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This is THE review I've been itching to write, and as one of my friends here has recently reported on the Lamborghini, I'm taking my turn !!! Ferrari is one of the most evocative names in the world, but their cars are more refined in appearance, you have to be a very "in your face" person to drive a Lamborghini. A Ferrari is speed and elegance epitomised and embodies the ethos of it's founder Enzo Ferrari. Ferrari in this country is looked after by Ferrari U.K. (Maranello Concessionaires Ltd.) The web site is www.Ferrari.co.uk, and is well worth a visit by all car enthusiasts. The U.K. company was founded by Colonel R.J. "Ronnie" Hoare, a man of great vision who made the U.K. one of the largest markets foe Ferrari cars. Now, to diverge for a minute, Mike Hawthorn was Britain's first motor racing world champion, and on winning the 1958 title at the wheel of a Ferrari he concluded a deal with Enzo Ferrari to sell the cars in the U.K. At that time the road car was the glorious and infamous Ferrari 250GT, AND Mike Hawthorn displayed two examples at the London Motorshow, one of which sold !! Well, Colonel Ronnie Hoare eventually bought the second one. Hawthorn was killed shortly afterwards so Colonel Hoare approached Enzo Ferrari about becoming the U.K. concessionaire. Maranello Concessionaires Ltd was set up in July 1960, named after Ferrari's home town, and operated at first from a corner of Hoare's Bournemouth Ford dealership, F.English Ltd. 4 cars were sold in that first year !!! Today though, several hundred are sold. In 1987 the company was sold to TKM, which in turn was taken over by Inchcape, a company that operates in more than 20 international markets. There are now more than 5,000 Ferrari cars in the U.K. A Ferrari car is an instant classic, and wearing the famous black and yellow prancing horse badge continues the legend. The past Ferrari's are part of motoring folklore, and the curre
nt range comprises the 360 Spider, 360 Modena, the 456 GT GTA, 550 Barchetta and the one I am going to road test for you, the 550 Maranello. DESIGN. The car is Ferrari's interpretation of the 12 cylinder Berlinetta, and has a front mounted engine with a sporting personality. It is created by the designers wind tunnel, and needed 4,800 hours of wind tunnel tests to achieve a minimal sensitivity to side winds and minimal drag, in technical terms a Cd=0.33. The car is also a step forward in the aerodynamic development of the car underbody, and imparts excellent stability, structure and driving safety, and achieves such brilliant results with no mobile parts or added aerodynamic surfaces. A lot of care went into the front of the car with it's characteristic groove, air intakes and interior air flows. The body style for those unfamiliar with it, is that of a 2 door coupe. The Italian design house, Pininfarina, designed the body, and for this return to front engines by Ferrari the body is low and wide, with a large bonnet and cut-off tail, giving the instant impression of a great sports car. The design is fast and sinewy, and the roof is unusually light, with fine pillars which lower the optical centre of gravity. At the front the air intakes are positioned low down, with a narrow shape incorporating the foglights at either end. There is plenty more to add, but perhaps too technical for this review? INTERIOR. Obviously designed for maximum comfort in all conditions. The type and position of pedals are well chosen, the steering wheel position is perfect with a three-spoke design and two possible settings :- longitudinal and inclination in a 12degree angle. During my roadtest for you, I found that for a supercar, there was excellent leg and headroom and the driving position was perfect. The fabulous gearstick moved just where one wanted it, which I've found is a rarity in the more powerful Ferrari's. There is
also a large luggage shelf and good boot space. The seat has 8 settings, five of which are electrically assisted, being reach, height, seat tilting, lumbar support and squab rake. The squab has a rapid release for access to the rear luggage shelf. All the instruments are grouped at the field of vision centre, and the controls can be easily reached, and my passenger also claimed to have plenty of space. The car is equipped with a Sony radio and a CD changer which hold 6 CD's, being located in the boot, where the tool kit also resides, and has 6.5 cubic feet of space. An anti-theft system is combined with the engine management unit and activated by a radio frequency signal. Optional extras are a small wheel kit at £334.88; Luggage at £840.13 and Racing Seats a steal at £2,602.63. TECHNICAL. Length 179.13 in. Width 76.18in. Height 50.27in. Wheelbase 98.43 in. Front Track 64.25in. Rear Track 62.44in. Kerb Weight 3,726 lb. Tubeless Radial Tyres Front 255/40 ZR 18 Rear 295/35 ZR 18 Light Alloy Tank holding 25 Imperial Gallons. Engine 12 cylinders in 65 degree vee Bore and Stroke 3.46 x 2.95 in. Total displacement 334.0 cu.in. 5,474 c.c. Compression ratio 10.8:1 Maximum power at 7,000rpm 485 b.h.p. Maximum torque at 5,000 rpm 568.5 Nm. 4 overhead camshafts. Four valves per cylinder Injection/static electronic ignition Bosch Motronic5.2 PERFORMANCE Speed 199 mph 0-60 mph 4.3 secs. 0-1/4 mile 12.6 secs. 0-1 mile 30.9 secs. DRIVING IT The 550 Maranello is not the most expensive or valuable Ferrari, and it is not the most powerful or fastest road Ferrari either. Perhaps it doesn't sound the best either, but I can tell you, it is the best. The handling is absolutely brilliant due to technology not allowed in Formula One. The switchable, computerised ASR drive control
system, coupled with normal or sport suspension settings, give several different handling characteristics. You can either do powerslides or have oversteer !! If you turn the ASR on after doing that, and flick the other switch to sport, you can cover ground very, very rapidly indeed. The Maranello is magical, the steering is beautifully weighted, the six speed gearbox is wonderful and the power is awesome, even though I ended up 1 mph short of 200 !!!Forget the Viper, Cerbera or 911, get this one !!! For those interested , mpg figures on test varied from 7 to 13 miles per gallon. FINANCE I was going to close this review by detailing the 9 different finance schemes offered by Ferrari, along with all the insurance options, but as this has already become rather long, can you either contact me, or perhaps suggest whether I should include it. ?? Is there anything else you need ???
The 550 Maranello is not the most expensive or valuable Ferrari. As an individual model it has no history andunlike so many others of the marqueno race victories.It looks understated. The Maranello is neither the most powerful or fastest road Ferrari either. Nor does it sound the best. Butto usit's the best. For a supercarthere's excellent leg and headroom and the driving position is perfect. The glorious gearstick even moves when and where you want it - a rarity in the more powerful Ferraris. There's also a large luggage shelf and good boot space. There's certainly nothing wrong with the handlingthanks to clever electronics - of the kind disallowed in F1. The switchablecomputerised ASR drive control systemcoupled with normal or sport suspension settingsgive several different handling characteristics. You want leery powerslides? No problemturn off the ASR andwith even mild throttle at low revsin the dryyou're in Oversteer City. The 550's power is huge and can be provoked into either understeer or oversteer. You want to drive really swiftly? Turn the ASR back onflick another switch to "Sport" and the 550 covers ground quickermore easily and safely than you ever imagined possible. The Maranello's a magical drive; the steering is beautifully weighted and response so precise. The ultra-smooth V12 produces awesomeinstant power from low revs. It There's definitely nothing wrong with the 550 Maranello.
What a car! This is Ferrari's latest front-engined GT car. And what an absolute beauty she is! Elegant, stylish shape with fantastic innovation from those geniuses at Ferrari. Its driveability and comfort appeal to a wider market without compromising the awesome performance. Some critics ( How can you critisise this baby) dismiss it as 'too perfect for a Ferrari', but most consider it to be one of the world's greatest sports car. If you've got the cash, buy it. No hesitations because this is one of the best cars of all time!
Maranello is not only the name of the very latest Ferrari model. Maranello, at the foot of the Apennines, can also be considered at the Mecca of those passionate about cars, the Holy Land of all Ferrari lovers. It was from here that commendatore Enzo Ferrari sent out the red cars of the Scuderia Ferrari (Ferrari team) to win victories all over the world. And the racing cars of Maranello have won practically everything-even well before the ‘marriage’ between Michael Schumacher and Ferrari!! Maranello is also the name of Ferrari’s latest offering designed to make the heart of the enthusiast beat faster: the Ferrari 550 Maranello. This car was the 50th anniversary present of the high-class Italian marque. And the 550 is certainly the most beautiful Ferrari for a long time. Its predecessors were red and aggressive looking the air intakes of the 512 TR looked like chasms and the doors and wings were truncated. The Maranello is quite a different animal. Its lines are fluid and inspire respect. The aerodynamic perfection of the 550 makes any thick aileron or aggressive spoiler completely superfluous. It displays the purest aerodynamics, dictated by the rules of the wind tunnel and of design. The lateral air intakes of the Maranello, shaped like shark’s gills, are cut into the aluminium bodywork and the bonnet is adorned with superb louver. The whole thing exudes perfection! TECHNICAL DATA: Dimensions and weight: Length 4.55 m: width 1.93 m; height 1.27 m; weight 1690 kg; weight of the engine 235. Engine: Twelve-cylinder V-shape; bore x stroke 88 x 75mm; capacity 5474 cc; max. Torque 569 Nm at 5000 rpm; power output 485 hp (357 kW) at 7000 rpm. Performance: Maximum speed 199 mph; acceleration (from 0 to 60 mph) 4.4 sec!!!!!!!!!! With it’s front engine the,550 revives a very long tradition. This tradition had started with the first Ferrari whose twelve
cylinders were positioned in front of the driver. And some of the most beautiful Ferraris with ‘cavallino’ rampante the famous rearing horse company badge, were also powered by a front engine. Then came the era of the central engine and the aggressive models conceived not only for motor racing, but for the road as well.
Named after the place of its birth, the 550 Maranello oozes style, sophistication and most of all speed. Designed and build in maranello as all ferraris are it is yet another classic to add to Ferraris long list of successes. Its styling adds to the sports car image but with the added advantage of showing style and sophisitication. A rich mans car, of course this is, but value for money has never been of Ferraris concern. They breed thoroughbred racers which outclass every other sports car in the world. The Stallion has done it again