Our favourite Ferrari just became a whole lot more desirable with the new 599 GTO. Proclaimed as the company’s fastest ever road car, the 599 GTO is an exclusive limited edition special based on the 599XX.

The Devil is in the details, which we’ll come to shortly, but overall this is a great new addition to the legendary prancing horse marque and an instant poster-child for anyone roughly within the 5 to 85 year old age range..

I’ll take mine in red please…

GTO stands for Gran Turismo Omologata (i.e. GT homologation) and instantly calls to mind two Ferraris that have entered our collective imagination as symbols of performance. After the 1962 250 GTO, which swept the boards in GT racing categories in the 1960s and is now a highly prized collector’s car, came the iconic 1984 GTO, which preceded the F40 and basically invented the modern supercar genre.

The 599 GTO will be made for just 599 discerning – no doubt existing Ferrari customers and will become an instant collectors item.

Fundamental to the GTO’s performance is the innovative approach to chassis development which results in the almost complete absence of understeer and a truly communicative chassis. The 599 GTO has already set a lap time around Ferrari’s Fiorano test circuit of 1’24.00 which is one-tenth of a second slower than the 430 Scuderia (1’23.90), nearly a second quicker than the Ferrari Enzo (1’24.90) and whole 2.5 seconds ahead of the regular 599 GTB (1’26.50).

The Fiorano lap time provides just one indication of the potential of this car. Just as significant are the technical specifications – 670 hp in a 1495kg car represents a weight-to-power ratio of just 2.23 kg/hp, and ensures a 0-100 km/h acceleration time of just 3.35” as well as a top speed of over 209 mph (335 km/h).

The 599 GTO introduces Virtual Race Engineer (VRE), a system that monitors the status of the car and gives the driver immediate visibility of vehicle performance

As is Ferrari’s policy, every new Ferrari features new solutions for a road car. Thus the 599 GTO is equipped with the latest, second-generation carbon-ceramic brakes which are lighter and offer better performance, new aerodynamic innovations, such as the wheel doughnuts which increase aerodynamic efficiency as well as improve brake cooling, and the Supersport tyres developed by Michelin include a wider front tyre for greater roadholding. The driver-car interface is also new with the adoption of the Virtual Race Engineer (VRE) which provides the driver with instantaneous information on the car’s performance.

The bad news, if it’s possible to call it that, is the 599 GTO’s likely price… around £285,000, according to a brochure that was leaked on the internet last month. Better start saving then.

599 GTO Tech Spec

And now for the full technical details;


The 599 GTO’s engine is directly derived from the 599XX unit implementing, however, the necessary modifications for road-going homologation. It thus complies with Euro 5 and LEV 2 standards. The 5999 cc 65-degree V12 engine punches out 670 CV at 8250 rpm with maximum torque of 620 Nm at 6500 rpm and there is a smooth, constant rush of power all the way to the redline with no loss of flexibility even at medium and low revs. This result was obtained by working on the fluid-dynamics and components to reduce internal friction and by adopting, amongst other things, the 599XX’s redesigned crankshaft. The car also has a racing-type intake system with a new manifold with diffuser-type intake geometry and short inlet tracts designed to improve power delivery at high revs and reduce losses. To maximise volumetric efficiency per cylinder, a connection between the two plenums at the front compensates for variations in the volume. This is how the engineers managed to achieve maximum performance at high engine speeds. The engine sound inside the car is carefully controlled to balance the intake sound with the exhaust, which features a 599XX derived 6-into-1 manifold.

The 599 GTO features the same, lower 60 ms shift times and the possibility to make multiple downshifts as on the 599XX. Despite the increase in power over the 599 GTB Fiorano, fuel consumption and CO2 emissions both improve slightly to 17.5 km/l and 411 g/km respectively.


One of the most significant innovations on the 599 GTO is the close correlation between the chassis set-up, which is close to the handling limit, and the input from the electronic controls which are developed to increase overall levels of performance.

Since the very earliest states of the two cars’ development, Maranello’s engineers worked to ensure that these two areas of the car would be seamlessly integrated thus pushing responsiveness to the limit. The result is, of course, superlative driving involvement as well as faster lap times. Apart from new springs and a stiffer rear antiroll bar, the car also features a second generation magnetorheological suspension control system (SCM2). The suspension works in tandem with the VDC (Vehicle Dynamic Control) and latest-generation F1-Trac traction control. This makes the car extremely responsive to driver inputs – thanks in part to the adoption of a very direct steering ratio – but also very stable under braking, sharper on turn-in, more precise in cornering and quicker out of corners.


The 599 GTO inherits much of the development work – using the same principles as employed in F1 – that went into making the 599XX such an extreme performance car.

Reducing weight was a vital objective and the result was the widespread use of composites and components manufactured with technologies more akin to racing specifications. The areas involved include the bodywork and greenhouse (with thinner gauge aluminium and thinner glass), the brakes, transmission and exhaust system. The result is a dry weight of 1495 kg (close to that of the 599XX with liquids, but less petrol), and a weight-to-power ratio of just 2.23 kg/hp, a very significant figure that underlines the GTO’s performance potential.


The 599 GTO’s aerodynamics have benefited significantly from Ferrari engineers’ experience in F1 and with the 599XX which allowed downforce to be greatly increased without impacting on drag. Thanks to solutions 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 wheelarch stays as close to the body of the car as possible to reduce drag.

Work on the nose of the car was aimed at reducing the width of the wake generated by the front and thus reduce drag. The front spoiler incorporates a separate lower wing that increases downforce at the front of the car and increases the flow of cooling air to the oil radiator. On the flanks there’s a new sill design with a more pronounced leading edge that improves the efficiency of the central section of the underbody. The underbody itself incorporates a new, lower front section with diffusers ahead of the front wheels to optimise downforce, and a new double-curve rear diffuser.


Here the difference in size between the front and rear tyres has been changed. The GTO’s front tyres are now 285/30 on a 9.5’’ channel with 315/35 on an 11.5’’ channel at the rear. The 599 GTO has 20’’ rims. Roll rigidity is greater at the rear to minimise understeer. These solutions guarantee improved lateral grip and quicker turn in.


Once again, our experience with the 599XX proved fundamental in honing the new car’s Brembo braking system because of the highly specific development work carried out on the former on very demanding circuits. The new CCM2 braking system is lighter and even more consistent in high performance situations. Its consistent coefficient of attrition meant that the ABS could be calibrated to a particularly high performance level, further reducing lap times, thanks to improved deceleration and shorter stopping distances. In fact, the 599 GTO boasts an excellent 100 to 0 km/h braking distance of just 32.5 metres. As well as their role in improving aerodynamics, the Formula 1-derived wheel doughnuts also improve braking efficiency by optimising brake cooling.


The car-driver interface was designed to maximise car and driver 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 fitted with bespoke, longer carbon-fibre F1 paddles for easier use in high-speed driving. In addition the GTO also features the Virtual Race Engineer, a system that monitors the status of the car and gives the driver immediate visibility of vehicle performance.

599 GTO technical specifications

Length 4710 mm (185.4 in)
Width 1962 mm (77.2 in)
Height 1326 mm (52.2 in)
Wheelbase 2750 mm (108.3 in)
Front track 1701 mm (67.0 in)
Rear track 1618 mm (63.7 in)
Dry weight* 1495 kg (3296 lbs)
Kerb weight* 1605 kg (3538 lbs)
Weight distribution 47% front – 53% rear
Fuel tank capacity 105 litres (27.7 USgal/23.1 UK/gal)
Boot volume 320 litres (11.3 cu ft)

Type V12 – 65°
Bore & stroke 92 x 75.2 mm (3.62 x 2.96 in)
Unitary displacement 499.9 cc (30.51 cu in)
Total displacement 5999 cc (366.08 cu in)
Compression ratio 11.2:1
Maximum power 500 kW (670 CV) at 8250 rpm
Maximum torque 620 Nm (457 lbs/ft) at 6500 rpm


F1 6–speed + reverse


SCM2 – Magnetorheological Supension Control

Front 285/30 ZR20’’
Rear 315/35 ZR20’’

Front 398 x 38 mm (15.7 x 1.5 in)
Rear 360 x 32 mm (14.2 x 1.3 in)

CST with F1-Trac Traction and stability control
TPTMS Tyrepressure and temperature monitoring system

Maximum speed over 335 km/h (over 208 mph)
0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) 3.35 sec

Combined cycle (ECE)* 17.5 l/100 km

Combined cycle (ECE)* 411 g/km

*European version

Written By

Steve Davies

Steve is an investor, private equity advisor and former Partner at KPMG, PwC and Bain.   Most importantly he's a life-long car enthusiast, mountain biker and active sports enthusiast. He designs and builds technology platforms and is the architect behind Transmission.

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