How the Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano Works

Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano Design

The Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano combines technology and elegant simplicity.­
The Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano combines technology and elegant simplicity.­

The Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano was basically a cut-down 612 with the thrilling Enzo V-12 and aerodynamically efficient new Pininfarina bodywork designed under Frank Stephenson.

Despite appearances, the Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano was quite a bit larger than the Maranello, measuring 183.7 inches long, 77.2 inches wide and 52.6 inches high on a 108.3-inch wheelbase. The long-hood/short-deck proportions were classic front-engine Ferrari, but graced by an artful new mix of curves and creases that belied the increased dimensions.

Interesting functional details abounded. For example, large air intakes flanked the traditional crosshatch Ferrari grille to help cool the engine compartment and front brakes. Radiator heat vented through a pair of ducts in the hood and a C-shaped outlet high on each front fender. A small scoop aft of each door directed cooling air to the rear brakes. All this could have looked busy and contrived, yet the overall effect was one of purposeful, elegant simplicity.

More intriguing still was the flowing semi-fastback roofline, with flying buttresses flanking a rear window curved radically inward from vestigial rear-quarter glass. No mere gimmick, and extensively tested in the wind tunnel, this treatment worked with the front-end shape and a rear underbody diffuser to generate stabilizing, raceworthy downforce: over 335 pounds at 190 mph and 420 at the estimated 205-mph maximum speed.

This allowed the 599 to use just a subtle, air-smoothing lip on its decklid instead of a showy rear wing as on so many high-powered exotics. The careful surface development also yielded a drag coefficient of 0.336, a good result considering the broad frontal area.