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Fastest Ferrari arrives Down Under

Bridging finance: Each Ferrari 599 GTO in Australia cost around $1 million.

Million dollar front-engined Ferrari supercar races into Oz, but is already sold out

12 Jan 2011

THE fastest Ferrari road car ever has just arrived in Australia, but it is already too late to get hold of one because the allocation of 10 cars for this part of the world is already been sold.

Each of the 10 Ferrari 599 GTOs was built to order for the lucky owners and commanded more than $1 million each – well above the $677,250 list price for the 599 GTB Fiorano on which they are based.

The first car to land in Australia is finished in an eye-catching optional matt black paint scheme with a white stripe.

Ferrari will build only 599 examples of the GTO, which was inspired by the Prancing Horse company’s FXX high-performance development program.

With 500kW of power and 620Nm of torque extracted from its 6.0-litre V12 engine (44kW and 13Nm more than the standard 599), and with weight pared down by 85kg to 1495kg, the GTO will race from 0-100km/h in just 3.35 seconds (0.35s faster than the standard 599) and onto a top speed of 335km/h (5km/h faster).

34 center imageIt will also lap the company’s famed Fiorano test track in just 1m24s – faster than any other Ferrari road car, including all the mid-engined ones.

Despite the ‘fastest Ferrari road car ever’ claim, the GTO is not as quick as the mid-engined carbon-fibre Enzo of 2003, which had a stated 0-100km/h time of 3.2 seconds and an estimated top speed of 360km/h.

It seems Ferrari is talking about lap times because the similarly-engined Enzo’s fastest lap time at Fiorano is reportedly 1m25s.

Ferrari general manager for Australia and New Zealand Kevin Wall said the 599 GTO represents the pinnacle of Ferrari road cars in every area.

“The bald performance figures, amazing although they are, do not do justice to the remarkable breadth of abilities that it offers,” he said.

“These range from being able to provide a true racing car driving experience on the track, through being the ultimate road-going ultra supercar to having the comfort and luggage space that quite simply would not be expected in a car of this performance level.

“In short, only Ferrari could provide a car with the breadth and depth of ability with which the 599 GTO has been endowed, using Formula One technology and design that has then been honed to perfection in the unique FXX program.

“The 599 GTO is the new definition of the ultimate road car and the 10 Australian owners are able to look forward to a truly unique driving experience at every level.”

Ferrari only applies the GTO moniker – which stands for Gran Turismo Omologata (homologation) – to very special cars, which includes one of the most desirable cars in automotive history, the 250 GTO of 1962, which was Ferrari’s last Le Mans 24 Hour race winner.

The Maranello company claims the 599 GTO’s development program was unique and presents new solutions for a road car.

“Fundamental to the GTO’s performance is the innovative approach to chassis development which, for the first time on a production car, saw the integration between a handling set-up tuned for a level of responsiveness that is close to the limit and highly sophisticated electronic controls,” said the company in a statement.

“The result is the almost complete absence of understeer and a truly communicative chassis.”

Some of the GTO’s features include a faster-shifting six-speed F1 sequential manual transmission, six-into-one exhaust manifolds, massive second-generation carbon-ceramic brakes, a ‘Virtual Race Engineer’ that provides the driver with instant information on performance, and 20-inch wheels (9.5 inches wide up front with 285/30 tyres and 11.5-inch wide at rear with 315/35 tyres).

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