The racing car is based on the original 550 Maranello road car's monocoque
chassis, but with almost every component modified. Despite this, Prodrive designer,
Peter Stevens, has kept the styling of the racing car faithful to the original Pininfarina
design, while ensuring that it will still perform on the track. The road car's original
1690kg has been trimmed down to 1100kg thanks to extensive use of carbon fibre
bodywork and lightweight components, while Prodrive has redesigned the V12
engine to increase power output from 485 bhp to more than 600 bhp. This gives the
racing car double the power to weight ratio of the road car, at around 550bhp/tonne.
With the necessary gearing, the Ferrari 550 GTO could easily exceed 200 mph
(320kph), instead, this power ensures the car's aerodynamics, including a
substantial rear wing, front splitter and rear diffuser, dramatically increase the
downforce and improve grip. The standard six speed H-gate gearbox is replaced by
a six-speed sequential box from Xtrac, while extra wide, 18 inch Prodrive P-WRC
wheels and AP racing brakes are housed within the increased front and rear track.
Braselton, October 5, 2001