Scaglietti replaces 456GT as the "family man's Ferrari". When Ferrari
the 456GT in 1992, it had virtually no competitors to fear of. Today,
market environment has changed a lot. 612 Scaglietti has to fend off
competition from Mercedes CL65 AMG, Bentley Continental GT and Aston
DB9, all are very fast cars and 2 of them even out-power the Ferrari.
can Ferrari respond?
612 Scaglietti has to shine in what Ferrari is famous of - fast, sporty
to handle and beautiful to look. On the other hand, it has to
with high level of comfort and easy going manner you had never heard
a Ferrari. This task was given to the proud engineering team at
and Pininfarina's chief designer Ken Okuyama.
might remember Ken Okuyama, whose creations include Ferrari Enzo and
Quattroporte. Like these two, his work for 612 received mixed
From some angles, such as from the side or rear quarter at ground
it looks sleek and handsome. However, from higher angles and from the
its long bonnet seems unbalanced. There is some bulkiness rarely found
in Ferrari's designs.
to be fair, the 612 is rather difficult to design, because Ferrari
the Pininfarina design to enclose a spacious cabin (hence tall roof and
no fast windscreen / rear screen angles) and a very long engine
for better weight distribution. The sacrifice in styling pays off in
space: never in Ferrari's history had it produced a real 4-seater
of sitting 2 six-footers comfortably behind another 2 six-footers, with
abundance of headroom and legroom in reserve. This is the first ever
family car !
cabin is well finished with alloy decoration and leather like other
Seats are comfy and supportive. The instrument reading consists of
and a LCD screen like Enzo - it's no beauty but functions effectively.
At least 80% customers will choose the paddle shift F1A transmission,
shift quality is once again refined. Undoubtedly, Ferrari paid a lot of
attention to the comfort and refinement of this car.
612 is a Moby-Dick kind of Grand Tourer. It measures 17cm longer than
3.7cm wider, 4.4cm taller and have a Mercedes S-class-rivaling 2950mm
Such a large machine requires aluminum spaceframe chassis and aluminum
body to keep weight down. Like 360 Modena - Ferrari's first production
aluminum car - its chassis and body is made at Scaglietti, now fully
by Ferrari. This also gives it the name "Scaglietti". Fully dressed up,
the 612 weighs 1840kg, slightly heavier than the early 456GT.
the most remarkable thing is weight distribution. Maranello's
is to make its front-engined GTs rearward-biased, in contrast to many
car makers which (incorrectly) claimed 50:50 were the best for FR cars.
In theory, a slight rearward weight bias should give the car better
at the rear wheels, reduce understeer and sharpen steering response, so
I can't agree more with Ferrari. Maranello's first effort was shown in
Maserati Quattroporte, whose 47:53 weight distribution beat Mercedes
SLR's 49:51 just a few months ago. By using an extra-long wheelbase,
the engine completely behind the front axle line, moving the cabin
and using transaxle gearbox, the 612 sets another incredible record:
the other hand, the 612 also shines in other performance indicators,
as center of gravity (20mm lower than 456GT), polar moment of inertia
mass contains within the wheelbase, compares with 70% in 456GT) and
chassis rigidity (60% up from 456GT). All these data should guarantee
handling over its rivals.
the road, 612 Scaglietti sets new standard for Grand Tourer dynamics.
is the default mode for its F1A transmission, adaptive damping and CST
(traction and stability control). In this mode, the car rides supplely,
absorbing road irregularities like luxurious saloons. The tradeoff is a
fair degree of body roll, so you'd better to switch to "Sport" mode
In "Sport" mode, body control is great but ride comfort actually loses
very little. It still smoothens the ground much better than Bentley
GT and Aston Martin DB9 (and by the way Maserati Quattroporte), which
amazing ! look at the high-profile tires and you know how serious
is to make the 612 ride smoothly.
steer it. The speed sensitive steering occurs to be very light at
then as you turn it towards either side, it weighs up beautifully, and
the car steers accurately into corners. Despite of the huge body, it
your commands like no other GTs (though DB9 is close). So responsive,
nimble, so communicative through the steering and pedals. Some Ferrari
traditionalists might dislike its light steering, but in reality it
no feel and accuracy, so what can they blame? Undoubtedly, 612 is the
driving Ferrari ever, but it is also a true Ferrari in terms of
F1A transmission is another thing worth praising. We have been
by all the previous Ferrari paddle shift systems, but the latest
finally sorted out the problems. Shift quality is easily the smoothest
ever, just shy of Audi's double-clutch transmission and a real
Now it is no longer a minus point.
last we finally comes to the heart of the car. The 5748cc 65-degree V12
last evolution of the Tipo 133 V12 which powered 456GT, 550 Maranello
575M. It seems to be a pity that the next generation variable-timed V12
from Enzo is not available yet in this car. However, remember that the
Tipo 133 V12 used to enjoy overwhelming praise from car enthusiasts and
now it has received a final power boost from 515hp to 540hp, then you
never be disappointed. The power boost is achieved by a slight increase
of compression from 11.0:1 to 11.2:1, a lower back pressure exhaust and
a smoother, longer intake duct made possible by the rearward
of the engine.
effective noise insulation, the V12 is surprisingly quiet under
Above that, it starts to sing sweetly. Its mechanical noise sounds
than Lamborghini's V12. It revs freely like without any inertia,
out maximum efficiency at 7250rpm. 12 years old it may be, it is still
a great engine by any standards.
a top speed of 196mph-plus, 0-60mph in 4.1 seconds and 0-100mph in 9.1
seconds, 612 Scaglietti is undoubtedly super-quick. However, it can no
longer claim to be the fastest 4-seater in the world. Mercedes CL65AMG
uses its 612 horsepower and 738lbft of torque to do 0-100mph in 8.9
Fully de-restricted, it can top 208mph.
compare with Ferrari 612 Scaglietti, that car is just a joke -
at one area, handicapped at all others. All things considered, 612 is
the best 4-seater GT in the world.