Sold the Porsche, Bought a Ferrari 599 – /CHRIS HARRIS ON CARS

Sold the Porsche, Bought a Ferrari 599 – /CHRIS HARRIS ON CARS


[ENGINE REVVING] Good evening, everyone. A few weeks ago I bought
a Ferrari. Now why buy a Ferrari when
you’ve, quite publicly, stated that you don’t like
the company? Well, because I like
the cars and I miss not driving the cars. But really this is
about value. You see, 599 prices in the UK
have dipped sharply in the past six months, and
I just thought it looked like a good punt. I mean, I know a car like this
is only about 15,000 pounds more than the best
575 Maranello. Now don’t get me wrong, the 575
is a lovely old thing, but the 599 is on a completely
different planet. This is a fully fledged
supercar. It has a 620-horsepower
[INAUDIBLE] V12 with 448-foot pounds
of torque. And it weighs 1750 kilograms. The front brakes are 398
millimeter carbon ceramics. And the rear tires are
305 section Pirellis. It’s also a GT car that will hit
100 miles an hour in seven and a half seconds, do over
200 miles an hour, and– to me– looks the absolute business
in grigio silverstone. It also uses fuel like nothing
I’ve ever owned. I think there’s a hole
in the fuel tank. [ENGINE REVVING] But what’s it like to actually
drive this 599? Pretty spectacular actually,
I have to say. I’m a lucky swine in that I get
to drive lots of nice cars on a daily basis, but this
thing– every time I get into it I think, wow. I really do think, wow. But I also think at full-noise,
in second gear, when it’s right lit, I think
to myself, it’s got 620 horsepower and yet the car
that’s just replaced it and made this the old Ferrari
has got another– what? 120 horsepower? You do think to yourself, what
does that mean on the road? How can you possibly use it? Because I can’t use 8/10 of the
performance of this car most of the time. Anyhow, I am a journalist, and
I have to state on the record that you probably never can
have too much power when you’re in a supercar because
that’s what they’re all about. And this is a supercar and I
quite like owning supercars. I wouldn’t say it’s an easy car
to drive slowly either. The old flappy paddle
gearbox is not to my liking, I have to say. Although this one isn’t annoying
me as much as I thought it might. At low speed you have to sort of
just manage the throttle a bit and watch out for the
odd creep and junctions. It’s not as you want it. I’d love to have bought a car
with a stick, but in the UK, apparently, none
were delivered. And that meant going down the
route of buying one maybe in Germany and shipping
it over here. And I just got a bit scared and
thought, I won’t be able to sell it one day. So I’m with paddles. Once you’re up and running, they
are fairly impressive and the shift is fast. And actually, you do get into
a groove, just having your hands on the wheel. [INAUDIBLE]. But there are maybe four or five
important components of driving a car. And not having three pedals and
a gear shift to wrestle with, I feel I’m being denied
that percentage of the driving experience. Maybe I’m an old bastard, but
I feel it’s quite important and I miss it. Rides pretty good. I have to say I’d like to
have a soft [INAUDIBLE] with the fast gear change, and
you can’t separate that. You had to have a [INAUDIBLE] or 458 for them to
start doing that. Might have a button under there
to be able to override the function. But other than that, my biggest
problem here is how am I going to avoid doing too many
miles in it and making it worth about 20 pence at the
end of my ownership. That’s a pretty good problem
to have, though, isn’t it? And, of course, when you switch
all the stuff off, you can do this. It’s just lunacy. So I’ll drive it a bit quicker
now, and I’ll try and tell you what it’s like to drive this
car quite quickly. Second gear, almost can’t use
it in the UK fully open because it’s got so
much [INAUDIBLE]. I’ve got shift lights on the
steering wheel, which are quite helpful, because you can’t
look down at the rev counter when you’re on. Big car but the steering is
accurate so I can get it to where I want it to be. Listen to that noise. Oh, yes. It’s very neutral. And it’s strange. Even though your head tells
you this is a front-engine car, it doesn’t feel that way,
because it’s got so much traction when you just
[INAUDIBLE]. If you smash the throttle open
yeah, it’s a problem. It’ll just spool up. But if you feed it in it’s got
loads of traction and feels really well-balanced. It’s a physically big car
for the roads that I drive it on certainly. It’s much bigger than
I expected it to be. It feels kind of [INAUDIBLE] wide. The 512 is a smaller car, and I
think that’s a really clever development. The weight, over 1700 kilograms,
you can’t feel that because the car’s so agile. I’ve got lots of managing
settings down here to go from normal, to sport, to race. But really when it comes down
to it it’s about dropping a gear and overtaking stuff. Oh, yes. It’s just awesome. The motor, it’s smooth,
it’s responsive. But most of all, in my head,
it’s a D2 Enzo engine for the same money as a new
911 Porsche. That has to make it the bargain
of the century, doesn’t it? [ENGINE REVVING] So for my money, this is
the best value supercar on sale right now. It isn’t as pure as
the RS, but it’s something totally different. And that’s what I want from
car ownership, as many different experiences
as possible. [MUSIC PLAYING]