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2007 Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano
By James Riswick

Click for detail photo. That puddle of drool collecting on your desk is the result of the car in these pictures. Behold the Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano, the replacement for the 575M and the latest in a long line of famous Ferrari GTs made famous by the 275 in the ‘60s and “Magnum P.I.” in the ‘80s. Powered by an Enzo-derived 6.0-liter 612-horsepower V12 positioned behind the front wheels for a near-perfect weight balance, the 599 promises to be the most exciting thing to drive in the prancing horse’s barn. Although a 6-speed, old-fashioned gated manual is standard, the 599 will be offered with Ferrari’s latest F1 paddle-shift box that now makes gear changes in less than 100 milliseconds. That’s as fast as Ferrari’s out-of-this-world super Enzo, the FXX, and only fractionally slower than Mr. Schumacher’s F1 ride. Ferrari estimates 0-60 times to be around 3.9 seconds with a top speed around 200 mph. More driving impressions will be available once Ferrari unleashes the Fiorano from its stable in coming months.

Now about that styling. Although not as voluptuously sexy as an Aston Martin DB9, the 599’s chiseled body has the proportions of Keaton’s Batmobile but the curves of Pfeiffer’s Catwoman. The low-slung grille and raised fenders form a front end that, while not overly beautiful, is spectacularly aggressive. The upper line from the side vents extends up to the curvy rear fenders and is capped off by the single, round tail light cluster on each side (versus the two found on recent Ferraris). For me, however, the 599’s greatest styling attributes are the stunning B-pillar buttresses that uniquely stretch from roof to fender, and the brilliant curved rear window sandwiched between them. Not only will these make the Fiorano very easy to transform into a convertible, but they set it apart from everything else on the road.

While other companies continue to go down the retro route (the Ford GT, the Lamborghini Miura concept) or lightly tweak already established designs (Aston Martin, Lamborghini), Ferrari has decided to keep pushing the envelope. Although the 612 Scaglietti looks a little bulbous, each of Ferrari’s designs are extremely modern with a unique direction that, while still honoring certain Ferrari traditions, paves a new road ahead.

Unlike many other car enthusiasts, I’ve never been one to worship Ferrari. But I will definitely have to clear space on my car poster wall and in my imaginary garage for the drop-dead gorgeous (and equally ferocious) 599 GTB Fiorano. I’ll also have to clean the drool from my keyboard.

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Pictures of the Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano
Click pictures to enlarge

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Posted March 3, 2006
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