Novitec Rosso has elected to not play with the MagneRide SCM setup and has opted for a switcheroo to a two-way adjustable coilover suspension. The solution is astoundingly happiness-inducing if you like a hint of hardcore at all times, but I do really like the SCM from the factory. Both the adjustable dampers and new denser springs come from KW and can set the 599 anywhere from 0.8 to 1.6 inches lower than what Maranello gives you. My car was set at the lowest level and I admit that it looks sufficiently badass. Drives badass, too.
Generally Novitec also hesitates to toy with wheel camber and steering caster, seeing as Ferrari certainly knows what it's doing in these departments. What Novitec has done, besides lowering everything nicely to get all the sprung weight more between the axles nearer their level, is switch out the standard wheelset, the standard being 19-inch front with 245/40 Pirelli P Zeros and 20-inch rears with 305/35s. Now the front wears 9x20 cast three-piece Novitec NF3s with 275/30 Pirelli P Zero Rossos, with 1.6 inches more track due to spacers, and the rear has 12.5x21s with 355/25s and the same 0.8-inch spacer behind each wheel. Again, the result is as you might imagine with noticeably crisper handling requiring a noticeably crisper pilot at the wheel.
All the Germans have touched on the interior is the steering wheel, F1 shifter paddles, and the pedal set. The Novitec Rosso Supersport steering wheel takes the Ferrari framework and bends it to be a flat-bottom unit coated in carbon fiber and velvety Alcantara. Meanwhile, the paddles for the F1-Superfast are now big and beautiful and carbon fiber--just as with the Maserati GranTurismo S paddles I couldn't stop caressing. They make shifting much easier in hairpins besides being sexually arousing. The entire pedal set is done in brushed aluminum and the form of the pedals is more pleasing to my choosy feet.
Outside the NR 599, fiberglass has had its way with a new front splitter, a new rear diffuser and splitter, new lower side panels rear of the door openings with larger intakes, and wider-looking side skirts. The lighting elements all around get the smoked treatment, too, so the package looks all one piece and, I repeat, badass. A rear wing can be ordered as well, but I would vote heartily against this unnecessary zit. All these bits and pieces can be ordered in carbon fiber as well at double the cost.
Stopping all of this show-and-go is surprisingly enough not the outstanding optional Ferrari CCM ceramic brake set from Brembo. But hardly willing to just dump on you with the standard iron discs at 13.9-inch front and 12.9-inch rear, Novitec Rosso installs its own tested and true Brembo performance set at 16 inches both front and rear with six-piston calipers all around and braided lines. The braking is awesome to go along with the awesome forward motion. Wouldn't change a thing, especially if it meant having squealing teenage ceramics while trying to sneak up on Clint Eastwood in the dark.
Speaking of which, the manettino on the 599 steering wheel has been toyed with just a touch so far as the exhaust flaps are concerned. In either the slippery or snow setting to the left, the tranny stays in lower-rev second gear while creeping along and closes the bypass valves to silence the whole while in crowded neighborhoods with hot-tempered citizens. Other software add-ons are 1.6-inch hydraulic front lifters, activated via a dedicated center console button, to help avoid expensive bruised chins.
The drive can only be described as sublime in its non-sublimity. The best strategy is to stay high up in the sweet zone between 6000 and 8000 rpm at all times. That's tough to live with every day, sure, but I can't see anyone driving this pit bull every day. Novitec Rosso has actually taken the 599 and made it much more of the car we all want all Ferraris to be.