[cars name="Ferrari"] first showed the 599 GTB at last spring’s Geneva show. Now they’re showing the car for the first time in North America, Ferrari’s most important market. The car is called the 599 GTB after the company’s literal interpretation of the V-12’s displacement: 5999 cubic centimeters. The letters GTB, of course, have a long history in Ferrari’s model lineup, having been affixed to such noteworthy models as the 275GTB and the 365GTB4.
The 599GTB, Ferrari says, is its most powerful V-12-engined production car of all time. The V-12, which is also in the 612 Scaglietti two-plus-two coupe, is derived directly from the engine in the Enzo Ferrari supercar and produces 611 hp at 7600 rpm for a power-to-weight ratio of only 6.1 pounds per horsepower. The 599GTB’s chassis and body, according to Ferrari, use “the latest evolution in the company’s tried and tested all-aluminum construction.” The exterior has been designed by Pininfarina, and the car is very clearly related to the 612 Scaglietti, although much better-looking.
The 599GTB will carry on Ferrari’s proud tradition of front-engine, V-12, two-passenger berlinettas, picking up the torch from the outgoing 575M Maranello and its immediate predecessor, the 550 Maranello. Some 5700 examples of those cars were built in the past decade.