Responding to criticism that the 599 GTB reduces turn in and leads to slower lap times, Ferrari engineers analyzed the problem and came up with a new track-focused handling package called the Handling Grand Turismo Evoluzione (HGTE). The upgrade, which was revealed at the Geneva Motor Show last March, is designed to deliver an even sportier, more dynamic driving.
Modifications to the 599 GTB include a modified set-up with stiffer springs and rear anti-roll bar and new calibration settings for the magnetorheological shock absorbers when the manettino is at its sportier settings. Ferrari lowered the ride height, added optimized tires that offers better grip, and tinkered with the electronics to ensure a more prompt response to driver commands.
A marked improvement can be noticed in the F1 gearbox shifts that are now faster in high-performance settings and accelerator response was improved due to a new engine software strategy.
All these adjustments led to the end result of a 0-100km/h time of just 3.7 seconds and a new lap time for Ferrari's famed Fiorano test track of 1m 26.5s - only 1.5s slower than the lighter and stiffer F430 Scuderia street-legal race car.
Aesthetics-wise, the HGTE package is characterized by a sporty exterior while inside, carbonfiber is seen to be used throughout the bodywork. The car's 20in split-rim wheels are available with a special diamond-cut matte silver finish.
The rear diffuser has a matte black finish to emphasize the new setup and the chromed tailpipes. A mix of full-grain leather, black Alcantara and carbon-fiber trim adorn its cabin. Of course, the Prancing Horse insignia is embroidered in contrasting stitching on the headrest with the words "Handling GTE."
The full specification of each kit is detailed below: 1) Handling, includes: * Lower suspension (10mm) * New magnetorheologically controlled suspension calibration for the Manettino SPORT and RACE configurations * More rigid suspension springs (front + 17%, rear + 15%) * More rigid rear anti-roll bars (diameter increased to 25mm) * HGTE specific tyres with improved compound (8% more grip) * 3-piece modular rims with reduced weight (forged spokes) and special new design 2) Performance (only available for post-2008 cars, from engine no. 122779), includes: * New exhausts silencers with two-tone finish tailpipes * Enhanced F1 gearshift actuation, with response times reduced to 85ms * New accelerator logic with modified mapping for improved throttle response N.B. The Performance kit cannot be installed on cars with manual gearboxes. 3) Exhaust, includes: * New exhausts silencers with two-tone finish tailpipes The Exhaust kit is designed for: * vehicles that cannot receive the software updates listed in the Performance kit since the engine was produced before assembly number 122779 (pre-2008) * all cars with manual gearboxes * clients who are only interested in modifying the styling and sound of their own cars N.B. The Exhaust kit is included in the Performance kit, for cars post-2008. 4) Aesthetic, includes: * New design front grille with a special chromatic treatment * Burnished finish to Prancing Horse symbols on the front grill and rear boot lid.