Ferrari 599XX unveiled at Geneva motor show 2009 | CAR Magazine

Ferrari 599XX unveiled at Geneva motor show 2009

Published: 03 March 2009 Updated: 26 January 2015

This is Ferrari’s 690bhp 599XX, a stunning €1.1million showpiece for the Prancing Horse’s future technologies.

How has Ferrari changed the 599 to make it into the 599XX?

Let’s start with the engine. It’s basically the V12 from the awesome Enzo, so a little extra power is easily achievable. And Ferrari hasn’t missed a trick – they’ve tweaked  the combustion chambers, inlet and exhaust tracts and boosted the rev limit to 9000rpm, exactly where the 599XX now delivers its 690bhp. Meantime, gearshift times are down from 100ms to 60ms.
The obvious changes are to the bodywork. Wind tunnel test sessions have seen numerous changes, and are enough to help produce 280kg of downforce at 125mph. But beyond the extra vents and smoother underbody, Ferrari’s new ‘Actiflow’ system – with a porous diffuser and two fans in the boot to channel airflow from under the car and out via two grilles next to the rear lights – helps to both increase downforce and cut drag. There are also winglets on the buttresses, synthetic jets in the rear of the car that open to smooth airflow, and F1-inspired ‘doughnuts’ that partially cover the wheels to improve aerodynamics and aid brake cooling.
Other tweaks include brake callipers now made from carbon ceramic (so they can be smaller and lighter), a more advanced electronic control system and slick tyres.
It all makes the new Handling Pack-equipped 599, with lower and stiffened suspension, a louder exhaust and new split-rim wheels seem a little tame. And let’s face it, you won’t hear that very often.

By Ben Pulman

Ex-CAR editor-at-large