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Now that the new 612 Scaglietti model has been launched, Ferrari is upping the pace for the development of the 360 Modena replacement.

Ferrari's new mid-engined "mainstream" sports car is expected to debut in 2005. Reliable information on the technical specifications of the newcomer is still scarce, but it is believed that it will be powered by a 4.2-liter V-8 engine, not a V-10. Hence, it is dubbed the "420 Modena" or "420 Fiorano."

The development of the 360 replacement has been infinitely more troublesome than could be to the company's liking. The appearance of the Lamborghini Gallardo sent top Ferrari management and engineers alike back to the drawing boards, and the 360 replacement program in Maranello ground to a halt. Not long after work had started again on the project, a fire devastated offices and workshops in Ferrari's development department in March 2004, damaging a number of invaluable prototype vehicles.

The spy shots show a few exclusive details of the new vehicle, including flared front wheel arches and improved rear wheelhouses, which leave more room for larger wheels and an increased track width at the front and rear axles. The lateral air outlets in the front bumper have been enlarged to supply more air to the new 4.2-liter engine. At the rear, the prototype features a new bumper with smaller, dedicated openings around the exhaust pipes and a modified diffuser.

Initially planned as a mostly technical freshening, the 360 Modena replacement project now seems to have become no less than a new vehicle, which also could include the introduction of a new Spider with a folding hard top in 2006.

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