The Ferrari 599XX has set a new 'production car' lap record at the Nurburgring in Germany, with factory test driver Raffaele de Simone behind the wheel. Although some will scoff at the vaguely tenuous 'production-derived sports car record' claimed by Ferrari, the 599XX is claimed to be the first road car to break the seven-minute barrier.
Maranello today revealed the 599XX had lapped the 12.9-mile Nordschleif in 6min 58.16sec. That's quicker than the Gumpert Apollo which last year did a 7min 11.5sec, although a Radical SR8 track car is reported to have posted a 6min 48sec time. Watch the 599XX on its record lap in our video below.
So about the Ferrari 599XX being a road car...
Ah yes. The 599XX is a £1.2 million special that's hardly your average or common Ferrari. Designed for track use, a maximium of 29 will be built, each delivered to carefully selected Ferrari owners granted access to this rolling testbed.
The 599XX follows in the tyre tracks of the Enzo-derived FXX, of which 29 were built. That car came with a suite of engineers and telemetry for your track days. Not so much a car as a way of life, then. And a great way to scare the be-jeepers out of fellow track-day enthusiasts.
So remind me what the 599XX is all about
It's a harder, faster 599. It has an uprated V12 from the 599 GTB Fiorano – and ultimately the Enzo – with revised combustion chambers, inlet and exhaust tracts and a higher 9000rpm rev limit. That's where the 690bhp lands.
There are more adjustable chassis settings governed by electronics. It's the first Ferrari to use Actiflow, a system that trims the car's aero depending on the need for downforce or low-drag. Up to 630kg of downforce is generated at 186mph, for example. It's clever stuff: two fans in the boot help suck and blow air around the undertray. Real active aero.
Hauling all that speed in is the latest set of Brembo carbon ceramic brakes. Ferrari says the 599XX was the inspiration for the 599 GTO, which is unveiled today at the 2010 Beijing motor show. The two share F1-style wheel doughnuts which reduce turbulence and drag, and improve brake cooling.
Stay tuned for our first drive review of the GTO; we're driving it this spring.