2010 Ferrari 599XX Evo

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. 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. 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 seconds – 2 seconds less than the 599XX and a mind-boggling 9 seconds quicker than the 599 GTO, the fastest road-legal version of the car. 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. 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, 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.

Chassis, Suspension & Powertrain

Curb Weight1,486 kg
LayoutFront engine, Rear-wheel drive
Body / FrameAll-aluminum
Suspension (F)Independent, Short/long arm
Suspension (R)Independent, Double wishbones
SteeringVariable-assisted rack-and-pinion
BrakesCarbon ceramic brakes (Discs and Pads), Lightweight aluminum brake calipers
TiresPirelli Racing Slicks
TransmissionF1 ‘SuperFast’ 6-speed Automated Manual 

Engine, Output & Performance

Displacement (Litres)6.0L
AspirationNaturally Aspirated
Power (hp)740 hp @ 9,000 rpm
Power (hp) / liter123.3 hp / liter
Power (hp) / weight0.50 hp / kg
Torque516 lb-ft @ 6,500 rpm
0-60 mph time2.9 seconds
¼ Mile (standing)10.8 seconds
Top Speed196 mph (315km/h)