The faint of heart not welcomed…
Never reckless, I am an opportunist, so when a straight piece of empty road presented itself, I drop down two gears and mash the throttle of the Ferrari 599 GTO. With a shriek, the GTO lunges forward and miles of empty road rapidly disappear in a crescendo of air-ripping sound. Cars that were distant specs are now much closer, and seconds away from three times the legal limit, prudence, along with F1derived ceramic brakes, haul the GTO down from jail-time speed.
Faster than a 458 Italia, even faster than the Enzo, this 2011 599 GTO is the weaponized version of the standard 599 Berlinetta. It’s a howling, shrieking beast, who in human form and in another era, would have been locked away in the attic.
The GTO is muscular, aggressive, and I walked around the exterior many times, my hand caressing intricate details, all crafted with purpose.
But I’m here to drive, and I adjust the seat, buckle up and hit the button. Oh the sound! I can’t help but wonder what this thing must sound like at its 208 MPH top speed.
Gnashing chains, the 661 HP V12 inhales through a race derived air intake system and steals the 599XX’s 6- into-1 exhaust system that makes the best sound I have ever heard in a car, bare none. And I have yet to go a mile…
The Ferrari 599 GTO sings the siren song of speed but only an idiot saddles up a thoroughbred and expects it to behave like a pony. Almost as loud as the exhaust, that little voice in my head screams caution.
The GTO is a visceral experience, often described as “edgy”, Ferrari at that time sought to allow the driver the maximum driving experience that they could imbue in a street-legal road car. With a 6 speed 599XX derived transmission, 60 ms shift times are shatteringly fast from the oversized, perfectly mounted paddles and the 8400 RPM redline comes up faster than you think possible, reaching 60 MPH in a bit over 3 seconds.
Off the highway and onto the twisty bits, I switch the little hand on the the steering wheel to the race position. The GTO dives into corners, begging for more. This car simply feels invincible. If I was twice the driver I am, I would only get half the performance the GTO can deliver, and I accept the fact I will never be good enough to drive this car as intended.
Owning a Ferrari 599 GTO would never get old even discounting the upside appreciation on the limited production machine. Underpriced even a few years ago, aficionados all want one, and if you can, try and get behind the wheel of one of these, then drag it off to the attic when guests come over.