Ferrari 599 HGTE GTB Fiorano Review: Evolution of the Species

Ferrari 599 HGTE GTB Fiorano Review: Evolution of the Species

OneShift Editorial Team
OneShift Editorial Team
24 Sep 2010
What we like:
pros
The sound of a V12 as it nears 8400rpm is spine tgling and just surreal
What we dislike:
cons
More expensive than most of our homes


On the outside, the easiest way to spot a HGTE from a regular 599 is by the new matte silver 20-inch five spoke alloy wheels. The new wheels are not only lighter and hence reduce unsprung weight but also wider at the front and shod with stickier Pirelli P-zeros. Other enhancements include a new radiator grille in matt chrome as well as Prancing Horse emblems front and rear in brushed aluminium look rather than shiny chrome. The rear diffuser is also painted in matte black and the quad tail pipes have a new look.

Since its launch, the 599's styling has divided opinions - there are some who find that its looks were undeserving of the Ferrari badge while some, myself included, regard it as a piece of automotive sculpture. Four years on and with the sportier HGTE kit, the 599 certainly looks better and more purposeful than ever. The latest iteration of the 599, the GTO goes even further thanks to its even bigger wheels, the plethora of air vents on the bonnet and bumpers and so on.

An upgraded interior is also outfitted for new 599 models with the HGTE kit from the factory like the car here. The sportier cabin features a white rev counter and full carbon trim on the dash and centre console. The new carbon-shelled but fully electrically adjustable seats are trimmed in leather and Alcantara, with the Handling GTE logo stitched across the backrest. The seats, with the contrasting red stitching not only look good but are also comfortable and supportive. Moreover, it offers electrical adjustments for the side bolsters to hold any body shape and size snugly on enthusiastic drives. Despite its sporty themes, the interior feels every bit like a million dollar car's, even the floor mats are made from Alcantara!

Disappointingly for current 599 owners, Ferrari isn't offering the interior enhancements for existing cars. Well, they can always trade in their old 599s for a new one with a factory fitted HGTE kit!

So should a current 599 owner upgrade or swap their already brilliant car for one with a HGTE kit? Retrofitting the HGTE kit on an existing car locally will cost you less but you don't get that brilliant sporty interior so for those who can afford it (I'm sure 599 owners can!), swapping their current cars for a new, factory kitted 599 with the HGTE package is the way to go, especially if Ferrari decides not to allocate more than one of the new limited edition 671bhp 599 GTO for the Singapore market.

The epic 599 is not a set of wheels that any mere mortals like myself can ever afford to buy in our lifetimes. Heck, even winning the Toto or Singapore Sweep might not be enough to buy one on our own but its magnificent V12 and driving experience should be savoured at least once in a lifetime and in this case I'm really counting on my lucky stars that I've done so.

Credits: Story by Raymond Lai Photos by CL Yeo

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