TopGear.com01 December 2011

Revealed: Ferrari 599XX 'Evo'

It’s a 740bhp track special...with an F1-style DRS system. Yes please

You want a DRS on your car. You do. We know it. It is the neatest piece of tech to hit F1 since the f-duct. Which you also wanted, though how sticking your thumb in to a raging vacuum pipe whilst driving would fit in the Highway Code we don't know. DRS (Drag Reduction System) however, you can have. Though it ain't cheap.

This is Ferrari's new 599XX Evoluzione and yup, you can pop the flap on the rear wing open and closed when either speed (open) or downforce (closed) is your desire. It is insanely great. Though, as we have alluded to, it's also insanely expensive. For a start you have to already own a 599XX (that will have set you back €1.3 million a year or so ago - £1,100,000 now if you can find one...). Then you have to pay for the DRS. Another €185,000, around £160.000.

Worth every penny we say.

With the flap open just over a quarter of the downforce is lost. Ferrari is being a little coy right now about how exactly that shapes the performance of the car, though its Fiorano lap time has dropped one sec to 1.15 dead, some nine secs quicker than the 599 GTO. An extra 30bhp (which now means 740bhp from the six-litre V12) probably helps too.

Gallery: What's the fastest Ferrari around Fiorano?

Of course you can't take your 599XX on the road, so the joy of popping open your flap to complete the humiliation of the driver you have just overtaken will have to wait. Ferrari's XX cars, first the Enzo-based FXX and then the 599, come with a six Ferrari-supported track events as part of the deal. Buying the Evo pack also buys you another two years of track work with the factory.

If you want to drive them outside of the factory events and don't have your own race team available to fire the car up for you, Ferrari will fly engineers armed with those nifty red Acer lap tops you see plugged in to Fernando Alonso's car. It's an exclusive club and, since the factory insists you are there to help it develop future road cars, you have to be a bit handy too.

Only 29 599XXs were made, and just 29 FXXs.

Actually that's a lie. They made 30. The last for Michael Schumacher. Here's what happened when he brought his car to the Top Gear test track:

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