February 27, 2012 10:30 PM |
Posted By: Harry Metcalfe
With the official reveal of the Ferrari 599 replacement a mere 2 days away (Feb 29th is the date set by Ferrari for the official release of pictures and videos), the flow of leaked details is becoming a torrent. So what have we learnt so far?
Firstly, the claimed performance is going to make the last year’s 599 GTO seem almost pedestrian which, for anyone who was lucky enough to drive a GTO, seems close to being impossible. Yet during sneak customer previews of the new car, Ferrari have been telling buyers the 599 replacement will sprint to 200km/h in just 8.5 seconds. Compare that to the 9.8 seconds it took a 599 GTO and it’s clear the new car's performance has moved to another level all together (for reference, the Ferrari Enzo took 9.5 and the Ferrari F40 10.4seconds). Some of the improvement has to be thanks to the new 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox (shared with the Ferrari FF), which goes on to help improve the new car’s official lap time round Fiorano to 1:23secs, a full second faster than the 599 GTO can manage and on to a top speed of 340km/h.
With a revised 6.3litre V12 engine delivering 740PS, this will be the most powerful road-going Ferrari ever produced. Ferrari are saying the dry weight is 1525kilos, which is some 30kilos heavier than the stripped out 599 GTO (1495kg) but is 55kilos lighter than a regular 599 GTB Fiorano (1580kg). Part of the reason it’s lighter is the new car is 49mm shorter, 20mm narrower and 60mm lower than the outgoing 599 GTB.
Other tantalising details I’m hearing are the 599 replacement has an opening rear tailgate (similar to the one found on the current Jaguar XK) and it has new active aerodynamics, which help to reduce drag, as well as providing extra cooling for the engine and brakes, whenever required. I’m not expecting prices to be announced before Geneva but I understand the new car will cost at least £250,000 before options, which is mid-way between the what the 599 GTB and the limited edition 599 GTO listed at.
As I learnt in my exclusive interview with Ferrari CEO, Amedeo Felisa (published back in September 2011), it doesn’t stop there, either, as next on the horizon will be the new Enzo arriving in October 2012. Felisa confirmed last year this will use a development of the V12 we’ll see in the 599 replacement but tweaked to deliver even more power, around 800PS.
Performance will then be boosted further by a similar electric boost function used by Ferrari’s F1 cars, which will deliver at least another 100bhp to the rear wheels via the dual-clutch transmission. Naturally, all this technology increases the weight beyond the 1000kilo weight target Ferrari had set themselves when they announced the ‘Mille Chille’ concept back in 2007 but Felisa was keen to stress that this was bound to be higher once the decision to stick with a V12 engine had been made. He also confirmed the dry weight of the new Enzo to be 1200 kilos, which means it will boast a power to weight ratio of 750bhp/tonne (the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport is 654bhp/tonne).
With profits and the number of cars sold higher than ever in 2011, these really are extraordinary times at Ferrari.