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Ferrari 599XX evolves with more power, less weight and a movable wing

Fri, 02 Dec 2011

Ferrari used the Bologna motor show to unveil an evolution of the 599XX sports berlinetta. It's an enhanced version of the 599 GTB Fiorano that is purely for track use--it stays with the company even after you buy it. You are invited to drive at track days, from which Ferrari uses telemetry, but you aren't allowed to put it in your garage.

The advantage of this system is that Ferrari can implement and test technology not allowed on road or even race cars.

The new 599XX Evo gets 9 hp more than the first version, raising the total to 739 hp, and 516 lb-ft of torque. Ferrari engineers also found 77 pounds of extra weight to ditch on the new car. Pirelli tires are standard on 19-inch wheels.

The 599XX has a side-exhaust system that helped increase power, as well as a final gear ratio that's slightly shorter to improve acceleration. As a result, the car can lap the Fiorano racetrack in just 1 minute, 15 seconds. That's a full second off the first version's time.

A new aero package is integrated into the vehicle's electronic control system. It has a movable rear wing with two flaps, similar to those in Formula One. The flaps rotate electronically to adjust the downforce between the front and rear axles at speed. The wing opening is based on steering-wheel angle, longitudinal acceleration, lateral acceleration and vehicle speed. The package also includes a new front splitter and a new rear diffuser. It produces 727 pounds of downforce at 124 mph with the wing flap open and 970 pounds with the flap closed.

The 599XX Evo will set you back about $250,000, but it doesn't matter anyway. There are only about 30 vehicles eligible for the new package, and current owners get first dibs.

Elsewhere on the stand in Bologna, Ferrari displayed the 458 Challenge, the 458 GT2 race car, the 458 Italia GT3 and Ferrari's other laboratory car, the FXX.

By Jake Lingeman