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Discussion Starter #1
If you have information to share about the 550 Maranello - the first Maranello model, then please post it here. This thread is also meant for the 550 Barchetta.

I suggest to limit replies by a certain subject, such as engine, gearbox, exterior differences etc. Hopefully, through time, this will grow into a more encyclopedic knowledge database.

First off, a simple overview.


Onno



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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Overview

The 550 Maranello, released in 1996, was a return back to old values for Ferrari, being the first flagship model since the 365GT4/BB from 1973 that had an engine in front of the driver.

The clear directive from Luca di Montezemolo, then Ferrari's CEO, was to build a more useable and practical Ferrari, which at the same time rewrote the performance book. The basis for this car was the 456 which had come out in 1992 and which had proved a huge success as a 2+2. Keeping the sporty V8 of the F355 in mind as the third roadcar in production at the time, the 550 was designed to sit between the F355 and 456 in comfort, but to lead all three in terms of performance.

For this, the reliable 65 degree V12 456 engine was slightly altered using new intake and exhaust systems and in the 550 it delivered 485bhp with a redline of 7,700 rpm. Torque was a massive (at the time) 569nm, or 419lbs-ft. To harnass this power and using its Formula 1 knowledge, Ferrari introduced an electronic anti slip regulatory system (ASR) for the first time, which was switchable. The car also featured switchable damping, introducing a Sport mode for a more tightly dampened suspension. The Sport setting also influenced the throttle response to make the car more responsive.

The styling of the 550, by design house Pininfarina, divides opinion still, although a lot of observers feel it has stood the test of time. Whatever your opinion, it is an imposing car on the road without being in-your-face. In that sense, it was a very large departure from the Testarossa styling that it replaced, and this was clearly a direct result of Di Montezemolo's desire to make the car a daily driver for the rich and famous.

In 2001, to mark the 70th anniversary of Pininfarina, a Barchetta (italian for 'little boat') version was produced in (officially) 448 units. This version of the Maranello was identical mechanically, but had no roof to speak of.



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