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Thread: Why the 599 is not as good as the 550

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    Default Why the 599 is not as good as the 550

    Hello from wide-open Wyoming!

    Here's this thread's summary:
    The 599 is the better car. It costs $300,000
    The 550 is the better driving experience. It has cost me $160,000 to purchase and maintain over three seasons. In three years, I've put 33,000 miles on top of the 11,700 miles that came when I bought it in 2004.

    We had ground snow and a little left-over road ice when I left the other morning, in the dark, for an 800 mile round trip in the 550.

    This morning, at 2am, I got home from the 400 mile return portion. It was a day of real driving (dodging deer, taking straight lines- across center line- on wet bridges located at turn apexes, speeding at double the limit on half mile EMPTY straights) I also got to ride in my friend's 599, for two HOURS in Jackson Hole Wyoming...one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Yea, it was a tough day, starting in the dark in Jackson, photographing sunrise on the Tetons at 7:30, going for a ride for hours in a 599 and then going home after an afternoon of art/ theater and book-related business in Jackson.

    Here's the deal: For me, driving- not owning- a Ferrari is an emotional, physical and possibly (per the above) life enhancing- even danger threatening- edge of envelope automobile experience. So, my 550 delivers that, with a physical and emotional relationship to the road, awareness of the surrounding environment and the aesthetics of all the material package.
    It's not as fast as a 599. But it'll do 190's UPHILL, at 7,000 feet...what the hell do you want?

    Which brings me to the 599.
    Yesterday, my friend took me for a two hour drive in some of the most beautiful country on Earth...in a car that he said felt "numb" to his hands. Sitting in the passenger seat, the ride seemed numb- compared to what I felt later in the day in my 550 as I charged through the Hoback River canyon in fourth gear, with sport suspension on and always on the look out for fallen ROCKS!.
    I'll have more (including video) but I wanted to get this thread started with this simple thought.

    You want a Ferrari driving experience, go buy a 430 or an older GT car (even a 330). And if you want to impress your (whatever) with "yea it's got 620 horsepower and ceramic brakes (that never heat up to the 1100 degree temps needed to maximize them) and there's this neat video game dashboard and magneto-something shock absorbers...buy the 599! And you'll own the Hummer of the neighborhood! All your "friends" will be impressed ... and so will you be whern you sell it at a premium to some other person with more money than God.

    And, wow, you'll be able to use all the 599's abilities any time you're doing, say 150 mph. And we allneed that. Of course, half the people who can afford a $.3 million car are average-intelligence idiots whom Enzo Ferrari had total disdain for BECAUSE they bought his cars for the prestige- NOT the driving experience.

    I saw the ghost of Enzo last night, as I crossed the old Oregon Trail. It was dark, I was on a crowded state highway, harnessing the 550's overall GT driving experience and my own public safety/ police radar strategy to avoid making people (with cell phones to 911) mad and not getting nailed at 125 mph- double the speed limit- by teams of three highway patrol cars. And I did it wonderfully- not because I'm so wonderful- but because the 550 was in closer harmony with the conditions of the road (which it comunicated to me) than I'd EVER have been in a 599 (which wouldn't have given me the physical sense of accelerating that open half mile, then decellerating before the crest... over one of which the three man cop team appeared. To them, I was doing 64, 70 (the last car was radar -off, providing backup to the first two).
    In a 599, I'd have had no idea -from FEEL- how fast I was accelerating to that next rise...no sense of slowing down ENOUGH to crest the hill- without being busted. No sense of the road's adhesion to my tires in the canyon. But, bu God, I'd have the latest Ferrari. And I'd have the satisfaction of knowing that half of my new car's cost of $300,000 went to the $.5 billion annual cost of Ferrari's racing Formula One!

    I have video. But I will not reveal the identity of the 599 owner. But let's say that he knows the people in Ferrari on a first name basis and used to represent his company's dealings with F1. He doesn't love- doesn't exacly really even like- his 599. And now I know why: The GTB doesn't deliver the emotional driving experience....period. And no amount of 0-60 times and talk about magneto-something shock absorbers can replace the lack of PASSION that has been replaced with over-technological "magic". A front-engined GT car is inherently inferior (from any driver's point of view)- than a rear-engined sports car. But I love the GT. I live in wide-open, 190mph uphill Wyoming! And my 550 has more interior shelf space (and golf club sized trunk) than the 599 provides.

    Ferrari OWNER
    "Want to come over and see my new Ferrari? It cost $300,000! I never drive it. That ruins the value, you know! Did I tell you about the shock absorbers? They're magnetic or something. Yea, I traded the old 612 in. Betsy loved that car's back seats when she went shopping. But it was getting too old. It had 4,000 miles on it and I always sell them below 5,000. That's the smart thing to do. I made a little money on that one! We're going to the Concours next month. Are you driving your car or trailering? I don't know what to do with the 599. I could sell it now for a big premium. But that 28 percent capital gains tax on cars is so unpleasant. And I honestly don't know what I'd buy. The convertible version of the 599 isn't out yet. "

    Ferrari DRIVER:
    "On that 400 mile drive, I cut 36 minutes off the GPS arrival time (just on the 131 mile long stretch from mile 35 to 166. I nearly hit a deer and crossed four wet bridges that had iced up in the canyon. There weren't any rocks to worry about. I has ASR on in the canyon. But when I got onto the plains, I turned ASR off and man is that car fast with it off! Better to eat tires and go fast, ASAP! I'd do 60-125 mph accelerations to the next rise and let the 550 slow down so I always crested the hill (into possible oncoming police radar) at speed limit. It was a great drive! I love my 10 year old Ferrari 550 Maranello! Did I tell you that I broke the welds on the prototype exhaust I tested and evaluated for Hyper-Flow last year? The engine put out so much torque now, it breaks welds!"

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    Lets hope the 599 owners read this and all want to sell up.

    Great ploy........

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyo550 View Post
    no amount of 0-60 times and talk about magneto-something shock absorbers can replace the lack of PASSION that has been replaced with over-technological "magic"
    Mercedes had the exact same problem a few years ago when it went 'electronics' crazy. Reliability and customer satisfaction went down the pan, they where forced to do a U-turn. New geneneration technology always takes a while to mature and be as good or better than the stuff it replaces. Compare the F1 gearboxes from F355 to the latest 4th Gen 430S technology, they are in a different league.

    Making a car go faster does not necessarily relate to improved desirability either. When the production numbers go higher you sadly loose a lot of the cars character and personality. I personally think Ferrari are trying to sell too many cars these days. This could back fire because I think they'll see second hand residuals slip and hence desirability of the marque suffer.

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    I haven't driven a Ferrari yet, but a similar comparison that I've made after drives in BMWs of various ages is why modern performance cars leave me cold and old ones leave me with a warm glow.

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    Default Photos of the day in Jackson Hole

    Well, I've had another day to ponder the deal:

    The 599 is amazing. But so is a Lamboghini Countach.
    And you can't see out of a Countach to park it!
    In the case of a 599, you couldn't drive it to its capabilities 99.99999999% of the time- so why bother spending $300,000 for one?

    The 599 is like an American Hummer.
    Both are cars that is so over-engineered for routine highway- let alone urban- driving conditions, their capabilities are likely never to be used!

    Reality: At the gas station, I was amazed to find that I couldn't get out of the 599 easily!
    There is no rear shelf space to speak of- compared to my 550, so I'd have to get in and out of the trunk space more often.
    And the 599's trunk wont hold golf clubs. It's side-to-side space is smaller than a 550.
    The 599's trunk IS larger (volumetric) than the 550's, but the rear shelf is smaller...so net gain is ?????

    On the good side, the 599's exhaust note as heard inside the car is incredible. On the outside, however, when the bypass valve on the 599's silencers opens up, the BRAPPP is obnoxious and pounds the ears. But again, inside the car, there is no harmonic coupling of sound- as compared to a 575 with a stupid Tubi- just an amazing multi-spectral (from sub-harmonic to ultra-sonic) roar when it opens up.

    But then, my 550 sounds pretty nasty; and I've saved how much...let's see, the Quicksilver mufflers were $500 on eBay, the prototype Cats and X-pipes were a couple thousand. Hmmmm. I've saved $298,000 for the sound alone :-).

    As for the acceleration, the 599 is a lot faster. And the F1 paddle shift times are amazing.
    But I still like the overall styling of the 550/575's better. So, I'd have to say that, in Grigio Ingrid with a subtle interior, the 575 still has it all for a GT car.

    The photos I took in Jackson are too big (like a 599) to be posted here.
    So, please enjoy them at:
    http://www.LaserRadio.com/jackson2007.jpg

    Chow! (that's "cowboy talk" pardner)
    Last edited by Wyo550; 25-10-2007 at 04:46 PM.

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    [QUOTE=Wyo550;293544]Well, I've had another day to ponder the deal:

    The 599 is amazing. But so is a Lamboghini Countach.
    And you can't see out of a Countach to park it!
    In the case of a 599, you couldn't drive it to its capabilities 99.99999999% of the time- so why bother spending $300,000 for one?

    Surely the same is true of a 550,& pretty well any Ferrari ever made?
    You may not like,or cant afford,a 599,but some can & do.There is only one reason for owning a Ferrari,& that is not luxury cruising,nor performance,because other cars do it better,its because you can.You love your 550,great,good luck to you,but why keep knocking the 599?

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    amazing scenery, thanks for posting

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    Good writeup and stunning pictures

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    Default I'm just putting the 599 into it's place. It's a CAR!

    Quote Originally Posted by tiganut View Post
    Surely the same is true of a 550,& pretty well any Ferrari ever made?
    You may not like,or cant afford,a 599,but some can & do.There is only one reason for owning a Ferrari,& that is not luxury cruising,nor performance,because other cars do it better,its because you can.You love your 550,great,good luck to you,but why keep knocking the 599?
    No, the difference is this:
    The 550 was designed at the end of an era (1990's) when analog design and human teamwork (ala the final design iteration of the 550 by Juan DeApril, who went on to Toyota) ruled. The 575 is the beginning of the new era: The design change to the 575's front end looks like it was designed by wind tunnel data- not artists. The ride suspension on the 575 was softened-to that of the 550.
    The paddle shifter was a breakthrough to the 6speed.
    I drove my first 575 in Scottsdale in April and was stunned by the one-generation leap in driveability and performance- over the 550. And I put my order in for a 599 as a result!

    But now, I see that the next generation (599) is so over-engineered in so many respects, it's capabilities are virtually useless. For example, I've taken my 550 into the 190mphs- once. And I lived, because I could FEEL that the road was in good shape...and I KNEW my car's ability to slow down, as I hit the hill at 180 and kept pounding it to the point where I knew I needed to back off, let the compression slow me to 140's and brakes to 100's as I crested the hill.

    In a 599, you wouldn't know the road surface, wouldn't know your ability to slow from compression, gravity, whatever...so why bother spending the money?

    Now, let me respond to your quote, point-by-point:
    First, you wrote,
    "You may not like,or cant afford,a 599,but some can & do".
    ======================
    Sure, and some people like Hummers and some people like 20,000 ft2 homes in Aspen.

    I liked the potential of the 599. And I'm still #40 on a dealer's wait list for one.
    I'd have put myself on another dealer's list much earlier- but I wanted to see if the car had "issues" (like maintenance of the bearings in the Enzo-derived engine for example). Now that I've experienced the car, firsthand, I'd probably rather save my $300,000. The reality is this: By the time my "Number" is up, the convertible version of the 599 will be available. I expect that it will be a sliding (Carbon) hard-top. Because the damn car is so over-powered, if you lose the rear downforce by eliminating the side arches for a soft-top, and introduce suspension softness from the Spyder conversion,,,the car will be deadly in a crash. And we can't have millionaire toy-boys getting killed, now, can we?
    ==========================
    I can't believe you wrote this,
    "There is only one reason for owning a Ferrari,& that is not luxury cruising,nor performance,because other cars do it better,its because you can."
    ===============================
    Enzo Ferrari hated that point of view and had complete disdain for the richy rich who bought his cars for that shallow reason. He needed to sell cars ONLY to support his passion: Road racing.

    Any Ferrari is a hand-built masterpiece of engineering, aestthetics and performance (which marries the driver and the road, better than any other high performance cars in the world!) One evening, I took a Viper owner for a ride in the 550...around corners at 120 that his car was shuddering to hold onto at 100. There is no comparison between a Ferrari and a Lambo:
    In a Ferrari, you're in the world...in the Lambo, you're in the world of Audi.

    Saying "There's only one reason for owning a Ferrari...because you can" misses the point entirely. And it sounds materialistic and crass and rude to boot. You sound like (just 5%) of the awestruck I meet at gas stations, where I hand out tiny printed links to my car's web pages).

    Finally, you wrote
    "You love your 550,great,good luck to you,but why keep knocking the 599".

    Because no communications is complete without feedback.
    And since the 599 is so numb and doesn't provide feedback- just sheer technology- I'm providing one man's opinion. And it's an informed opinion, as in the three years since I bought my first Ferrari, I've become a test and evaluation performance driver for aftermarket manufacturers.

    The part about "dying with the most toys" was surely a joke.
    Some people live that way and it misses the point of life in general.
    If Enzo Ferrari had simply sold the company to Ford or GM or Fiat...and retired into bourgeoise fat-and-happy...his life would have been a waste. Instead, he died at the helm of a company that went on, emplyed thousands of people and made millions happy with the thrill of what Maranello produces!
    WOW!
    Later!
    Last edited by Wyo550; 25-10-2007 at 06:03 PM.

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    If you are so against the driver aids,why not buy a 512TR,or a BB?

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