This review will cover the Ferrari 599 GTB. I have had a good amount of experience with the 599, both in the driver’s seat and passenger’s seat. The front engined Ferrari is considered by some to be the ultimate GT car. With the car’s introduction in 2006, the design immediately grabbed the car world and continued to do so until it was replaced by the F12 in 2012. It’s name comes from its engine displacement, 5999 cc. The 599 was so popular that at the end of its lifespan it was given the GTO badge, one of the highest honors by Ferrari and only given to two previous models.
Although all 599s that I have had experience with were paired with a 6-Speed single clutch transmission, the car also offers a rare 6-Speed true manual. The heart of the monster is a V12 boasting 612 horsepower! 0-100 MPH comes before you know it, about 7.5 seconds, while having the potential to exceed 200MPH. When in race mode at the full 8,400 RPM red line, the car drinks fuel faster than almost anything else on the road it seems. Although when looking to purchase a car in this price range, I am sure MPG is the last thing on your brain! Now the noise……what a sound! Similar to the newer Ferrari 458, the LED lights on the steering wheel significantly help with timing perfect shifts. When paired with the Tubi Exhaust like the one I drove, it will make your ears ring! That is not a bad thing at all but when going on long trips it can get a bit annoying I have heard.
When driving the car one of the first things I noticed is that it did not like to go slow. The paddle shifting gear box did little “hops” at times in first gear. This went away as the car warmed up but it was very noticeable to start off with. My biggest complaint about the car is a serious one, the brakes! The 599 I drove was equipped with carbon ceramic brakes. Although they performed incredible when warmed up, they can get you in trouble when first taking off. After a quick 30-90MPH sprint, I got on the brakes only to notice there was hardly any brake feel at all. After pushing down hard for a 4th time the brakes started becoming effective but put in the wrong situation, you could have a wrecked Ferrari before you know it.
Overall the Ferrari 599 GTB is a fantastic GT car, if not one of the best. The shifts are extremely aggressive and the power will put you deep in the back of the seat. The massive engine being in the front makes it different from most Ferraris but yet it does not loose any special feel than the other prancing horses. I highly suggest anyone looking for a GT car to consider picking up a 599 GTB.
PROS: Incredible acceleration, plenty of luggage space, easy to control
CONS: Bad MPG, no brake feel until warmed up, single clutch at low speeds