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HGTE kit arrives for Ferrari 599

Extra sweet: For just $65,000, you can have an optional handling package for your $650,000 Ferrari 599 GTB.

Ferrari 599 HGTE handling package now available in Australia

14 Sep 2009

THE Handling Gran Turismo Evoluzione (HGTE) package for Ferrari’s top-shelf 599 GTB Fiorano super-coupe is now available Down Under.

Priced at a cool $A65,000 in Australia and $NZ58,110 in New Zealand – on top of the $A650,300 pricetag of the car itself – the HGTE kit underlines the 599’s position as the most focussed V12-powered model in Ferrari’s range.

As GoAuto reported after the HGTE package was released at the Geneva motor show in March, the kit comprises modified suspension in the form of stiffer springs with a lower ride height, a tauter rear anti-roll bar and new 20-inch split-rim wheels with a unique diamond-cut and matt silver finish, wrapped in stickier-compound tyres.

There is also a new calibration setting for the magnetorheological shock absorbers, which employ a type of smart fluid that becomes viscoelastic-solid when magnetised, in a similar way to the Magnetic Ride Control system found on some HSV models, but only when the most aggressive setting is selected on the 599’s Manettino – Ferrari’s selectable suspension and drivetrain system.

34 center imageCombining a lower centre of gravity with more grip and tighter body control, the HGTE kit primarily takes the 599’s handling to even greater heights, but there are also drivetrain and cosmetic changes.

The former extend to faster gearshifts when the F1 Supershift sequential manual transmission is in high-performance mode, while new engine mapping is claimed to improve throttle response and a modified exhaust silencer delivers “an even more marked and thrilling sound under hard usage while still delivering just the right comfort levels at cruising speed”.

While a matt black rear diffuser is the GHTE’s only external differentiator, carbon-fibre is the overriding styling theme of the 599’s HGTE-modified interior.

The seats are trimmed in a new two-tone combination of leather with black Alcantara inserts, with the seat backs made entirely from carbon-fibre. A Prancing Horse logo and the words ‘Handling GTE’ are embroidered in contrasting stitching on the head restraints.

The 599’s Enzo-sourced 5.999-litre 456kW/608Nm V12 is unchanged, or are the claimed 3.7-second 0-100km/h acceleration time and 330km/h top speed of Ferrari’s flagship V12 supercar.

Meantime, European Automotive Imports (EAI) has also announced that all Ferrari dealers in Australia and New Zealand will now offer the official ‘Ferrari Approved’ used-car certification program for all pre-owned vehicles less than 10 years old.

EAI says that apart from adding value to vehicles approved under the scheme, the program offers a “comprehensive series of controls and warranties that have been designed and developed by Ferrari to ensure that its products are offered to customers in the best possible condition and that owners are protected by a compressive warranty post-purchase”.

Benefits include a detailed technical inspection by Ferrari-trained technicians, verification and certification of the provenance of the car and its service history, exterior and interior detailing to Ferrari standards, a full 12-month Ferrari warranty, 12 months of Ferrari roadside assistance and a 12-month subscription to The Official Ferrari Magazine.

As part of the program, a new website www.FerrariApproved.com allows prospective customers to see what Ferrari Approved vehicles are available across Australia.

The Ferrari Approved plan covers V8 models including the F430, 430 Spider, 430 Scuderia, 360 Modena, 360 Spider and 360 Challenge Stradale, and V12 models including the 599 GTB Fiorano, 612 Scaglietti, 456M GT/GTA, 550 Maranello, 550 Barchetta Pininfarina, 575M Maranello and the Superamerica.

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