Evolution of the Species

Ferrari 599 HGTE GTB Fiorano Review

Story by Raymond Lai Photos by CL Yeo - 24 Sep 2010

For those who can't buy a drive in the 599XX and can't get hold of a limited edition 599 GTO, the 599 HGTE could well be the next best thing.

Red fever

I've always wanted to have a go at the Ferrari 599 GTB ever since it was first announced at the beginning of 2006. Having sampled the 612 Scagliatti and the 512TR previously, it's not that I've not driven a 12-cylinder Prancing Horse, but there's just something about the 599 that makes me eager to want to get behind its wheel. Perhaps it's the way it looks or the opportunity to command the 599's Enzo-derived V12 heart with my right foot that entice me to want to have a go.

For four years, I've waited for the opportunity that never came. Then came the local debut of the 599 with Ferrari's HGTE kit. With the HGTE, I finally have an excuse to take a 599 out for a spin from Ferrari.

HGTE stands for Handling Gran Turismo Evoluzione and it is actually a kit that you can order with your new 599 or retrofit locally on an existing car for improved handling and drivability. When it was first launched four years ago, the 599 GTB was the most high performance berlinetta ever built in Maranello. It boasts the most innovative and technologically advanced features ever to be used by Ferrari in a mid-front-engined two-seater.

There were some cynics who said that the original 599 lacked the sharpness and responses of a true Ferrari berlinetta though. Ferrari listened to its enthusiast customers and hence the HGTE package was introduced at the Geneva Motorshow last year alongside the extreme 599XX.

Ferrari says that the HGTE package is designed to deliver even sportier, more dynamic driving, to highlight the 599 GTB Fiorano's positioning in the super car segment. Those who expect more power from the 599's V12 in the HGTE will be disappointed though - the upgrades are mostly to the car's handling set-up. Only the limited edition GTO has been endowed with a more powerful V12 that is pretty similar to the 599XX's.


Have your say
  To each his own Mr. Anonymous sir. But what right do you have to say about my EQ when it is about telling some one about the obvious. All of us are human. What if you were a lecturer and your student asks you 'what is this' when you just explained it on the white board. Please consider all points before making such anonymous replies that are far from necessary. Period.
- raymondlai Singapore. 8 Oct 2010 10:34PM
  Yo chill guys... hope this clears up the misunderstanding.
- Evan Singapore. 6 Oct 2010 8:56PM
"Formerly posted by Anonymous: Raymond, you obviously need some lessons in public relations. Is this the way you address your readers when they ask a question no matter how stupid it sounds?"

first of all i did not say it was a stupid question. second, i doubt i need any skills in pr in this insyance. it is just mere facts that the answer is on the first page of the story. it does not need further explanation what HGTE stands for. if he was really a 'reader' than he would have 'read' the story. if i replied 'go google it and you'll know' then perhaps i need a degree in pr. i rest my case

- raymondlai , Singapore. 6 Oct 2010 8:47PM
"Formerly posted by Anonymous: Why does the seat says "Handling GTE"?"

Please have a read before you ask questions like this.

- raymondlai , Singapore. 5 Oct 2010 8:50PM
 Hahas yes WD45, well put, even a zhng-ed up WRX/EVO can do that. No offense to aftermarket modders. That being said it must really be a dream to even hear a V12 engine at redline much less to sit in the car and feel it. Going by how manufacturers are downsizing engines, V12s are going extinct.
- edlaz , Singapore. 4 Oct 2010 6:48PM
 Hi Edlaz, true... well if any of us here can afford one, the last thing is to worry about not hitting the next traffic light before reaching the 2nd gear.. Even a zhnged up WRX/EVO can do that.
- WD45 , North, Singapore. 4 Oct 2010 12:16PM

I don't really understand ppl who ramble on how pointless certain cars are in Singapore. Too fast. Too expensive. Too out of reach for your consumption. But that's really not what a car like the 599 is about. Sure it's opulent and too insanely fast for mere mortals like us. But it is really more about the display of sheer engineering prowess and craftsmanship; about pushing the envelop of possibilities and in essence, making a better car.

Look at it this way, if everyone was so cynical and pessimistic, then we probably would have never progressed beyond the invention of the wheel. Heck, we might have thought rolling on a wheel was going "too fast".

Few of us will be able to afford a supercar in our lifetime but that does not stop the rest of us from living vicariously through glossy magazine photographs, in-depth reviews and endless youtube videos. Call this an affliction, if you might.

Oscar wilde put it succinctly, "we are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars."
- edlaz , Singapore. 4 Oct 2010 12:39AM
 If u drive cars such as this, it's making a statement that count esp in Singapore! Bring it to the NS highway occasionally to stretch its legs and taunt the traffic police there for not being to catch up. haha
- WD45 , North, Singapore. 4 Oct 2010 12:09AM
- zeenie , Singapore. 24 Sep 2010 9:58AM
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