 599 GTO: The Fastest Street-Legal Ferrari Ever

Halfway between the Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano and the track-only Ferrari 599XX is Maranello's latest prancing stallion — the Ferrari 599 GTO. It not only looks epic, it's got the stats and pedigree to match the aggressive design.

With the GTO, or Gran Turismo Omologato, designation affixed to the side of this prancing stallion, it's meant to evoke the legendary versions of the 250 and 288. Those are some big n' beefy names to live up to. Luckily, the 599 GTO appears to deliver.


For starters, lets talk about the look — the 599 GTO is visually aggressive thanks to styling elements derived from the 599XX. In fact, it looks sorta like a Viper SRT10 mixed with hot sex and, err...what's the word..ah, yes, style.

But it's not all for show. Thanks to concepts transferred from the track car to the road-going version, the GTO generates downforce of 144 kg at 200 km/h. The entire car was honed, including the front, the sides, the flat underbody and cooling flows. In the latter instance, the GTO can count on improved ducting to the brake discs and pads, and the adoption of wheel doughnuts – a disc positioned outside the brake disc that ensure that hot air exiting the wheel arch stays as close to the body of the car as possible to reduce drag.

The 599 GTO's front tires are now 285/30 on a 9.5'' channel with 315/35 on an 11.5'' channel at the rear — with all four measuring in at 20''. Roll rigidity is greater at the rear to minimise understeer. These solutions should improved lateral grip and quicker turn in.

And then there's the powerplant — an Enzo-derived 6-liter V12 will let the 599 GTO take to the streets with 670 galloping horses and 457 lb/ft of torque to motivate its "svelte" 3,296 lb body. That means this latest V12 berlinetta delivers a 0-to-100 km/h acceleration time of just 3.35 seconds and a max speed of over 208 MPH. But, just as importantly, a Fiorano lap time of just one minute and 24 seconds — making it the fastest road-going model in the history of Ferrari.

Fundamental to the new GTO's performance is an innovative approach to chassis development which, for the first time on a production car, saw integration between a handling set-up tuned for a level of responsiveness that gets closer to the limit than any street-legal Ferrari before it — along with sophisticated electronic controls. A Magnetorheological Supension Control system combines with the chassis to produce a result Ferrari claims provides an "almost complete absence of understeer and a truly communicative chassis."


Combine that with a car-driver interface designed to maximize performance with a layout of the main commands that ensures absolute efficiency and minimum distraction. The Racing manettino also puts the emphasis firmly on sporty, track-specific driving settings by offering the driver full choice with regard to the electronic control parameters. The ICE position on the 599 GTB Fiorano has been replaced by CT-Off (traction control off). The GTO is also, as expected, fitted with bespoke, longer carbon-fiber F1 paddles.

This Ferrari looks to truly be a beauty — but it's a limited beauty — only 599 will leave the Maranello factory floor.


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Frank Grimes

What does it mean when you have a dream where you are driving one of these and you die?