Ferrari 599XX Sets New Record at the ’Ring

Breaking the 7-minute barrier on the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife is a feat that few race cars can accomplish: but now, for the first time, a production-derived sports car has lapped the full 20.832km Nordschleife in just 6min 58.16sec. Step up to the podium, Ferrari 599XX.

The 599XX, the car that inspired the 599 GTO, is an extreme berlinetta designed for track but not for official competition use. And, as Ferrari proudly says, it is “a veritable technological laboratory”. Take, for example, the F1-derived wheel doughnuts which serve two practical purposes: to reduce turbulence (and hence drag), and to improve brake cooling.

The in-car footage of the record lap is worth watching just to hear the engine noise. Although the Ferrari is running on slicks, and is far from road legal (hence the link with road cars is a bit stretched), it’s quite clearly a phenomenally quick machine.

After watching the video, our resident Nordschleife expert opined, “Fast on the straight, isn’t it? Blimey!” (Although, apparently, the 599XX driver “turned into Wippermann corner too early, putting two wheels on the kerb on the left after the crest, and backed off early at several key points – such as Schwedenkreuz and Kesselchen/Klostertal”. Which simply goes to prove how quick this car really is.)

The 599XX’s engine is a development of the V12 unit used by the 599 GTB Fiorano, while sophisticated electronics are in place to govern the mechanical limits of the handling – for truly extreme performance.

The car also sees the introduction of an aerodynamics first: the ‘Actiflow’ system that increases downforce and/or cuts drag depending on the car’s trim during cornering. This helps the 599XX achieve up to 630kg of downforce. At, ahem, 300km/h, that is.

Text: Charis Whitcombe
Photos/Video: Ferrari


ClassicInside - The Classic Driver Newsletter
Free Subscription!