Ferrari 599 GTO will use specially designed Michelin tires

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 29, 2010

Michelin announced that the limited edition Ferrari 599 GTO (Gran Turismo Omologato) model will feature new Michelin super sport tires specially designed for this model. Michelin is set to produce 2,396 tires for the 599 units of the sports car. Michelin collaborated with Ferrari in the production of these tires in only 18 months.

In a statement, Michelin revealed their aim to enable the Ferrari 599 GTO "to achieve its full performance potential by delivering optimal track handling and superior safety."

The tire will have sizes 285/30 ZR 20 for the front and 315/35 ZR 20 for the rear. The front tire has a weight of 10 kilograms while the rear weighs 15 kilograms. This stands for a weight reduction of up to 10% when compared to other tires of similar dimensions. Three different compounds are seen on the tire tread.

There is a track-type compound on the outer shoulder to endure the extreme pressure of circuit driving.

Then there's a compound at the center of the tread designed to provide superior performance at very high speeds. The third is an inner shoulder compound developed in combination with the tire construction to optimize the amount of rubber in contact with the road for secure road-holding.

While the engine of the Ferrari 599 GTO is based on the 599XX unit, it underwent modifications to make sure that it would be legal for the road and complies with Euro 5 and LEV 2 standards. The resulting 5999 cc 65-degree V12 engine is now able to develop up to 670 CV of output at 8250 rpm an up to 620 Nm of torque at 6500 rpm.

Interestingly, the V6 engine allow for a seamless yet relentless surge of power all the way to the redline, without losing flexibility even at medium and low revs. This was achieved by working on the fluid-dynamics and components in order to limit internal friction.

Another factor that contributed to its success was in adopting the 599XX, which had a new design for the crankshaft. Moreover, the sports car maker linked the two plenums at the front, thereby compensating for variations in the volume and maximizing volumetric efficiency per cylinder – all resulting to maximum performance at high engine speeds.

Ferrari also installed a racing-type intake system featuring a new manifold with diffuser-type intake geometry as well as short inlet tracts made for enhanced power delivery at high revs and for lower losses.

To make things more exciting, the engine sound inside the Ferrari 599 GTO is sensibly managed to balance the intake sound with the exhaust, which boasts of a 599XX-derived 6-into-1 manifold. Interestingly, Ferrari 599 GTO boasts the same, lower 60 ms shift times. Moreover, it is possible to employ multiple downshifts just like on the 599XX.

Press Release


Available in an exclusive limited edition, the new Ferrari 599 GTO will have a production run of just 599 vehicles, all of them equipped with new Michelin super sport tyres specially designed for this model. This means that the only point of contact between the Ferrari 599 GTO and the road will be the 2,396 Michelin tyres which are capable of the highest levels of performance.

Michelin partnered with the Italian sports car manufacturer to co-develop these unique tyres in just 18 months. The objective was to enable the Ferrari 599 GTO to achieve its full performance potential by delivering optimal track handling and superior safety.

The tyre sizes are 285/30 ZR 20 for the front and 315/35 ZR 20 for the rear. Despite the generous dimensions they are exceptionally light, with the front tyre weighing just 10 kilograms and the rear 15 kilograms. This means a weight saving of up to 10 per cent compared to other tyres of similar dimensions. The lighter Michelin tyres deliver two benefits:

They reduce unsprung weight which in turn improves handling
They help to reduce fuel consumption and thus carbon emissions. The Michelin tyres designed for the Ferrari 599 GTO have up to 20 per cent better rolling resistance than other similar tyres, enabling a reduction in CO2 emissions of up to 7 grams per kilometre.
Michelin engineers developed innovative rubber compounds that ensure safe, precise handling in all conditions even when the tyres are delivering 670 horsepower from the six litre V12 engine. Their unique tread comprises three different compounds: a track-type compound on the outer shoulder to withstand the extreme pressure of circuit driving, a compound at the centre of the tread especially designed for superior performance at very high speeds, and an inner shoulder compound designed in combination with the tyre construction to maximise the amount of rubber in contact with the road for secure road-holding.

Michelin and Ferrari development engineers and test drivers worked closely together on different racetracks, in particular at Fiorano and Nardò in Italy, to validate the tyres’ performance balance which matches the chassis characteristics of the new Ferrari GTO, Ferrari’s fastest ever road car.

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