Believe it or not, 2021 marks 15 years since the debut of the Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano. The replacement for the 575 was revealed at the Geneva show in 2006, and, in the process, pretty much set the template for the future of V12 Ferraris.
Where the 550 Maranello and 575M were essentially contemporary reimaginations of the Daytona recipe, the influence of the 599 can still be seen today in cars like the 812 Superfast. Think about it: razor-sharp V12, paddle-operated gearbox (unless you asked very nicely for a manual GTB), a manettino with significant influence on the car's behaviour, quick steering, staggering performance and a big role for technology in enhancing driver enjoyment. All of that was here in the 599.
Back then, the Fiorano was a pretty radical departure for Ferrari. It was the first of its GTs to use an aluminium chassis, there was actual, functional aero for some downforce at speed, standard magnetorheological dampers and optional ceramic brakes. If its predecessors were grand tourers in the most traditional sense, the Fiorano was undoubtedly the start of the Ferrari super GTs. Its Enzo-derived, 5,999cc V12 (hence the name) made 620hp, basically 150hp more than the 550 Maranello had arrived with a decade before, meaning performance was ballistic: 0-100mph took just 7.5 seconds, with more than 200mph well within reach.
It was a sensational Ferrari, though not everybody bought into the looks and the 599's sheer size meant even aluminium construction couldn't prevent it being heavy. But the days of it walking every supercar group test and turning every head as the new supercar in town are a long time ago now; even the wild GTO is a decade old this year. So, they're getting cheaper...
Though never quite as severely as the four-seats cars, the V12 Ferraris do depreciate - some might remember the innocent days of 2012 and earlier, where less than £40k bought a 550 Maranello. The same is becoming true of the 599, with £80k now the entry point where it seemed £100,000 was the threshold not that long ago.
This one is the cheapest in the PH classifieds, at £79,495, yet it looks hard to fault. A UK, right-hand drive car, supplied in black over black and cared for by the selling dealer since 2012, it immediately ticks a lot of the right boxes. Its price is most likely explained by a 38,000-mile odometer reading, which is almost unheard of - many examples have fewer than 10k recorded. Given everything that's been said of the 599 over the past decade and a half, who could resist adding to that total?
Of course, while it may cost the same as a Porsche Boxster Spyder, it will still require the sort of TLC befitting of an Italian supercar. Beyond a voracious appetite for fuel, the 599's special dampers cost £1,500 each, the F1 clutch can need replacing every 30,000 miles and, though the V12 uses timing chains rather than belts, it still requires regular (and expensive) attention.
Still, the best things in life never did come cheap. With supercar running costs you get a genuine supercar experience in the 599, albeit for the purchase price of a new sports car. Here's a car that makes the same power as a Porsche Carrera GT, from a similarly epic powertrain, available for a fraction of the cost. Time, if anything, has helped the 599 look better, too. Those weaned on a diet of new DCT transmissions might find the F1 gearbox a tad archaic, but that seems a small sacrifice to possess one of Ferrari's modern greats for £80,000.
SPECIFICATION | FERRARI 599 GTB FIORANO
Engine: 5,999cc, V12
Transmission: 6-speed automated manual, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 620@7,600rpm
Torque (lb ft): 448@5,600rpm
Year registered: 2008
Recorded mileage: 38,000
Price new: £212,096 (before options)
Yours for: £79,495
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