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Ferrari 612 Scaglietti PDF Print E-mail

Ferrari 612 Scaglietti

ImageThe Ferrari 612 is not to everyone?s taste; if you can say that about a Ferrari, but it is one of the more tasteful models in the current line-up. It is though, perhaps, predominantly aimed at the more mature enthusiast than the out-and-out racer in us all.

Styled by Pininfarina, the Turin-based design house that is a long-time collaborator of the Ferrari marque, the 612 is the first all-aluminum V12 Ferrari. It is also slightly more than a 2+2 tourer; it is a genuine two-door, four seater.

Grand Tourers are a real Ferrari tradition, building its first 2+2 12-cylinder model in 1948. Subsequent Ferrari Grand Tourers followed, including such famous models as the 250 GT from 1960, the 330 GT in 1964 and probably the best of all, the 365 GT from 1967.

ImageThe predecessor of the 612 Scaglietti was the 456M, which although good and offering stunning performance, was never going to be a classic.

Named in honor of the Modena stylist and coachbuilder Sergio Scaglietti, who excelled in sculpting aluminum, and who was responsible for the bodies of some of the most beautiful Ferraris of the 1950s and 1960s, the 612 represents everything that is exceptional about Ferrari GTs.

The beautifully engineered V12 displaces 5,748 cc and produces a staggering 540 bhp (397 kW) at 7,250 rpm, an engine speed that produces a delightful low-pitched growl rising to a scream as the revs rise. Maximum torque, as befits a Grand Tourer, is a stump-pulling 588 Nm. The power output, incidentally, is almost 100 bhp up on the 456M.

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While these figures mean that the car will move around effortlessly at low revs, the fun is to be had by operating the steering wheel-mounted paddles and changing down one or even two ratios for immediate acceleration.

Performance, needless to say, is stunning: 0-100 km/h, always the benchmark figure in any car, is down to just 4.2 seconds. Maximum speed is listed as 320 km/h but quite where you would achieve this is hard to contemplate.

The aluminum technology employed in the spaceframe chassis and bodywork, which proved such a success in the V8 360 Modena, results in a huge increase in overall bodywork efficiency, or the weight-rigidity ratio. The light but stiff aluminum construction also offers other benefits, notably in terms of performance, comfort and safety. Its light weight contributes to acceleration, braking, handling and the driving dynamics of the car.

The layout of the drive train, with the engine mounted behind the front axle and driving the rear wheels, ensures a near-perfect weight distribution of 46% front, 54% rear, an impressive achievement in any front-engined four-seater.

Getting in and out of two-door vehicles can often be a trial, but a clever hinge in the front seats means rear seat passengers have no problem accessing their seats. For the driver, a simple switch lowers the front seat and its headrest, as well as tilting the steering wheel. The seats themselves are finished in sumptuous leather, with three memories incorporated into the electrically-operated driver?s seat that re-adjusts the seat and exterior mirrors. Legroom is generous, front and rear, and comfortably exceeds that of the 456M. Headroom is also improved, while the dashboard is inevitably classic Ferrari: simple but effective.

Driving the 612 is exquisite: the lovely V12 responds instantly and the brakes are fantastic. If there is a problem, it is to remember that it is not an automatic; when you come to a stop at lights or in traffic, you have to apply the brakes, otherwise it rolls backwards. And you feel extremely stupid in a multi-million baht GT car ?

A superb motorcar with all the pedigree of Ferrari?s previous GTs and one that deserves its own place in the marque?s history chapters. Absolutely outstanding.

 
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© 2018 Jeff Heselwood. All rights reserved.
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