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Old 06-23-2010, 01:35 PM
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Smile My GTO: first impressions

Hi Fchatters,

As promised … the start of a new thread of my GTO. It deserves it simply because it is a great, great car.

Took delivery last Friday and I have driven 1,200 kms with it in basically 3 days. Mixed use (highway, in town, twisty roads, in the hills of the Ardennes and on one of the (pardon my chauvinism) most beautiful tracks of the world, Spa Francorchamps.

I’ve included some pictures of the car with its sister, our HGTE. I won’t bother you guys anymore with the specs and option list as I have posted this already in another thread.

Just wanted to share with you how I feel about this car as I believe I’m in a position now to do so given the number of kms and various conditions I’ve driven it in.

First things first: I’m very pleased with the outcome and looks of the car. Note that I ordered the black rims but they delivered the car with grey ones as there is a delay on the black wheels from BBS. All the rest is as ordered and we expect the black rims to arrive shortly.

When I saw the car in the delivery area at the dealer my hart started beating very, very fast. It looks good. Very good. I know, we all have different taste but for me … she looks just stunning. Aggressive, sporty, … ready to attack. The color combination of the red with the matt grey roof and the matt grey CF goes very well together. Pictures don’t do the matt grey CF justice at all. One has to see it in the flesh to appreciate it. The Grigio Charcoal interior came out really well in combination with the CF. That’s the reason why I picked Grigio Charcoal and it worked out just the way I expected it.

Time to start the car. Loud growl but then she settles down and becomes almost boring. Sound is very light, not the deep growl my HGTE has (with the valves open). Driving off goes very easy. Clutch engages very smooth, seems almost like an automatic. The ride is not hard at all. In fact, I find it not to be as stiff as my HGTE (we are talking magnetinno setting wet, comfort mode here).

Off we went and my dealer told me to step on it … so I did. The gates of heaven opened instantly. Accelleration is nothing short of phenomenal, even with cold tires and the gearbox is so good. Shifting is so fast and accurate, it takes your breath away. Last but not least, there is this sound. This loud, screaming, sound. High pitch … just the way a car of this pedigree should sound like. Every hair on your body stands up. It just adds so much more dimension to the whole experience. That was only up shifting. What goes up … must come down and boy, the GTO is good at it. One has the impression Ferrari installed an army with canons in the back of the car. It bangs, blows and backfires. People walking in the street dive away looking for cover. And that’s just the impression after driving it for a couple of kms.

On the way home I got to know the car better and better. One feels at home in this car almost instantly. I played the musical instrument (forgive me for steeling that one from Steven @ Autocar) and scared some more people on the highway. How do you do that in a GTO? Simple: drive next to them at about 140 km per hour in 6th gear and quickly downshift to 4th gear and accelerate away. They never saw you coming but they think lighting struck 3 feet away from them. So much fun. Forgive me if I sound like a 7 year old kid playing a prank but that’s just how it feels. The sound is terrifying yet beautiful at the same time.

Back to the other goodies: steering: very light and very accurate. You give a little bit of input and that nose will go where you want it to go. Traction (with tires up to temperature) is excellent. The brakes: they have bite, lots and lots of it yet one gets better feedback compared to the CS brakes from the first generation. Quite an improvement. No signs of under steer whatsoever. The engine is a work of art. It climbs high in the revs without any hesitation and it does it mighty fast. Masses of torque constantly available. Low to high RPM … it is readily available at all times.

What really amazes me is how easy this car can be driven around town. I find it easier to drive than the HGTE. Equip this car with full leather, stereo, Daytona seats … well basically like my HGTE (but I think one shouldn’t do that) and it will be as comfortable as the HGTE. In fact, better because of its gearbox. It shifts so much quicker and under normal driving circumstances, so much smoother.

During the drive to the Ardennes (my wife at the wheel of the HGTE) the GTO grew more and more on me. Even without a stereo the 300 km drive wasn’t boring at all. The tunnels around Lige were the perfect play ground for it. My God that thing is so loud in a tunnel. It almost makes your ears pop Accelerating in 2nd gear to redline … you need to hear it to believe it. Almost F1 quality. That V12 (and its exhaust) are a masterpiece.

How does the GTO handle on the track? Well … it’s fun, lots of fun. The brakes are very, very powerful yet somewhat tricky to handle. You really need to hit the brakes hard and then let go or they will start to wear faster than the 1st generation CS brakes. But, such a driving style is perfectly possible as the car’s chassis works like a charm. You point the nose into the corner and in she goes. No under steer whatsoever. Traction coming out of the corner is perfect. Scuds and 458 Italia’s … the GTO runs away. It handles better than a Scud imo and better than a 458 Italia. Ferrari put together a great package. The gearbox is perfect and the car is very, very stable at high speed. 270 km/h at the end of the straight in Spa is fast, very fast and one can brake late, very late. Just start to imagine what this car could be capable of with slicks …?

Ferrari was very proud at the presentation of this car and in my humble opinion, they have every right to be so. They managed to build a V12 front engined car with tremendous power and great, great handling. The electronics are there to make it even better. They nanny you but in a different, less interruptive way. They simply make the car faster. Mind you, this is a very fast car and it’s a drivers’ car built to be used, to be driven. This is what Ferrari stands for. It is a car that evokes tons of passion and pleasure both looking at it and driving it.

As I said before, this is my feeling and in the end, who am I? I guess one lucky GTO owner looking forward to plenty of memorable, exiting miles in Ferrari’s quickest, most powerful road car they ever built. For the time being of course because soon, they will present something quicker. That goes without saying. Is it worth the GTO badge … I said from day one that if Ferrari feels it does … I tended to agree with them. Did my feeling change? Certainly not. I stand behind their opinion 100%. I believe this car is worthy of this badge as it is nothing short of spectacular. Is it a super car? Give it some time and I think we will start realizing that Ferrari delivered something very special. The car certainly evokes passion with Ferraristi as I have noticed yesterday at the Ferrari Owner’s Days in Spa.

Looking forward to reading impressions from other owner’s soon.

Thanks to the dealer and his entire team They did a hell of a job with the follow up and delivery. Grazie Mille

Cheers,

M
Attached Images
File Type: jpg GTO2.jpg (200.4 KB, 6286 views)
File Type: jpg GTO4.jpg (267.4 KB, 6283 views)
File Type: jpg GTO6.jpg (220.0 KB, 6212 views)
File Type: jpg GTO7.jpg (210.9 KB, 6174 views)
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Last edited by M-individual; 06-23-2010 at 01:45 PM.
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  #2  
Old 06-23-2010, 01:38 PM
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Some more pics ...

... of the interior
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File Type: jpg GTO8.jpg (183.3 KB, 6195 views)
File Type: jpg GTO9.jpg (187.0 KB, 6101 views)
File Type: jpg GTO10.jpg (177.0 KB, 5982 views)
File Type: jpg GTO11.jpg (43.4 KB, 5870 views)
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Old 06-23-2010, 01:40 PM
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A little extra ...

Special car built by special people ...

Grazie a tutti

PS: No intention to snatch your idea Hawkeye
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File Type: jpg GTO12.jpg (208.2 KB, 5891 views)
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Old 06-23-2010, 02:02 PM
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With it's sister ;)

They come from the same family but they are so different ...
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File Type: jpg GTOa.jpg (270.7 KB, 5863 views)
File Type: jpg GTO-HGTE1.jpg (252.4 KB, 5848 views)
File Type: jpg GTO-HGTE2.jpg (162.9 KB, 5771 views)
File Type: jpg GTO-HGTE3.jpg (262.7 KB, 5750 views)
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Old 06-23-2010, 02:11 PM
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Thank you for the great write-up and pictures M!

I was really looking forward to this thread

It's nice to hear that you're enjoying your stunning GTO so much.

Your two 599's look so good together!

Congratulations again. Enjoy in good health!

Last edited by Ferrarista3; 06-23-2010 at 02:28 PM.
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Old 06-23-2010, 02:12 PM
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Great writeup .

I like many others was skeptical about the GTO badge on 599 but after reading reports and reviews about GTO, I can see my thoughts drifting away .

As you said earlier, let's wait to hear impressions of other owners before deciding it's a 599 with a GTO badge or a candidate really deserving GTO name.

Quote:
One has the impression Ferrari installed an army with canons in the back of the car. It bangs, blows and backfires. People walking in the street dive away looking for cover. And that’s just the impression after driving it for a couple of kms.

On the way home I got to know the car better and better. One feels at home in this car almost instantly. I played the musical instrument (forgive me for steeling that one from Steven @ Autocar) and scared some more people on the highway. How do you do that in a GTO? Simple: drive next to them at about 140 km per hour in 6th gear and quickly downshift to 4th gear and accelerate away. They never saw you coming but they think lighting struck 3 feet away from them. So much fun. Forgive me if I sound like a 7 year old kid playing a prank but that’s just how it feels. The sound is terrifying yet beautiful at the same time.

Hope you didn't target beautiful woman and chicks
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Old 06-23-2010, 02:22 PM
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Couldn't ask for a more comprehensive and descriptive first post. From your driving impressions alone. It is obvious you consider the 599 GTO to be a ferrari of exceptional capabilities worthy of its badge. I too will be interested what other owners have to say going forward but doubt any will be dissapointed. Looking forward to hearing any additonal thoughts you may have as you become more familiar with your new toy. By the way, someday in the not to distant future. I will enjoy reading posts about the 599 GTO in the "Supercar" forum! Congrats again M. Enjoy in good health and hope to follow in your footsteps soon.
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Old 06-23-2010, 02:23 PM
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Congrats M, and thanks for the pics.

Those are two wondeful Sisters you got there.

I'm pretty sure the GTB will welcome the GTO in the stable, and take care of her !

BTW, Very Nice castle. Is that your home ?
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Old 06-23-2010, 02:24 PM
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Does it read 1 of 599 on the plate in your car? Wow! How did you manage to get the first GTO of them all?
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Old 06-23-2010, 02:28 PM
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Thanks for the write-up. Your car looks amazing, and in fact I like it better with the rims currently on the car vs. the black rims... This is definitely a very special car (well even more special than the "typical" ferrari )

The car sounds amazing- the only negative thing you mention and I can't figure out are the brakes- why would they wear out fast? I wouldn't think they would....are you saying they fade, or that the brake material itself would wear quickly?

Quote:
Originally Posted by M-individual View Post
You really need to hit the brakes hard and then let go or they will start to wear faster than the 1st generation CS brakes.
M

Drive the car in good health!
-Andrew
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Old 06-23-2010, 02:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stockholm996TT View Post
Does it read 1 of 599 on the plate in your car? Wow! How did you manage to get the first GTO of them all?
The factory did not give out individual numbers. All 599 GTO's cover plates say "1 of 599".

Last edited by speed racer; 06-23-2010 at 02:33 PM.
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Old 06-23-2010, 03:01 PM
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Your pictures say more than the entire story which is stunning in it's self. Superb GTO, love the combination with the charcoal which completes the combination with your HGTE. The movies seen on Youtube are simply mind boggling (sorry Steven ). Stunning car, utterly stunning!
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Old 06-23-2010, 03:30 PM
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Felt your excitement in your description. Wish you the best of luck with that beautiful machine!
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Old 06-23-2010, 03:47 PM
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I believe this is what Ferrari is all about, congratulations

Enjoy in good health, keep us updated with more experiences and pictures!
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Old 06-23-2010, 03:48 PM
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Salut! Great write up, fantastic car.
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Old 06-23-2010, 03:59 PM
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Talking

I've been waiting for your write-up

First off, congrats on a gorgeous car and enjoy in the best health!

Secondly, if it's possible, you made me want this car more than I already did...thanks for sharing and I can't wait to hear more.
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Old 06-23-2010, 05:02 PM
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Smile

Im speechless man!!
What a great car! Better pictures than the last issue of Forza Magazine!!
Congrats!!
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Old 06-23-2010, 05:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M-individual View Post
Hi Fchatters,
Is it worth the GTO badge I said from day one that if Ferrari feels it does I tended to agree with them. Did my feeling change? Certainly not. I stand behind their opinion 100%. I believe this car is worthy of this badge as it is nothing short of spectacular. Is it a super car? Give it some time and I think we will start realizing that Ferrari delivered something very special. The car certainly evokes passion with Ferraristi as I have noticed yesterday at the Ferrari Owners Days in Spa.


5 minutes ago I just read this in the new EVO:

"You could go on about this machine for an entire issue...It's a detail masterpiece, a track genius, a road tonic and yet another great Ferrari. Oh, and it fully deserves the badge."
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Old 06-23-2010, 05:12 PM
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Beautiful write-up and beautiful pictures.

Congratulations and drive her (them) in good health.
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Old 06-23-2010, 07:30 PM
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Your GTO sounds like a dream ride. Even better when you awaken in the morning it really is sitting in your garage!
CH
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