Driving The New Ferrari 612 Scaglietti
July 03, 2009 - Hong Kong
Simon Clarke puts a revamped Ferrari Scaglietti through its paces
Ask anyone to name the most desirable sports cars in the world and chances are they will say the "F" word.
To most, the Ferrari name inspires thoughts of racing, glamor, exotica and prestige – all of which the 612 Scaglietti has in spades.
The 612 Scaglietti, (that’s six litres, 12 cylinders) bares the name of Sergio Scaglietti, one of Ferrari's favourite coach builders of the past, and follows a long tradition within the legendary Italian company of producing a four-seater, (or 2+2) Grand Touring car.
The 612 is completely hand built and very high-tech. Despite being quite large, Ferrari's use of aluminium alloys throughout results in a machine that is very strong, very fast and very lightweight.
This particular version of the 612 has an extra helping of Ferrari hot sauce – the HGTC.
This is Ferrari's special race and track options package, which includes additional trim, 19-inch race wheels, carbon ceramic brakes and a full sports exhaust system.
Most importantly, it has a modified engine and gearbox software package that offers super fast gear changes and very aggressive delivery of power from the enormous 540-brake horsepower V12 engine.
On the inside, the car's interior is elegant, perfectly hand made, and surprisingly spacious.
In fact, this is not so much a 2+2, but more of a proper four-seater with loads of leg and head room for all passengers.
On heading our for a drive, my first impressions were of a very refined, comfortable and almost relaxing drive at normal speeds, thanks mostly to the 'active damping suspension system'.
This is no mistake by Ferrari; after all this is a car built for the very grandest of touring. But touring in a car like this is less than half the story, and I wanted to find out more about that 'Ferrari hot sauce'.
Pressing down on the accelerator, it was no longer just a pleasurable, comfortable sports tourer, but had become a Ferrari masterpiece.
It transforms into a lightweight, nimble racing car with more grip and cornering ability than any mortal man should ever dare to use.
This is made possible through some very clever suspension geometry, which stops the car rolling around under breaking and acceleration, and keeps the car flat and true to the road through the corners.
The heart and soul of any Ferrari, however, is always the engine. Step down hard on the 'fast' pedal and the car sits down squat, gives you an almighty thump in the middle of your body, wrenches your head back and sends the world in front of you into fast forward.
The music produced by the sports exhaust system is beautiful and violent, like the wind section from the devil's own orchestra.
Take your foot off the accelerator, and the exhaust note changes to that of contained thunder as unburnt fuel on the over run detonates in the hot exhaust with a 'pop' and a 'bang' – simply magical.
The immense power produced by the six-litre engine is capable of pushing this car to a speed of almost 200mph, and with power like that on reserve, no straight piece of road lasts for very long.
Thankfully, this car can stop just as well as it goes and with a sharp stab on those carbon ceramic brakes the world returns to normal speed and the car is instantly transformed back into Grand Touring mode.
With the 612 Scaglietti, Ferrari have produced the perfect example of a car that can be easily used for day to day driving, but with a touch of the hot sauce, becomes a racing car that lives up to the Ferrari name.
With thanks to Italian Motors Hong Kong.
report, luxury car, Ferrari