What would Enzo say? That’s the first thing that came to mind when I looked at renderings of the upgraded Ferrari 599XX with Evolution Package. Well I guess if it goes faster on track, then he probably wouldn’t care how it looks – but then even Enzo Ferrari’s race cars managed to look beautiful. That’s not to say the 599XX isn’t beautiful for what it can do..
The 599XX is a non-homologated race car – think of it as a very exclusive track day vehicle – which enables its most valued clients to participate in a track-based research and development programme for the brand’s 2012-2013 race seasons. On Ferrari specific track days, owners get to put the car through its paces, whilst Ferrari benefits through the collection of vehicle data. Oh, and of course the $1.5 million earned from selling each car.
Unveiled this week at the Bologna Motor Show, the 599XX Evolution Package now features improved chassis dynamics thanks to an active aerodynamic package integrated with the vehicles’ electronic control systems, and the adoption of new Pirelli tyres. The car is also more powerful than before with 739 bhp, and weighs 35 kg less.
The key to the aero package is an active rear wing design which represents a new aerodynamic concept called ‘opening gap’. The wing features two flaps, with profiles similar to those used in Formula 1, which rotate electronically to adjust the downforce between the front and rear axles in relation to vehicle speed and the manoeuvre being affected. The result is better performance in the corners.
The 599XX active rear wing is actuated automatically according to specific parameters which are integrated with the car’s other control functions (ESP, ABS, SCM and F1-Trac). As a result of this integration, all the electronic controls have been recalibrated with the ‘opening gap’ logic based on; steering wheel angle, longitudinal acceleration, lateral acceleration and vehicle speed.
A new aerodynamics package for the 599XX (functional rather than beautiful) includes a modified front splitter and a new rear diffuser featuring a larger surface area and redesigned fences and foot-plates. Total downforce at 125 mph is boosted to 330 kg when the flaps are open and 440 kg in the closed configuration.
The adoption of side exhausts allowed the engineers to increase engine power by 20 bhp to 739 bhp (again at 9000 rpm), while maximum torque has been increased to 700 Nm. When combined with a final gear ratio that’s slightly shorter than before, the result is that the car laps Fiorano in just 1 min 15 seconds compared to the standard 599XX which recorded a 1 min 16.5 second lap. To put that in perspective, the 599 GTO road car lapped Fiorano in 1 min 24 secs.
That Nurburgring Record
The original 599XX made the headlines back in 2010, when it became the first production-derived sports car to break the 7-minute barrier around the 20.832 km Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit. Its time of 6 min 58.16 sec has yet to be beaten, although it sounds like this new Evo Package version is just the right car to do it.