NEW YORK – With a 3-year waiting list for the Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano at launch, buyers eager to get behind the wheel of one of these super speedsters will need lots of patience.

Only 250 units will be available for North American customers annually, says Maurizio Parlato, president and CEO of Ferrari North America Inc.

“We can’t increase production to get more,” he says.

Ferrari will assemble only 750-800 599 GTBs annually. North America, Ferrari’s leading market, will get 30% of that output.

The 599 GTB with a 6-speed manual transmission bases at $255,000. The optional F1 electronically controlled automated manual transmission adds $10,000 to the sticker.

However, Parlato says the average customer spends upwards of $30,000 for options, bringing the average transaction price for the car close to $300,000.

Ferrari launch activities were capped here by the completion of the Panamerican 20,000. The 20,000-mile (32,186-km) adventure was launched in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Aug. 24 and after 15 legs ended at the New York Stock Exchange.

Drivers sped over Argentine pampas and through 13,000-ft. (3,9624-m) Andean mountain passes. Then the cars were driven through Central American jungles and across Mexico before crossing various destinations in the U.S. and Canada.

“This car is the maximum we can do,” Luca di Montezemolo, president and CEO of Ferrari SpA, says.

The 599 GTB, successor to the 575 Maranello, was created with technologies that powered Ferrari to a half-dozen Formula 1 victories in the last decade. It is the newest car in a product portfolio that includes no vehicle older than 24 months.

The 3,718-lb. (1,686-kg), super-fast 599 GTB has a mid/front-mounted 12-cyl. engine that generates 611 hp and 448 lb.-ft. (607 Nm) of torque and redlines at 8,400 rpm.

Ferrari says 0-60 mph (97 km/h) acceleration takes just 3.7 seconds and top speed is at least 205 mph (330 km/h).

Massimo Fumarola, who was project director for the 599, says the actual top speed of the sporty 2-seater is unknown because Ferrari has not been able to find a track capable of fully testing the 599 GTB.

“We would like the 599 to be the next F40,” he says. During its production run from 1987-1992, the F40 was Ferrari’s fastest, most powerful and most expensive vehicle and still is considered one of the fastest street legal vehicles ever produced.

Above all, Ferrari wanted the 599 to generate a powerful exhaust note. The auto maker even hired a musician to help Ferrari engineers create just the right sound.

A wide range of leathers and woods are available for customers to choose from so that each car can be individualized to the buyer’s tastes. There are numerous standard features, including a Bose audio system with 11 high-performance speakers.

Introduction of the 599 GTB isn’t expected to boost Ferrari’s total sales this year.

Parlato estimates annual sales will remain near the 1,550 units sold in 2005. No increase is planned for the foreseeable future because Ferrari is determined to retain its exclusivity.

All Ferraris are custom-ordered, and no car is available sooner than 18 months from the time it is purchased from one of the 36 dealers in North America (including four in Canada).