After the very pretty 465 GT 2+2, Ferrari stumbled from a styling point of view, with its next two GT cars. Neither of the 550/ 575 Maranello, nor the 612 Scaglietti were the best of Pininfarina designs. Some driving experts also questioned the on limit abilities of the 575M and fewer buyers than Ferrari would have liked signed up for the big, V12 engined, Scaglietti. The F599, however, bore all the hallmarks of a company determined hit the bull’s-eye with its next generation front engined supercar. Frank Stephenson and Pinifarina oversaw the 599’s styling, which was unexpectedly angular and aggressive, but proved to have huge roadside presence. Ferrari’s first move with the project was to adopt aluminium for the F599’s classic, a huge technical step forward over the steel space frame chassis of its predecessors. Although this technology didn’t make the F599 a featherweight, an aluminium chassis greatly improves rigidly, with in turn improves the accuracy of the car’s steering and handling. And the F599’s handling was widely praised. The 599 was powered by the exceptional 6.0 liter V12 engine also used in the extreme Enzo supercar. The transmission was mounted on the rear axle (known as a transaxle arrangement), which helps ensure that the weight is evenly disturbed between the front and rear. The six speed box was activated by paddles mounted on the steering wheel, just like in a Ferrari F1 car.
Most agreed that the F599’s performance was just about the pinnacle of what could (or should) be expected from a road car. It could hit 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds and 100 mph in just 7.4 seconds. Fully wrung out in top gear, the car could hit a maximum speed of 205 mph, though the majority of owners would have difficulty in finding the space to achieve it.