Ferrari shows off its advanced technology

  • 18-Mar-2009 08:38 EDT
Geneva09Ferrari 599XX 3266_599XX.jpg

An "extreme" track car, Ferrari's new 599XX incorporates F1 technology.

A Ferrari "world premiere" is always a significant occasion, even when it is for a very select, track-focused car. The 599XX revealed at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show has been created for track events but not official competition use and is aimed at giving owners experience of some of the advanced technology gained from Ferrari’s road-going and F1 research.

Because it is not targeted at official competition, the 599 GTB Fiorano-based model, described by Ferrari as an "extreme track car," is not restricted by formal homologation or regulations. Ferrari also announced at Geneva, a new handling pack called HGTE (Handling Gran Turismo Evoluzione) for the 599 GTB Fiorano.

The plethora of aerodynamic, electronic control, and handling innovations used together for the first time on a single car make the 599XX a technological tour de force. But it retains the ergonomics of the road-going 599, which the company regards as essential for nonprofessional drivers engaging in intensive track driving.

The 599XX’s engine modifications, including work on the combustion chambers and inlet and exhaust tracts, see a peak power figure achieved of 515 kW (691 hp) at 9000 rpm. Engine weight has been reduced, with carbon fiber used for the intake plenums. The gearbox gets a rapid shift system with gearchange times down to 60 ms.

The car’s suspension has been upgraded and aerodynamics modified to achieve 280 kg (617 lb) of downforce at 200 km/h (124 mph) and 630 kg (1390 lb) at 300 km/h (186 mph). A fairing totally encloses the front underside of the body and hot air extraction vents are fitted to the hood. F1-derived "doughnuts" partly cover the brake discs and wheel rim, improving aerodynamics and brake cooling.

A system called Actiflow increases downforce and/or cuts drag according to the car’s trim and cornering conditions. It includes a porous material in the diffuser and a pair of fans in the trunk that channel the airflow from beneath the car through two grilles near the taillights. The rear buttresses have winglets to generate increased downforce.

The body incorporates carbon fiber, other composites, and aluminum. Carbon ceramic brakes are fitted. Slick tires in unique 29/67 R19 front and 31/71 R19 rear sizes are on 19x11J front and 19x12J rear wheel rims.

Cabin equipment includes a system called Virtual Engineer, which provides real-time data on the car’s efficiency on the track.

Ferrari is organizing a program of dedicated track events for the 599XX in 2010/11.

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