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That's F, for Fiorano


Ferrari pulled a small but unexpected surprise by adding an extra clause to the name of its new supercar.

Words - Jonathan Hawley in Geneva, for CarPoint

Announced (but not displayed) at the Detroit motor show in January as the 599 GTB, the car shown at Geneva further extended that moniker by being renamed 599 GTB Fiorano.

For non-F1 fans, the name comes from the test track adjacent to the Ferrari factory at Maranello, where both road cars and formula one race cars are put through their paces.

It's almost difficult to judge into which of those two categories the 599 GTB fits. With 6.0 litres of V12 snuggled under the bonnet, it has 456kW of power to play with, or enough to hit 100km/h from standstill in 4.1 seconds on its way to a top speed of 324km/h.

Interestingly, at the other end of the motorshow was the new Porsche 911 Turbo which, with a 353kW turbocharged flat six engine manages to do 0-100km/h in only 3.7 seconds, thanks partly to full-time 4WD. Top speed, however, is a relatively paltry 310km/h.

Although the 599 GTB shares some styling cues with the four-seater 612 Scaglietti, the good news is that in the flesh it is a much prettier car. The vents in the flanks, a long bonnet and an absence of wings marks it as a continuation of great Pininfarina designs done for Ferrari.

Compared with the 612, the 599 is also relatively compact with an overall length of 4665mm, a long wheelbase of 2750mm and a kerb weight of 1690kg for the manual version.

It can be ordered with a conventional six-speed manual gearbox, or for techno heads there's an uprated version of Ferrari's 'F1' sequential shifter. Dubbed Superfast, the new system can change gears in just 100 milliseconds.



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