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New models - Ferrari - 612 - Scaglietti

Smoother Scaglietti now on sale

Lap of luxury: Facelifted 612 launches One-to-One options catalogue.

Order book opens for firmer, slicker-shifting, better-braking glass-roof Ferrari 612

23 Jun 2008

ALL FERRARISTI eyes are trained on this October’s Paris show unveiling of Ferrari’s all-new California convertible, the Prancing Horse brand’s first folding hard-top and first front-engined V8.

But just as it will aim at more “mature” buyers than its current the entry-level model, the hard-core mid-engined F430 coupe and Spider, so too will the facelifted version of the 612 Scaglietti V12 grand touring coupe attempt to command even bigger sums than its more powerful and higher-profile stablemate, the 599 GTB Fiorano coupe.

The upgraded 612 Scaglietti two-plus-two-seater, which borrows technology from the still-more-powerful 599 sports flagship, was first revealed at this year’s Geneva motor show, where it also debuted the Italian supercar maker’s new customization program named Ferrari One-on-One.

As such, expect the 2008 Scaglietti GT to come with not only the most extensive – and expensive - options list ever offered, but a pricetag well above the Scaglietti’s current $574,700 and more than the 599’s circa-$600,000 mark in Australia too.

34 center imageThe announcement of full official pricing for the “new” 612 is likely to be delayed beyond July 1 because of changes to the Luxury Car Tax. But Australian and New Zealand distributor European Automotive Imports, a subsidiary of Neville Crichton’s Ateco Automotive, has revealed indicative pricing that’s as high as $700,000, which it says is a reflection of the substantial increase in equipment and features.

The company took its first orders for the latest 612 at two private Australian customer events in Sydney and Melbourne earlier this month, when the first local example was air-freighted in from Europe to show potential customers.

First deliveries are expected to take place in early 2009.

Technically, more than four years after it debuted globally at the 2004 Detroit motor show (and almost three years after hitting Australia in August 2005), the replacement for the top-shelf 456M GTA coupe brings small but significant mechanical and equipment updates.

The most obvious of these are new “Challenge” 20-inch ball-polished alloy wheels wrapped around carbon-ceramic brake discs, which have been standard on all other Ferraris since October 2007 production.

Or perhaps it is the self-tinting electrochromatic glass panel that replaces the roof and darkens by reducing light by anything between five and 95 per cent - either automatically or at the touch of a button.

Biggest mechanical changes to the first ever 12-cylinder Ferrari to feature an all-aluminium space-frame chassis and body involve the transmission and suspension.

The latter now comes in the previously optional GTS tune and is claimed to provide greater control, sharper steering and “a more dynamic response to driver input”.

The 612 now matches the 599 with its F1 SuperFast gearbox, which is said to reduce gearshift times to just 100 milliseconds yet can also be smooth enough to befit Ferrari’s grown-up GT. It replaces the previous electro-hydraulic sequential clutchless system dubbed F1A.

There are no changes to the Scaglietti’s front/mid-mounted 397kW/588Nm 5.7-litre V12, an even more powerful 456kW/608Nm 6.0-litre variable valve timing-equipped version of which powers the more expensive 599 GTB Fiorano two-seater ($595,600).

The V12 is, however, now linked to the new transmission, upgraded braking system, the firmer suspension’s active damping function and the car’s stability control system via the steering wheel-mounted Manettino switch.

Mounted on the right spoke of the steering wheel, Ferrari says it allows the driver to select between system responses that best suit the prevailing road conditions or driving requirements. On the left spoke is a red starter button.

The 612’s vital statistics continue to include 0-100km/h acceleration in 4.2 seconds, a 320km/h top speed, combined fuel consumption of 20.7L/100km and average CO2 emissions of 475g/km.

Finally, the new One-on-One customer personalization program, which was introduced globally with the facelifted Scaglietti at Geneva in March, includes too many options to list here.

A small snap-shot includes is the choice of four leather types, carbon-fibre or burnished aluminium choices for the doors inners, different leather options for four dashboard fascia zones and six different leather seat stitching patterns plus piping options.

Dubbed Ferrari Atelier, a special new automotive tailoring studio at the Maranello headquarters can now be used by customers to, for example, select different types of leather finishes for the 612’s boot, to either match or contrast with the leather type and stitching of their six-piece leather suitcase set.

Ferrari says it will match any interior trim or exterior paint colour provided to it by a customer.

“These mechanical and drivetrain changes make the 612 a more nimble, dynamic car to drive, which enables 612 owners to use their Ferrari in a wider range of road conditions and ensure that the 612 retains and enhances its position as the ultimate grand tourer,” said the general manager for Ferrari in Australia and New Zealand, Kevin Wall.

“Significant though they are, these changes are but the beginning when it comes to the changes made to the 612 for 2008.

“The changes to the Ferrari 612 and the launch of the One-to-One program enable it to stand head and shoulders above its rivals for performance, style, technology and a level of exclusive personalisation that is nothing short of unique.

“The 612 remains what it has always been: the ultimate grand tourer, a car that seamlessly blends ultimate performance with luxury and ease-of-use to produce a car of extraordinary all round capability,” said Mr Wall.

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