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Future models - Ferrari - 575M - Superamerica

First look: Ferrari reveals drop-top 575M

New action: The Ferrari Superamerica has a production-first roof mechanism.

Ferrari's topless 575M, dubbed Superamerica, heads for LA and Detroit preview

3 Dec 2004

PLUCKING an evocative name from its mid-20th Century catalogue, Ferrari has stuck the Superamerica moniker onto its drop-top 575M Maranello that will debut in January at the LA and Detroit motor shows as the world’s fastest cabriolet.

The good news for Australians is that the local Ferrari has been allocated six Superamericas, but is plumbing to land up to ten examples here from the middle of 2005.

Like the topless 550 Barchetta sold here in 2001, it’s expected to attract a price premium of around 20 per cent over the $551,000 Ferrari 575M coupe it’s based on.

For the extra readies, Superamerica offers a production-first electric rearward rotation action for its carbon-fibre and glass roof that drops away in 10 seconds.

Tagged "Revocrimico" and co-developed with specialists Saint Gobain, the folding roof is also claimed not to diminish existing luggage space (something a Mercedes SL cannot counteract), which for the first time is enough to swallow the obligatory set of golf clubs.

What’s more, when in place, electrochromatic elements allow the rate of light to be adjusted to five levels in less than a minute, according to the sunshine intensity – just like a humble pair of light-sensing eye glasses.

The rest of the Pininfarina-penned Ferrari is pure front-engined 5.7-litre V12 575M Maranello – now with a top speed of 320km/h, the upshot of a power boost to 397kW at 7250rpm (up from 379kW).

Only 500 Superamericas will be made available globally, and with strong interest from well-heeled Australian collectors since it was revealed last week, Maranello Imports says it won’t take long for its quota to disappear.

* Ferrari’s facelifted 430 Modena will make its Australian debut at the Melbourne motor show in March, when it will go on sale as Ferrari’s eagerly awaited answer to Lamborghini’s popular Gallardo.

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