Ferrari 599XX

The Ferrari 599XX Evoluzione is the type of Ferrari model that draws more parallels to folklore than it does to a relatable bedtime story. That just means that the Evoluzione is a very special type of Ferrari, and for all the right reasons, of course. The Evoluzione is not actually a car per se, but more of an upgrade package available to owners of the ‘regular’ 599XX.

Unveiled in 2009, the aforementioned 599XX is a non-road-legal version of the Ferrari 599, intended for use primarily at Ferrari-run track test days. 

This arrangement was part of the marque’s XX program, which offered Ferrari’s most privileged customers the opportunity to – along with owning the car – participate in up to six track test days. This was done while a team of Ferrari employees provided track-side support, a pit crew, and engineers tasked with mining data during each session for research and development purposes.

Less than a year later, Ferrari announced that the 599XX had lapped the Nürburgring in a time of 6 minutes and 58 seconds – the fastest time ever recorded by a production-based car, at the time. As awesome as that all is, Ferrari wanted faster and better – and probably thanks to all that R & D they had been doing – introduced the Evoluzione package in 2011.

On top of paying roughly $1.75 million USD for the 599XX, the Evoluzione package would cost owners an additional $250,000 USD on top. Perhaps this offering should be considered more of a ‘thank you’ gesture from Ferrari to its customers, than it is any type of tactic by them to squeeze more money out of the wealthy owners’ wallets. That being said, you actually do get a lot for the money.

The Evoluzione package provides the 599XX a host of upgrades, which includes a bit of weight reduction and a slight power increase. The most notable features are centered around the car’s aerodynamics, with an active rear wing and aggressive front splitter added. 

The ‘active-aero’ is inspired by the Drag Reduction System (DRS) seen in Formula 1, whereby two flaps on the rear wing electronically open and close based on factors determined by the car’s telemetry in live-time. This optimizes the level of downforce for every moment on the race track, effectively increasing grip and managing weight transfer.

Things only begin with the improvements to the 599XX, as buying the Evoluzione package also nets you an additional two years worth of track collaborations with Ferrari. Afterall, part of the purchase agreement is for the owner to continue their participation in the XX program, which enriches Ferrari’s research and development efforts substantially. The Evoluzione is an extension of that commitment. 

There is some flexibility given by Ferrari for owners to use the car in events not sanctioned by them. The primary constraint is that when doing so, Ferrari requires that their team to accompany you during the session

Ferrari wants to siphon all the information it can get, and promises to use it only to do good in the world – the same can’t be said for most other companies. Besides, I don’t know about you, but I’m all for making a contribution to the greater good, while having my own pit crew and race team to boot – definitely not something I would be frowning upon!

Only 29 Ferrari 599XXs were made, and it is not known exactly how many of their owners opted to upgrade to the Evoluzione. Even at the best of times it’s extremely difficult to gather just a handful of people for a reunion, so my guess is that there are likely less than 29 Evoluzione versions out there.

Engine & Performance

Specifications:

  • Engine Type & Size: 6.0L Naturally Aspirated V12
  • Horsepower: 740 hp @ 9,000 rpm
  • Torque: 516 lb-ft @ 6,500 rpm
  • Drivetrain: Rear-wheel Drive
  • Transmission: F1 ‘SuperFast’ 6-speed Automated Manual 
  • O-60 mph: 2.9 seconds

The engine in the Ferrari 599XX Evoluzione is truly something to behold. Building upon the unit used in the ‘regular’ 599XX, the front-mounted engine might go against popular Ferrari convention in terms of its placement, but its displacement – amongst other things – is certainly inline with prancing horse philosophy. 

For power output, the 599XX Evoluzione package gives the 6.0L V12 a 20-horsepower bump up to 740-horsepower @ 9,000 rpm, and a slight increase in torque to 516 ft-lb @ 6,500 rpm. Apparently this is achieved simply by rerouting the exhaust pipes to come out the sides of the car as opposed to out the back.

2012 Ferrari 599XX Engine

Ferrari continues to employ the same F1 ‘SuperFast’ 6-speed automated manual transmission – a fancy name for paddle shifters – used in the donor car, modifying it with a shorter final gear ratio to improve acceleration.

Overall, these improvements play a huge role in allowing the Ferrari 599XX Evoluzione to accelerate from 0-60 mph in just 2.9 seconds and achieve a top speed of 315 km/h; outstanding figures, especially when considering the car’s front-engine, rear-wheel-drive platform which is based on grand tourer.

The 599XX Evoluzione was also able to lap Ferrari’s Fiorano test-track in 1 minute and 15 seconds2 seconds less than the 599XX and a mind-boggling 9 seconds quicker than the 599 GTO, the fastest road-legal version of the car.

Chassis, Handling & Design

The most notable improvements which the Evoluzione package affords the 599XX, are largely based around its aerodynamics. Here we see one of the prime examples of technology trickling down from Formula 1, with ‘DRS’ featuring on the Evoluzione.

2012 Ferrari 599XX

Introduced in Formula 1 in the 2011 season, it didn’t take long for Ferrari to derive it for use in a production-based car. The term ‘DRS’ has now become synonymous with Formula 1 commentary these days. When referred to in full, it is known as the Drag Reduction System. Although its application in Formula 1 is primarily to promote overtaking during races, the system’s use in the Evoluzione is strictly purposed for improving lap times. 

On the Ferrari 599XX Evoluzione, this system incorporates two flaps on the rear wing which open or close automatically and in real-time depending on a variety of parameters which are monitored by the car’s computer and electronic systems. 

Factors which influence the activity of the flaps include information relayed by the car’s ABS, stability and traction control systems, steering wheel angle and g-force readings. These types of mechanisms – dubbed as a more general term in current nomenclature as ‘active aero’ – are heavily influenced by Ferrari’s R&D efforts in Formula 1 and the XX program, and were eventually amalgamated in the non-homologated 599XX Evoluzione.

To optimize the effectiveness of the active aero rear wing, the Evoluzione is also the beneficiary of a modified front splitter and rear diffuser which contribute to a total downforce of 330 kg with the flaps open and 440 kg with the flaps closed, when travelling at 200 km/h.

While the electronics enhance the overall driving experience, the car continues to feel desirably mechanical thanks to the adoption of second generation SCM suspension system. Further adding to that road connection are a set of carbon ceramic brakes featuring crossed drilled rotors, and new Pirelli racing slicks.

In the overall sense of the car’s design, the extensive use of light-weight composites and carbon fiber is used in the majority of the exterior bodywork. Aluminum components dominate much of 599XX Evoluzione’s framework under the surface, further assisting the grand-touring-based car to weigh in at just 1,486 kg over 300 kg lighter than the entry-level-production-version Ferrari 599 GTB. 

The car is highlighted by a number of eye-catching race car elements which include front and rear tow hooks, additional ducts for improved cooling, and a spartan interior equipped with just the essentials – amongst which are a pair of racing bucket seats, an alcantara wrapped steering wheel, a roll cage, and a generous offering of carbon fibre trim pieces, 

Pricing

As a prerequisite of the Evoluzione package, buyers of the original Ferrari 599XX would have to fork out $1.75 million USD for one of the 29 examples produced, which each car bundled with six Ferrari-run track test days. 

The Evoluzione package would add another $250,000 USD to the tab, adding a host of upgrades to the car while replenishing more time for excursions on the race track. While DRS is a fundamental feature of the Evoluzione, it is important to note that it will cost $230,000 USD on top of everything already mentioned, to have it fitted to the car.

I reckon that at this point, the extra expenses would be quite easily shrugged off by owners – already over $2 million dollars in – and they would merely consider this a necessary and absorbable expense in the grand scheme of making the (automotive) world a better place. So for that, we both thank and envy them.

Buying one on the used market would probably be a tricky affair, considering the nature of the car and its connection to the XX driving program. I would assume the transfer process is more than just monetary in nature, with prospective new owners being vetted for other factors such as driving abilities and their commitment level to the ongoing collaborative research and development venture through the 599XX.

Performance & Specifications Summary

Model & Pricing Info

Make Ferrari
Model 599XX
Sub-model Evoluzione
Car type Race-spec Grand Tourer
Built At Maranello, Italy
Introduced 2011
Units built 29

Chassis, Suspension & Powertrain

Curb Weight 1,486 kg
Layout Front engine, Rear-wheel drive
Body / Frame All-aluminum
Suspension (F) Independent, Short/long arm
Suspension (R) Independent, Double wishbones
Steering Variable-assisted rack-and-pinion
Brakes Carbon ceramic brakes (Discs and Pads), Lightweight aluminum brake calipers
Tires Pirelli Racing Slicks
Transmission F1 ‘SuperFast’ 6-speed Automated Manual 

Engine, Output & Performance

Engine V12
Displacement (Litres) 6.0L
Aspiration Naturally Aspirated
Power (hp) 740 hp @ 9,000 rpm
Power (hp) / liter 123.3 hp / liter
Power (hp) / weight 0.50 hp / kg
Torque 516 lb-ft @ 6,500 rpm
0-60 mph time 2.9 seconds
¼ Mile (standing) 10.8 seconds
Top Speed 196 mph (315km/h)

Image Gallery

The best analogy I can give the Ferrari 599XX Evoluzione is by likening it to a professional football player, is in the same way I would equate the base model 599 GTB to your average Sunday League player. 

Both know how to kick a ball around a pitch, but one is designed to do so with much more competency, purpose and gusto than the other – also looking more the part while doing so, with its easily identifiable physiological advantages. 

The Evoluzione is the world-class player – an unquestionable rift between it and the GTB – and models in between such as the regular 599XX and 599 GTO make up the various classes of semi-pro and professional participants.

In my opinion, the Ferrari 599XX Evoluzione represents the highest echelons of automotive hierarchy. It rewards as much as it demands, with its exclusivity not precluding it from a sense of purpose. It’s owners, while certainly privileged to drive one, also have a duty to innovating the future of automobiles. 

Its overall appearance is the result of a collaborative effort, reminding us of the importance of the human connection to the automobile; a relationship Ferrari recognizes as fundamental, with the 599XX Evoluzione forming one side of the important bond between man and machine.

Video Gallery

On the basis of what the Ferrari 599XX Evoluzione is by nature, there aren’t a whole lot of journalist reviews of the car – certainly not in video format. There are however, various video logs provided by owners or spectators who were both thoughtful and techy enough to document their experiences with the car during track test events. Here are some examples below.

A showcase of Australia’s finest muscle cars, classic, sports, modified and luxury cars. With classic, luxury and performance car reviews (new and used), specialist car and club events as well as over 1000 cars for sale, Unique Cars is both a window shopper and buyer’s dream. Sit back, watch and enjoy.

Jump in to @gregb.23’s Ferrari 599XX Evo at Imola to experience the ultimate in crazy engine sounds during a few laps of the circuit! Honestly, this is just something else, and with the coach at the wheel we’re out in track with an FXX too! Allow me to shut up and let the car so the talking… 

BrianZuk records a group of Ferrari 599XX Evo cars at Infineon Raceway. The video includes footage of the engine bay, a start-up, the 599XX Evos driving onto and lined up on the track, then taking off and racing, doing multiple accelerations, downshifts, and flybys.

Original Press Release

Ferrari World Premiere for the Bologna Motor Show

The 599XX with new evolution package

Bologna, 30 November – The 36th edition of the Bologna Motor Show provides the venue for the unveiling of an evolution of the extreme, non-homologated sports Berlinetta, the 599XX. Ferrari has introduced a package of performance-enhancing technical features available to clients participating in the track-based research and development programme for the 2012-2013 seasons.

Already the fruit of the very finest Ferrari road car and Formula 1-derived technology, the 599XX now features improved chassis dynamics thanks to an active aerodynamic package integrated with the vehicles’ electronic control systems, and the adoption of new Pirelli tyres. The car is also more powerful than before (750 CV) and weighs 35 kg less.

The key to the aero package is the active rear wing design which represents a new aerodynamic concept called ‘opening gap’. The wing features two flaps, with profiles similar to those used in Formula 1, which rotate electronically to adjust the downforce between the front and rear axles in function of vehicle speed and the manoeuvre being effected. The result of this concept is better performance in cornering.

The 599XX active rear wing is actuated automatically according to specific parameters that are integrated with the car’s other control functions (ESP, ABS, SCM, and F1-Trac). As a result of this integration, all the electronic controls have been suitably recalibrated. The ‘opening gap’ system logic is based on the following parameters:

  • Steering wheel angle
  • Longitudinal acceleration
  • Lateral acceleration
  • Vehicle speed

The new aerodynamics package for the 599XX also includes a modified front splitter and a new rear diffuser featuring a larger surface area and redesigned fences and foot-plates. Total downforce at 200 km/h is boosted to 330 kg when the flaps are open and 440 kg in the closed configuration.

The adoption of side exhausts allowed the engineers to increase engine power by 20 CV to 750 CV (again at 9000 rpm), while maximum torque has been increased to 700 Nm. When combined with a final gear ratio that’s slightly shorter to improve acceleration on technical, medium- to high-speed tracks, the result is that the car laps Fiorano in just 1’15”.

The Ferrari stand at the Bologna Motor Show is devoted entirely to its racing activities and features the 458 Challenge, the mid-rear V8 Berlinetta derived from the 458 Italia and Ferrari’s fifth model for its single-make championship. This series, now in its 19th year, will span three continents – Europe, North America, and Asia-Pacific.

Also on the stand is the 458 Italia GT2 fielded by AF Corse. This is the car that won the Drivers’ and Teams’ title in the Le Mans Series and the Teams’ title in the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, and also contributed to Ferrari’s taking the Manufacturers’ title in the respective championships. 

The line-up of track-only Prancing Horse models is completed by the 458 Italia GT3 which made a superb FIA GT3 debut by winning the Drivers’ title, and the FXX, Ferrari’s “laboratory” car and one of the most technologically advanced non-competitive models in the world.

On December 3rd, the Show hosts three events featuring the Prancing Horse, two of which will see no less than 16 cars from the Italian and European Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli series taking part in the traditional end-of-year challenge.

The extensive programme planned for the competition arena will culminate in the traditional Scuderia Ferrari salute with an exhibition of the F10, the single-seater with which Ferrari competed in the 2010 Formula 1 season. The car will have a very special guest driver on this occasion: Giancarlo Fisichella.

My Final Verdict

Normally at the end of my articles, I assign the car a rating out of 5. This rating takes into consideration a number of factors such as performance, road manners, bang-for-buck, desirability, and presence. As this is a supercar website, other matters such as fuel efficiency, cargo space and off-roading capabilities factor into the assessment much less (i.e. not at all).

By now, it should have become clear as to why the Ferrari 599XX Evoluzione can’t be given a rating. It is a car through its own existence, not subject to the standard criteria applied when articulating through an evaluation. It is not so much that the car can’t technically be measured by any standards, but more so that it simply shouldn’t be. The 599XX Evoluzione is a car born and bred for a single purpose, not one to appeal to general consensus. 

The Ferrari 599XX Evoluzione isn’t road-legal – it’s only for the track. Even then, it’s not fit for track duty until a team of Ferrari mechanics and engineers armed with laptops have given the green light to proceed. 

Needless to say, there are lots of conditions owners are subject to before they can even fire up the engine. Certainly not the type of car you can just hop into for a Sunday stroll to the supermarket. It truly is a privilege – if not just damn good luck – to drive one.

That privilege also comes with an insanely expensive bill. Just to qualify for the Evoluzione package, you would already have to be one of the few clients handpicked by Ferrari for the opportunity to dole out around $1.75 million USD to own 1 of the 29 examples of the 599XX. The upgrade along with the DRS feature will set you back a further $500,000 USD.

As a race car, the Ferrari 599XX Evoluzione certainly has performance figures worth mentioning and an appearance deserving of its own art gallery. What stands out to me the most about owning an Evoluzione however, would be the prestige of knowing that when you are behind the wheel of one, you are making a contribution in the quest for a better, faster future. 

One couldn’t help but feel kind of like a superhero at this point, and having your own personal entourage of sidekicks, advisors and a pit crew would only add to the swagger. I have to admit that this is a sentiment I would enjoy experiencing, even if only for a short time. Never before has something that money could buy, also be so priceless and unobtainable at the same time. Appealing, in a weird sort of way.