Detroit 2010: Ferrari 599XX A Bright Red Diamond in the Rough at Chrysler Stand

Colum Wood
by Colum Wood

In stark contrast to the Dodge Caliber, just a few feet away at the Chrysler booth at the Detroit Auto Show is the ultra-rare and even more ultra-expensive Ferrari 599XX. Ferrari claims to have no official presence at the show, with the Ferrari a part of a three-pronged Fiat, Maserati, Ferrari display within the Chrysler booth. This setup is designed to draw crowds to the Chrysler booth, a company which doesn’t have much in the way of exciting new models.

Fiat took control of Chrysler as a part of Chrysler’s bankruptcy exit.

As for the 599XX, it is a special track-only model and isn’t homolgated to compete in any racing series, meaning owners can only drive it on track, but can’t compete in racing. The car’s 6.0-liter V12 engine has been reworked to produce 700-hp at 9000 rpm, while new aerodynamics help to deliver 612 lbs of downforce at 124 mph and almost 1,400 lbs of downforce at 186 mph!

One particularly important innovation on the 599XX is Ferrari’s new “Actiflow” technology, that adjusts downforce and drag depending upon how the car is operating. This is achieved through the use of a porous material in the diffuser and two fans in the trunk lid that work to channel air from under the car out through two grilles next to the tail lights. Rather noticeable winglets have also been added to the the are just behind the winds, where the buttresses are located.

The 599XX also uses what Ferrari terms a, “Virtual Race Engineer” that essentially uses all the onboard computers to calculate what the maximum level of performance the car can achieve on a race track. To do this it takes every bit of data available, including tire temperature, tire pressure, engine and coolant temperature (as well as many other variables) and determines what the maximum level of performance capable by the car under those conditions is.

Unfortunately, if you’re not Michael Schumacher, getting the car to go that fast is impossible… but here’s where the fun part comes in. The 599XX’s computer can then rate you (the driver) on your performance and tell you how close you are coming to the car’s maximum potential – a humbling experience no doubt.

The car will make its official track debut at Homestead in Florida in March.

Ferrari is rumored to be working on a street legal version of the 599XX called the 599 GTO.

GALLERY: Ferrari 599XX

Join the conversation