If you don’t like rare or fast cars, please stop reading now. But if you appreciate a work of art that will never be imitated, the Ferrari 599 GTO is perfect for you. After an office pole, we have compiled the 10 reasons why you should own this car.
All late-model Ferraris have been designed by the Centro Stile Ferrari (or Ferrari Headquarters). But in the good old days, Enzo left the details up to his business partners, the Pininfarina family. Sergio and his son Andrea created the most beautiful cars ever built, and the 599 Series is their final masterpiece
9. Race Proven:
The GTO is not a hardcore version of a street car. It is a street legal version of the 599XX. With a chassis that was forged on the track, the GTO is as close as you will get to lapping Fiorano on your way to work. Everything from tires to the tachometer is ready to take on the world.
The magnetic suspension has several settings ranging from race to comfort. The interior is ready for your 5-point harness, but who would dare scratch the fine leather? The 599 GTO is capable of being as tame as a kitten or as ferocious as a Sabre Tooth. Even so, it has a cockpit made of the finest materials. It is as civilized as you could ever want.
Only 599 examples were built, making rare an understatement. Of those, Maranello only produced 125 cars for the US market. Needless to say, you won’t see another one anytime soon. If you need a convertible, look for the 599 SA Aperta, only 80 examples were built.
Don’t be fooled by someone who says a GTO is a nod to Pontiac. John DeLorean chose to name the high-performance car in honor of the Ferrari 250 GTO. Grand Turismo Omologato, is literally a GT racing car that has been homologated, or made street legal. The name is the only thing they have in common.
Compared to the “normal” 599 GTB, the GTO is lighter by 220 lbs. It is enough to make you get back to the gym after the Holidays. It makes you wonder if the GTB was soldered together with lead. In a normal situation, reducing weight would allow engineers to dial back the suspension stiffness to make the car more compliant on the street. But Ferrari chose to dial it up. This is how the 599 GTO lapped Fiorano faster than the Enzo.
The 599XX race car used solid lifters and racing cams to make 720 horsepower. These wouldn’t work on the street, so the engineers were forced to dive deep into the engine to reduce friction. Bearings, piston rings, intakes and the exhaust were all heavily revised to make the GTO produce 661 horsepower and 457 lb-ft. As such, the engine operates with 12% less internal friction than its predecessor.
Another form of engineering excellence is the top speed. We review so many cars that have electronic limiters for top speed. In the GTO, you will reach the engine’s redline at 208 mph. This is how it should be. Limiting a car’s top speed via electronics is accepting you could have made the transmission’s gear ratios more aggressive. Nothing is more irritating than driving a slow car with gears that could break the sound barrier. Ferrari chose to engineer every aspect of the 599 GTO to perform at its best.
The unique exhaust note comes from the tuned exhaust manifolds of the 599XX. Of course racing exhaust is not legal on the street, so Ferrari added two catalytic converters to limit harmful pollution. The clean air police always seem to forget that high-compression engines barely make any pollution. If you live in a state with emissions inspection, find someone to turn a blind eye and uncork the pipes for an Italian Symphony.
We live in a world that has been shaped by litigation. Cars are designed to keep us safe, and they arrive with torque vectoring, active differentials, and stability systems that are more advanced than North Korea’s missile program. The sad part is that we are being isolated from the road. The Ferrari 599 GTO is one of the last examples that can disregard all the modern nannies. A simple twist of the Manettino dial will put you in control. We probably won’t see anything like this again.