Throughout its long history Ferrari’s mission has largely been to win races, and then apply its technical expertise to building exotic sports cars for well-heeled clientele. Each car was a statement about Ferrari’s capability at the time.
The company made another emphatic statement at the 2006 Geneva Motor Show with the premiere of its flagship model, the 599GTB Fiorano. The front engine V12 sports car was intended to do nothing less than advance the state of the art in a manner that was unmistakably Ferrari.
Drawing on its lineage of classic front-engine V12 Ferrari Gran Turismos of the 1960s as well as its immediate predecessors, the 550 Maranello and 575M V12, the 599GTB did so on many fronts. The advancements are apparent in its aerodynamics, engine, transmission and drivetrain, engine, brakes and suspension.
Its design was based on an aluminum spaceframe derived from that of the four seat 612 Scaglietti. Ferrari had been developing aluminum forming and joining technologies for years, showing glimpses of what was to come with the 408 RM testbed of 1987, then gradually transitioning its volume production models to this type of construction.
The 599GTB’s chassis consists mostly of extrusions bonded, bolted or welded to cast nodules and body panels. Further, forged aluminum double wishbone suspension and wheels all around contributed to an overall weight of about 3,800 lbs., a reduction of some 88 lb. (40 kg) compared with the 575M. It came standard with 19” diameter wheels in front and 20” wheels at the rear.
The heart of the 599GTB is a DOHC 65 degree 6.0 liter V12 derived from the mill found in the Ferrari Enzo. At the time of its launch the 599GTB’s output of 611 hp and 448 lb-ft of torque made it the second most powerful Ferrari road car ever produced.
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