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Ferrari confirms 599 Spider to follow GTO

Open to offers: ferrari's 599 GTB Fiorano coupe will spawn a limited-edition drop-top derivative in the same vein as the 575M Superamerica (below).

Topless version to complete Ferrari’s flagship 599 coupe range as GTO draws near

11 Jun 2010

FERRARI has confirmed that an open-top derivative of the 599 GTB Fiorano will soon complete the Italian supercar maker’s flagship V12 coupe range before it is replaced in 2012.

The 599 ‘Spider’ is expected to make its global debut as early as August, at the Pebble Beach concourse in California.

News of the drop-top 599 was announced by Ferrari chief Luca di Montezemolo this week in Britain, and follows last month’s official confirmation that Ferrari will launch six new models by 2013.

As part of a Fiat group restructuring plan announced in April, Ferrari revealed it will launch a replacement for the four-seat 612 Scaglietti in the first half of next year, the 458 Spider in the second half of 2011, replacements for the 599 and top-shelf Enzo in 2012, and a 458 Scuderia and facelifted California in 2013.

Mr di Montezemolo described the topless 599 as a ‘roadster’ that will be sold in limited numbers in the same vein as the company’s previous open-top V12, the 575 Superamerica.

The Superamerica was launched in 2005 with a folding-metal roof and a 20kW power increase over the standard model, but it’s not yet known the open 599 will have a similar roof or more performance.

Either way, if made available in Australia it could top the 612 Scaglietti ($698,000) as Ferrari's most expensive model here.

34 center imageLeft: Ferrari 599 GTO.

The Ferrari chairman told Autocar the 599 roadster, which he said “will have an emotional, romantic name such as Italia or Fiorano”, would not be shown at a traditional motor show, with prospective customers set to get a private viewing at Ferrari’s Maranello HQ.

“This is a very unusual car and it will certainly surprise you,” said Mr di Montezemolo. “It’s only going to be available to a very select number of clients who’ve been asking us for an open-top version of the 12-cylinder for quite some time now.

“We won’t be unveiling it at a show though. Instead we’ll be organising private presentations.” Before the limited-run convertible arrives here the 599 coupe range will be bolstered by the arrival of the 599 GTO in Australia in 2011.

Local distributor European Automotive Imports says the number of pre-orders it has received for the higher-performance 599 coupe is now into double figures, significantly exceeding Australia’s allocation from the 599 examples set to be produced globally.

EAI says the limited-edition 599 GTO, which was revealed in Beijing last month, will be priced about 20 per cent higher than the hard-core HGTE version of the 599, which itself is substantially more expensive than the standard 599 ($677,250).

As we’ve reported, the 599 is one of the fastest road-going Ferrari production cars ever built, and is claimed to lap Ferrari’s Fiorano test track about a second quicker than the 458 Italia, the first production example of which arrived in Australia this week.

While in the UK, Mr di Montezemolo also admitted the company would produce a six-cylinder car in a bid to meet increasingly stringent corporate average fuel consumption and emissions targets globally.

“An engine smaller than a V8? Why not?” he told Autocar, before acknowledging that six-cylinder engines have played a part in Ferrari’s heritage, but cautioning: “Our cars are there to enjoy and we have to maintain this”.

The Ferrari boss confirmed the Maranello maker continues to develop a V12 hybrid, which was previewed by the bright-green 599 concept at the Geneva motor show in March.

“Our goal is that it will be ready in four years’ time, but we’re not 100 per cent sure about the cost or economy because there are four years to go and we’ll see lots of improvement in that time,” he told Autocar.

“We’re hoping that F1 can become an advanced research centre again to develop new technology to help with fuel consumption, downforce and new materials.” Mr di Montezemolo reiterated the likelihood that, instead of petrol-electric power, Ferrari will apply turbocharging technology to its V8 models, perhaps including next-generation versions of the California convertible and 458 coupe.

“Turbocharging could be the answer and with the V8 we’re confident that we can achieve impressive consumption and emissions through technology, innovation and electronics,” he said.

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