Michael Schumacher driving the 599 GTB HGTE
Formula 1 legend Michael Schumacher had the chance to get behind the wheel of Ferrari’s new 599 GTB Fiorano with the HGTE handling package. The former Scuderia Ferrari driver pushed the front engine GT car to its limits on the Ferrari test track that the car was named after, during one of the factory’s Pilota Ferrari driving courses.
The Handling GT Evoluzione package includes a lower, stiffer suspension, new tire compounds offering even higher levels of grip, modified magnetic suspension with new damper settings and an even higher performance exhaust for an even throatier note. The HGTE package also includes a number of styling touches that set it apart from the standard production car, including a more aggressive nose thanks to the new front grille, a set of proprietary 20 inch rims and excessive use of the wavy light weight black stuff throughout the interior.
This high performance handling version of the V12 super car is capable of lapping the Fiorano test track in only 1:26, that is just 1.5 seconds behind the factory tuned mid-engine F-430 Scuderia, which is the company’s track attack vehicle of choice. The extra handling will only cost you an additional $40,000 over the 599’s $240,000 base price, a small price to pay.
To see the duo in action, go to Ferrari.com.
Press release after the jump.
Michael Schumacher covered around 20 laps of Fiorano today at the wheel of the 599 GTB equipped with the Handling GT Evoluzione package that was recently introduced at the Geneva Show.
The seven-times World F1 Champion took to the track to try out the improved handling offered by the new set-up which emphasises the performance of this, Ferrari’s most powerful berlinetta.
The Handling GT Evoluzione package includes a lower, stiffer ride, a new tyre compound offering even better levels of grip, modified magnetorheological damper settings that improve body control and an even more sporty exhaust sound. The HGTE package also includes a number of styling touches that distinguish it from the standard production car, including a more aggressive front grille, specific 20" rims and abundant use of carbon-fibre trim in the cockpit.
Schumacher took the 599 GTB HGTE to its very limits at the Fiorano track during one of the factory’s Pilota Ferrari driving courses. These are organised exclusively for Ferrari owners and four levels of courses are available - Basic, Advanced, Evolution and Challenge, along with a special On Ice course and a dedicated one for those wishing to race in the traditional one-make racing series, the Ferrari Challenge. The courses have been run in Italy for over 15 years and, more recently, courses have also been set up in the USA, China and, from 2009, in Japan.
With its Pilota Ferrari driving courses, Ferrari offers owners a comprehensive range of expert tuition designed to progressively instruct drivers in the art of performance driving, enabling them to appreciate even more the handling characteristics of their cars, and help them use their full potential in absolute safety, both on the track and on the road.