The all-new Ferrari 599XX and 599 HGTE make their North American debut in Manhattan, but not at the 2009 New York Auto Show.
The all-new Ferrari 599XX and 599 HGTE made their North American debut last night at the company’s factory-owned showroom on posh Park Avenue here in Manhattan. While Ferrari wanted to make its presence known at the 2009 New York International Auto Show, which is being held this week and next, it will not actually be exhibiting at the Javits Center. As a result, the peasantry won’t be able to get up close and personal with these machines.
And that’s too bad, because this 599XX is a sight to behold. Built for customers who want to "experience Prancing Horse driving pleasure at its purest," the 599XX is a showcase of technology and aerodynamics. It utilizes the same V12 engine found in the 599 GTB Fiorano, only mounted up front. The big V12 can turn at a maximum 9000 rpm and delivers an impressive power output of 700 horses. Gear changes happen in a mere 60 milliseconds.
Composites and carbon fiber were used extensively to reduce weight. To improve aerodynamics, winglets have been added to the rear buttresses for added downforce, and bodywork around the wheels has been altered to increase airflow. There are even fans in the trunk that channel air from under the car and out through two grilles by the taillights. With all the aero changes, this Ferrari develops almost 1,400 pounds of downforce at 186 mph, four times that of the regular F599.
Only 30 599XXs will be built, and they won’t be available to just anyone. You'll need to take part as a "client test driver," providing feedback on your car and the way it performs at one of half a dozen special track days. Ferrari wants 599XX customers to help develop new technology for future road cars. Not that you will be able to drive it on the road, for this is the ultimate track-day-only machine.
Slightly less exclusive is the new Handling GTE package for the 599 GTB. While there are no changes in power output, the HGTE package lowers the ride height, provides stiffer springs and shocks, a rear anti-roll bar and stickier tires for better grip. Engine software has been altered for better accelerator response and quicker shifts.
Visually, the 599s equipped with the HGTE package can be differentiated by the 20-inch split-rim wheels with a new diamond-cut and matte silver finish. The rear diffuser is finished in matte black, and tailpipes are chromed. Inside, the cabin is updated with a mix of full-grain leather, black Alcantara and carbon-fiber trim. Embroidered in contrasting stitching on the headrest are a Prancing Horse and the words "Handling GTE."