Wednesday, January 20, 2010

(Un)mellow Yellow: Upgrade your Ferrari 599 with dealer-installed HGTE package

Life is tough, we know. You sit for months on a waiting list, drop six figures, order your Ferrari just the way you want it, and then bam! They come out with an even better version. What’s a supercar owner to do? Well in the case of the Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano and the Handling GTE package unveiled to go with it at the Geneva Motor Show just a few months ago (shown above in yellow for the first time), we’ve got good news as Ferrari has announced the availability of the package as a dealer-installable kit on existing 599s.

The package includes a host of enhancements to the GT’s already superlative capabilities, grouped into four areas: handling, performance, exhaust and aesthetics. Handling includes a suspension lowered by 10mm, magnetorheologically re-calibrated and stiffened by over 15%; beefed up in anti-roll bars, and stickier tires mounted on upgraded modular wheels.

The performance enhancements include new exhaust silencers, upgrades to the transmission software that cut shift times down to 85 milliseconds, as well as new lines of code that summon improved throttle response. The performance kit can only be installed on post-2008 models with the sequential transmission, while pre-2008 or manual-equipped models can get the exhaust kit without the remapped throttle and transmission.

Finally, the aesthetic improvements consist of a new front grille and Prancing Horse emblems front and back in a burnished finish instead of the usual chrome. The only thing which the dealer-installed HGTE kit doesn’t include from the factory-equipped models is the interior trim package. Released first for the British market, the kit costs £19,703 (~$32k USD), or £17,213 (~$28k) without the upgraded transmission and throttle calibrations. Check out the fresh gallery of images below and follow the jump for the full press release and an in-car video of the HGTE-equipped 599 pouring on the heat.

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