AW Vehicle Review - 2005 612 Ferrari Scaglietti

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, Apr 28, 2004.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Getting Big: But Don't Worry, The 612 is a real Ferrari

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    A tribute to 83-year-old Sergio Scaglietti, legendary sculptor of Prancing Horses, 612 is a practical Ferrari, one you can take the family along in. But don't worry. We ran it around Fiorano, and it was ultra fast, ultra balanced and incredibly light on its feet, a real Ferrari indeed.

    By WES RAYNAL
    Photos by Charles Best
    (17:49:37 April 27, 2004)

    On Oct. 12, 2003, Ferrari driver Rubens Barrichello won the season-ending Japanese Grand Prix. Teammate Michael Schumacher, who qualified way down in 14th in the rain, finished a lowly-for him-eighth. But that was all Schumacher needed to clinch his sixth F1 title, this time by a scant two points over Kimi Raikkonen. Juan Manuel Fangio's record of five world championships was broken.

    Half a world away in Maranello, where the Ferrari factory has stood since Enzo moved the company there from Modena in 1943, some 25,000 people gathered at 7:30 Sunday morning in the town square and in front of the Ferrari gates. Many were Ferrari employees and their friends, and they watched the Japanese Grand Prix live on three jumbo screens the company had set up for the occasion. The red-dressed throng drank plenty of libations and partied hard, well into the afternoon. To huge cheers, local hero Luca di Montezemolo (aka the Ferrari president) strolled to the gates to acknowledge the crowd, his three-year-old daughter perched on his shoulders. The place went nuts.

    They do this every year in Maranello for the F1 finale. Such is the grip-the Ferrari spirit, the mystique-the red cars have on those who craft them.

    These days their attention is on the company's latest creation for the road, the 612 Scaglietti, newest in a long line of classic, front-engine Ferrari grand touring coupes.

    The Pininfarina design studios penned the 612 Scaglietti
    , named for Sergio Scaglietti, who designed some of the best-looking Ferraris in the 1950s and '60s. Today the Scaglietti company stamps Ferrari's aluminum for the 360 line and the 612, 17 bodies and frames a day. The 612's scalloped sides were inspired by the 1954 375MM, shown at the '54 Paris show. That car was designed for film director Roberto Rossellini as a gift to his wife at the time, Ingrid Bergman.

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    The 612 replaces the 456. The 456 was one of the biggest Ferrari coupes ever, and the 612 is slightly bigger (five and a half inches in overall length, one and a half inches taller). In fact, at 193 inches long, it is the biggest Ferrari ever built, according to Frank Stephenson, Ferrari's chief designer. Stephenson says the 612 is likely the largest car the company will ever build.

    But the size has a payoff: The 612 is a true four-seater, with three inches more rear headroom than in a 456, for example. We tried a five-foot, 11-inch passenger sitting behind a six-foot driver, and nobody was cramped.

    "Traditional Ferrari GTs have been a compromise," said Ferrari's product strategy director Giuseppe Bonollo. "The back seats were always too small. We wanted this car to be able to handle four adults. We designed the car for the long journey."

    Put it this way: The car is big enough to give rides, and people will want rides.

    At 4100 pounds, the 612 actually weighs less than the 456.
    The aluminum body and aluminum space frame are similar to the 360's construction, a first for a 12-cylinder and a first for a front-engine Ferrari GT car. Company brass say the construction techniques improve the structure's stiffness 60 percent vs. the steel space frame under aluminum body panels in previous front-engine V12 Ferraris.

    The aluminum, four-valves-per-cylinder 5.7-liter V12 was modified for this car and is based on the 575M's engine. It develops 540 hp (98 more than the 456) and 433 lb-ft of torque, coupled to a rear transaxle. The V12 is mounted behind the front axle, giving the 612 a 46 percent front/54 percent rear weight distribution. "Moving the engine back helped with weight distribution, but also allowed us to do more direct intake ducts," said powertrain director Jean Jaques His, "and gave us better fluid dynamics as well."

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    Snow -snow!- was falling when we arrived in Modena for our drive, not the best circumstance for wringing out the latest quarter-million-dollar Ferrari. The first morning the weather was nasty enough to force us off the public roads, so we gave the Formula One team a break from testing and ran some laps on Ferrari's Fiorano test track.

    All the 612s Ferrari brought had the Formula One paddle shift, called F1A, the A indicating a full-automatic mode. The company says F1A will account for 80 percent of production. Along with full-auto, the paddle shift's other modes include sport-auto, manual and sport-manual.

    Around Fiorano we found the car a rocket ship, as you'd expect. Fiorano is a tight track, with really only one longish straight, so there was plenty of on-the-throttle-jump-on-the-brakes stuff going on. Throttle response is instantaneous, and the acceleration colossal right up to the 7600-rpm redline. The car will hit 62 mph in 4.2 seconds and run up to a 200-mph top speed. But that is only part of the point. The big, roomy Ferrari feels small, flingable, agile and light on its feet-a natural at being driven hard. With much of its weight well back and low, the car feels nicely balanced. The engine doesn't start to sing those beautiful Ferrari songs until you get it up above 4000 rpm. Then the noise is beautiful-one of the car world's great sounds-the engine a veritable animal.

    The 612 feels best above 100 mph, and easygoing, relaxed and composed approaching that speed. "We're just cruisin' here," the car seems to whisper. It all feels so casual.

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    The Formula One paddle shift will be in 440 of the 550 612s built, but we'd probably get a six-speed manual, as the F1A transmission is not all that smooth. The V12 is a lot more powerful than the engine in the 456, which the Scaglietti replaces.

    When we finally did venture onto the slushy public roads around Modena and Maranello, they were clogged with traffic. (It's a good thing, we thought, that we got that time in at Fiorano.)

    The chassis proves super rigid and there is good damping over rough road surfaces even while squat and dive are minimal. The car sails over imperfections in the road, comfortable and stable all the time, the seats supportive and grippy. The speed-sensitive power steering is light. Active suspension damping and stability control, plus traction control, all keep things nice and tidy. The aluminum suspension is a double-wishbone setup at both ends, and pushing the sport-mode button makes things more immediate: Throttle response quickens, the gears change faster, the suspension stiffens and the ESP kicks in later. Sport mode is actually the best, even for normal driving: The suspension firms up and body motions are controlled, yet the ride never gets too harsh.

    Though Ferrari says the F1A transmission's software was redesigned for smoother shifts, we didn't fall in love with it. Try as we might, we could not get that transmission to shift fluidly. It slammed from gear to gear on upshifts. Lifting the right foot slightly on upshifts helped a little, and the downshifts were nice and smooth. The shifts came quickly; they were just not the smoothest. Probably we just need more practice.



    The interior is a gorgeous mix of hand-stitched leather and aluminum trim, and it looked good on the pre-production prototypes we drove. Ferrari says the aluminum used inside, including the heat/vent controls and on the large air vents, is meant to underscore the car's structure. The large tach centers the instrument cluster, with a slightly smaller speedometer to the right. Small buttons on the steering wheel activate sport mode.

    The latest car to don the Prancing Horse goes on sale in September. Just 550 will be built a year. The United States will get 125 annually. Ferrari has enough orders for the next 18 months of production.

    Competitors? Ferrari officials turn up their noses at the notion there are any. But realistically, they had better be looking over their shoulders at the Bentley Continental GT, the Aston Martin DB9 and the Mercedes-Benz CL65. Expect to pay in the $250,000 range for the biggest Ferrari ever.

    Yeah, the 612 is a big car, no question. But that shouldn't concern you too much. It goes and handles like the real thing.

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    2005 FERRARI 612 SCAGLIETTI

    ON SALE: September Base price: $250,000 (est.)
    POWERTRAIN: 5.7-liter, 540-hp, 433-lb-ft V12; rwd, six-speed electrohydraulic manual
    CURB WEIGHT: 4100 pounds
    0 to 62 MPH: 4.2 seconds (mfr.)


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  2. Josepi

    Josepi HA HA, I CHANGED MY AV

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    Looks mighty phallic.
     
  3. We_Todd

    We_Todd I'm a naughty squirrel.

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    dead on front view... zee bumer lines...reminds me of 350z :hs:
     
  4. Josepi

    Josepi HA HA, I CHANGED MY AV

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    Reminds me of what...a 968?
     
  5. court-jester

    court-jester I love dykes

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    :bangled:
     
  6. Josepi

    Josepi HA HA, I CHANGED MY AV

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    [​IMG]
    ^^968^^

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  7. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    My kind of car. :o
     
  8. Josepi

    Josepi HA HA, I CHANGED MY AV

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    Don't get me wrong, I'd drive it! :bigthumb:
     
  9. Scoob_13

    Scoob_13 Anything is possible, but the odds are astronomica

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    Sooooooo hot, want to touch the heiny :o
     
  10. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    4.2 pampered seconds to 60 with two doors? I'm all over that!
     
  11. BLoG

    BLoG Scented Meat

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    If jarjar binks was a ferrari, he'd be that.

    575 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 612
     
  12. tkhov

    tkhov Perhaps the Pinnacle of Physical Perfection

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    :dunno:
     
  13. nissanpower

    nissanpower I :heart: PeyPey

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    That bitch is straight up sexy.
     
  14. DMClark

    DMClark Active Member

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  15. BLoG

    BLoG Scented Meat

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  16. jk

    jk Guest

    I actually saw that at the NY auto show. Sweet looking car, but damn 4100lbs?
     
  17. Hobie1

    Hobie1 No longer self-employed & now hating life

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    Taht's what I was thinking...
     
  18. waspride

    waspride Can't this wait till I'm old, can I live while I'm

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    but you can carry the wife and kids in it..:o
     
  19. BLoG

    BLoG Scented Meat

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    It's a luxury car, who cares how much it weighs? It's still 2000 lbs lighter than a bentley
     
  20. GReddy EX

    GReddy EX Guest

    wow that is an ugly design :hs:
     
  21. Rob

    Rob OT Supporter

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    :werd:
     
  22. Triad.:

    Triad.: OT Supporter

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    Fixed
     
  23. BenFer

    BenFer I've seen bigger OT Supporter

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  24. GReddy EX

    GReddy EX Guest

    :werd:

    and the 456 was a more handsome design than this one IMO... even with its age

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  25. MeAmEddie

    MeAmEddie My car goes Whooosh psst

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    I like it...its simple...which i like
     

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