The big front engined Ferraris have always struggled to live up to the image of 365GBT/4 of 1968 to 1973 — a car you may know better as the legendary Ferrari Daytona. But with the 599, Ferrari has a worthy range topper once more.
This car look fantastic. As Aston Martin and Jaguar have proved, it can be hard to make a large, front engined sports car look unique, but there are some delightful features on this car that no other car manufacturer could pull off. I’m talking about the buttress style C-pillars which stand clear from the rear side windows and help to channel air to the boot spoiler; the two round tail lights which many manufacturers now use but just seem to belong on a Ferrari; side vents which don’t look anything other than completely functional and necessary; and a huge rear diffuser to help the car stick to the road while it’s travelling, potentially, all the way up to 206mph.
What I’d like to call “our” car also came with the Scuderia wing shields and yellow brake callipers. Again, there is something which allows these things to look just so on a Ferrari, where if you tacked them to anything else they’d look… well… tacky.
It’s as much a visual delight inside. The instruments are presented in order of importance, with the rev counter dominant. Modern Ferraris are a world away from those of even just a few years ago, with a small TFT screen giving all sorts of information on the state of the car and its associated electronic systems. A huge engine at the front driving the rear wheels of a sleekly designed sportscar may be a very old formula, but Ferarris of today are technical showcases, with this car packed to the gunwales with systems to keep all that power — and the car and lucky so-and-so piloting it — on the road.
And there is a lot of power. The V12 6.0 litre engine, based on the one in the legendary Ferrari Enzo, achieves 612bhp. Just for a laugh you may be interested to learn that equates to a fuel consumption of 15.8mpg and CO2 emissions of 415g/km. Hybrid Ferraris will see those figures improve in the future, but this car is never going to be bought be folks worried about the plight of polar bears.
How does it drive? It’s like cream. 0-60mph takes about three seconds so this thing would scare you rigid if it didn’t have all the systems in place to help you drive it. But all the gadgetry doesn’t stop you enjoying this car. It just gives you a confidence that the performance can be exploited without you needing to have the skills and lightning reactions of Alonso, dosed up on triple espressos. Just sitting in this thing is an occasion, and the noise of that, literally, screaming V12 as you bang through the F1-inspired automated manual gearbox will stay with you forever. It sends a shiver down your spine and makes you wonder how anything this addictive could be legal.
And it should be enjoyed, as future Ferraris may never quite reach these same excesses. Marenello is all talk of hybrids and smaller, lighter cars with downsized engines these days. The days of thumping great GTs with enough grunt to tear tarmac of the road may be numbered.
Vehicle supply specialists OSV has got hold of one of the last off the Maranello production line of these stunning cars.
In Nero with matching black leather interior, this very special car comes with the essential GTE Handling Pack, a Bose Sound System with iPod Preparation, Electric Seats and more. Outside, the beautiful black bodywork is set off by Scuderia shields on the wings and yellow brake callipers.
The list price of this car is over £250,000 — contact OSV on 0844 686 4000 for a price and more details. It will be available for delivery next week. For preferential treatment quote “Gmotors” when you call.