Road cars have laws to contend with, and racing cars have regulations to uphold. But for track cars, the sky is the limit. Unfortunately for track enthusiasts, purpose-built track cars built from the ground up with a blank sheet of paper and a limitless sky are few and far between. One example comes from Ferrari with its XX-rated development program that creates a series of cars that bridge the gap between road and track. First up was the FXX, an Enzo with some extra kit. That was followed by the even more extreme FXX Evoluzione. But at the Geneva show last month, Ferrari took the wraps off the 599XX, a rolling laboratory based on the 599 GTB Fiorano only unbound by the rules of governing bodies. And while the 599XX's debut was accompanied by only limited details and even fewer photos, Maranello's finally released more of each to salivate over.
Over the course of its ongoing development – that is, after all, the point of the XX programs – the 599XX will receive all manner of new features and technologies. There's even word it may serve as a test bed for the adaptation of Formula One's KERS regenerative braking system for future road cars. But in the meantime, Ferrari's engineers have started with a host of aerodynamic and engine modifications. Added aerodynamic elements abound, some more visible than others. Little black winglets protrude from the C-pillars (which themselves were already aerodynamically optimized on the road car), and the wheels integrate F1-style "donuts" to channel the air for optimized cooling and clean airflow. Underneath the bodywork, a new Actiflow system employs a porous diffuser and two fans in the trunk to channel the airflow for increased downforce at cornering speeds or reduced drag at higher speeds. All that and more adds up to 617 pounds of downforce at 124 mph or 1,389 pounds at 186 mph. Reduced mass inertia in the engine compartment helps the V12 produce 700 horsepower at the XX's stratospheric 9,000 RPM redline, the shift program has reduced gear changes to just 60 milliseconds, and the carbon ceramic brake pads are gripped by experimental carbon-fiber calipers to keep it all under control. All that new tech helps the 599XX lap Ferrari's own Fiorano test track in 1 minute, 17 seconds... faster than any road car the company has ever produced, a tick under the FXX's lap time, and faster than some of the company's modern race machinery. Follow the jump to read more details in the press release, and check out the studio shots in the high-resolution image gallery below.