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2011 Ferrari 599 GTO Preview

By Jeff Youngs, December 31, 2010

Critical Facts:
  • All-new model
  • Flagship of the Italian automaker's lineup
  • Ferrari'sperformance benchmark model
  • Only 599 will be made; priced at $450,000 each
  • F1-inspired sequential automatic gearbox shifts gears in 60milliseconds
  • Manettino switchgear on steering wheel with variousdriver-adjustablesettings

Fast Facts:
  • Standard 6.0-liter V-12 engine with 661 horsepower (at 8,250 rpm)and457 lb.-ft. of torque
  • 0-60 mph in just over 3 seconds
  • Top speed of 208 mph
  • Features newly developed Michelin tires and second-generationcarbon-ceramic brakes

Introduction
 Founded in 1928, Ferrari is a noted limited-production sports carmakerbased in Maranello, Italy. Interestingly enough, the company's originalobjective was to sponsor drivers and build race cars. Those planschanged in 1947 when Ferrari began making street-legal automobiles thatwere influenced heavily by its continued racing participation. Many ofthe early models, like the Ferrari 250 GTO, Ferrari 365 GTB and FerrariDino, would eventually become classics.

The Ferrari 599was launched for the 2007 model yearin street-legal"GTB" trim as a successor to the 575M Maranello. The all-new12-cylinder coupe was followed in 2009 by the "599XX" model-alightweight 599 variant designed purely for racing. In early 2010,Ferrari announced the "599 GTO," which is essentially a road-goingvariant of the 599XX model.

Production of the 2011 Ferrari 599 GTO is limited to just 599examples-each with a sticker price starting at about $450,000.


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Overview
Distinguishing itself from the 599 GTB, the 2011 Ferrari 599 GTOfeatures the latest in aerodynamic aids (such as wheel "doughnuts" thatincrease brake cooling but lower drag) and new, second-generationcarbon-ceramic brakes. It is also fitted with newly developed Michelintires and a "Virtual Race Engineer" driver-car interface that providesthe driver with real-time information on performance.

Like the Ferrari 599 GTB and 599XX, the 2011 Ferrari 599 GTO is fittedwith a 6.0-liter 12-cylinder engine. While it is rated at 611horsepower in the "GTB" model, the "GTO" features further tuning toreduce internal friction and a new redesigned crankshaft. There is alsoa racing-type manifold with a new intake geometry and short inlettracks. The result is an engine rated at 661 horsepower (at 8,250 rpm)and 457 lb.-ft. of torque. The standard transmission is an F1-inspiredsequential transmission that shifts gears in 60 milliseconds-just likethe one on the track-only Ferrari 599XX model. According to Ferrari,the 599 GTO will accelerate to 62 mph in just 3.35 seconds towards atop speed of 208 mph.

Technology
The 2011 Ferrari 599 GTO is fitted with a "manettino" vehicle dynamicssystem. The switchgear is mounted on the steering wheel to maximize carand driver performance while ensuring absolute efficiency andminimizing distraction, says Ferrari. The manettino is similar to theone in the 599 GTB, but it has been further developed with an emphasison sporty, track-specific driving settings. While the 599 GTB offers amode for driving on winter "ICE," that mode has been replaced in theGTO with a "CT-Off" (traction control off). To enhance performancedriving, the carbon-fiber steering wheel paddles are now longer foreasier use during driving maneuvers.

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