V12 front, two seats, manual transmission, this is perhaps the best recipe for pleasure for a big GT…
back to basics
To replace the F512M, an evolution of the Testarossa, which already owes much to BB, Ferrari has completely overhauled its copy. No more mid-engined berlinettas, revert to the traditionally front-placed V12, the gearbox moves rearward, according to a formula started by the 275 GTB and then taken over by the 365 GTB/4 Daytona, including the 550 Maranello. worthy grandson aimed. More precisely, it also owes its architecture to financial reasons, as it derives directly from the 456 GT. It inherits (by shortening) the tubular steel structure and all the mechanics to which the aluminum body panels are glued. At 550, however, the V12 reaches 485 hp, allowing the declared top speed of 320 km/h; this is a high figure (Cx 0.32), achieved thanks to the good aerodynamic refinement of the bodywork. More aggressively designed than the 456, the 550 has its share of retrospective (including two side scoops reminiscent of the 275), able to generate downforce front and rear. Nice job! Launched in the summer of 1996, the 550 Maranello was well received despite its price: 1,180,000 F (currently €242,000). But the car is extremely homogeneous. In 2000, a Barchetta convertible version arrived, with a very steeply sloping windshield and a symbolic hood. While this limited series (1.4 million francs) was to be produced in just 448 units, in 2002 it became the 575M after 3,083 units of 550 were produced. Upgraded to 5.7 l and 510 hp V12, redesigned cockpit, enlarged brakes, optional F1 transmission, but it doesn’t quite convince because of its comfortable suspension. The optional Fiorano chassis corrects this error and will be included in the GTC kit available from 2004. And don’t forget the gorgeous Superamerica cabriolet, whose transparent hard top is flipped open. Only 559 units of the model, which was also presented in 2004, will be produced. The 575, of which 2,548 were produced at the end of 2005, was replaced by the 599 GTB.
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What is the price ?
The rating of 550 rose suddenly before falling, but has been on the rise for a year. It starts at 75,000 € and from 80,000 € you have a nice car with less than 70,000 km. Small detail, from 1998 the calculation of the financial power changes, it goes from 31 to 45 hp, so an extension of more than 5,000 € when you do the gray card… 575 cheaper, on the F1 box: 70,000 €. But when equipped with a mechanical box or GTC package, these elements combined see its price increase by at least 50% and exceed €200,000. As for Barchetta and Superamerica, expect nothing less than €275,000.
Which one to choose?
The very homogeneous 550 is logically preferable to the 575M F1, although it is better finished but not more reliable, poorly damped and equipped with a perfectible gearbox. But a 575M machine with Fiorano suspension will be a pick piece, but at least twice the price of a regular 550…