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It’s Official: Ferrari Names New Supercar the F12

Forget the 620 – but it’s still the most powerful Ferrari ever.

by on Feb.29, 2012

The Ferrari F12 will be the maker's fastest and most powerful production car ever.

One thing about a Ferrari, it’s able to make a fast turn, and apparently that applies to the Italian automaker itself, which has delivered a surprise today, announcing that its newest supercar will be named the Ferrari F12, rather than the 620 as widely reported.

One key detail hasn’t changed, however: the new super GT will be the fastest and most powerful automobile ever to wear the prancing pony badge.  Its 6.3-liter V12 will be able to launch the Ferrari F12 from 0 to 60 in about 3 seconds – with a top speed of more than 210 mph.

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The replacement for the Ferrari 599 will land in an increasingly crowded supercar market that will feature the likes of the new McLaren MP4-12C and the Lamborghini Aventador, so the opportunity to deliver anything but extreme performance will be minimal.


First Look: Ferrari 458 Spider

Maker offers a tease before Frankfurt unveiling.

by on Aug.23, 2011

The new Ferrari 458 Spider gets a folding hardtop roof.

The Frankfurt Motor Show is still nearly a month away but we’re already getting a good hint of what’s to come at the most important European car show of the new model-year – including this first look at the Ferrari 458 Spider.

As its name suggests, it’s a drop-top version of the current 458, though Ferrari has opted for a folding hardtop design, rather than conventional canvas – and, in something of a surprise the Italian supercar maker claims that strategy actually saves a full 55 pounds.  More typically, metal fold-ups, like those found on a BMW 3-Series cabriolet, are the heavier option.

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Even with the origami metal, the Spider weighs in about 100 pounds more than the conventional Ferrari 458, adding about a tenth of a second to its 0 to 100 kmh time, which remains a still-impressive 3.4 seconds.  As for top speed, the 458 Spider will hit 198 mph compared to 202 for the standard 458.


McBlog: The Nicest Car I Ever Had

Meditations on the merits of Ferraris, Porsches and Colt Vistas.

by on Mar.21, 2011

Beauty is clearly in the eye of the beholder. But what does our columnist find so appealing in the Colt Vista?

“I think this is the nicest car you ever had,” my mother said to me from the passenger’s seat. Her eyes, still a snapping dark brown in her late 80s, choked off my emergent laugh though that’s the response the remark deserved.

After all we were not in my Porsche, my Alfa, my Lancia, my Ferrari – cars I had owned serially over a few decades. We were not even in the MG-TC in which she had shared an at-limit dart up Mt. Diablo — clinging tightly and smiling broadly though precariously exposed to traffic in this right-hand drive roller skate. Nor were we in the semi-rally-prepped Mini Cooper in which we toured a newly opened-to-foreign-traffic USSR in the mid-1960s.

No. The car she had proclaimed to be my “nicest” ever was a white Colt Vista. Colt Vista! A minivan-tall-station-wagon sort of vehicle that was badged a Dodge and imported in limited numbers when Mitsubishi and Chrysler had some sort of patty-cake relationship.

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Instead of laughing I set to musing about what is it that earns a car the “nicest” title.  I realized that the Colt Vista restored to my mother some fading independence. She did not need my help to get down into it or up out of it like she did in my sportier machines. (SUVS, with their demand for a Sherpa gene to ascend, had not yet invaded the marketplace.) The Vista door opened wide and stayed there yet at least a part of it could be reached while seated to pull it to. The car seat matched her seat height. She could simply turn, plonk down then swing her legs over the low sill. Voila! In.


First Look: Ferrari FF

A practical Ferrari?

by on Mar.01, 2011

Ferrari goes practical with the new FF.

A practical Ferrari?  If the very concept doesn’t scare you off, read on for more about the Italian automaker’s newest offering, which is making its world premiere at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show.

There will be plenty who view the new Ferrari FF as an oxymoron, no doubt.  But there’s no question the maker from Maranello wanted to do more than just evolve the outgoing 612.  Instead, it has come up with a wagon, er hatchback, er shooting brake.  Well, expect a lot of different descriptions to apply to what might be thought of as Ferrari’s interpretation of the Porsche Panamera.

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While the looks might take a while to grow on you, the new FF otherwise lives up to its pedigree.  It’s the most powerful 4-seater the Italian marque has ever produced, a direct-injects 6.3-liter V12 under the FF’s long, low hood, churning out 651 horsepower and 504 lb-ft of torque.  You’ll see 60 in less than 3.7 seconds, Ferrari claims, on the way to a top speed of 208 mph.


First Look: Ferrari FF

AWD offering from the prancing pony replaces Scaglietti 612.

by on Jan.21, 2011

Going where no Ferrari has gone before? The new 4-seat, 4-wheel-drive Ferrari FF.

We’ll skip the references to BMW’s quirky Z Coupe, of a few years back, and just note that the new Ferrari FF is a distinctive looking entry into the Italian maker’s line-up, one that is likely to generate some very polarizing opinions even before it rolls into showrooms.

The most powerful 4-seater the company has ever produced, the name is a double acronym, short for both Ferrari Four, and Ferrari Four-wheel-drive.

The replacement for the outgoing Scaglietti 612, the new Ferrari FF, says the maker, “represents not so much an evolution as a true revolution.”

That starts with the direct-injects 6.3-liter V* under the FF’s long, low hood, which churns out 651 horsepower and 504 lb-ft of torque.  You’ll see 60 in less than 3.7 seconds, Ferrari claims, on the way to a top speed of 208 mph.


First Look: 2011 Ferrari SA Aperta

Paris preview planned.

by on Sep.24, 2010

Only 80 of the 2011 Ferrari SA Apertas will be built.

The wait is over.  Ferrari is finally lifting the covers – quite literally – off the long-anticipated 599 convertible.

Unlike the recently-launched Ferrari California, however, the Italian supercar maker is opting for a classic soft-top for the 2011 Ferrari SA Aperta that will make its formal debut, next week, at the Mondial de l’Automobile – the Paris Motor Show for the French-challenged.

The maker is calling this “the most exclusive Ferrari ever,” a bit of hyperbole if one considers some of the low-volume models to emerge from Italy over the years.  Nonetheless, you’d better get ready to plunk down your cash quick if the Aperta appeals because only 80 will ultimately roll off the maker’s lines.

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And for an estimated 400,000 Euros – to start –you will get an essentially hand-made and completely customized 2-seater with a miniscule cloth top that folds away into a cubbyhole in the trunk.


Sneak Peek: 2010 Ferrari 458 Italia

"A tribute to Italy."

by on Jul.28, 2009

The 2010 Ferrari 458 Italia will hit 60 in less than 3.4 seconds.  It's also the first "mainstream" Ferrari to break the 200 mph barrier.

The 2010 Ferrari 458 Italia will hit 60 in less than 3.4 seconds. It's also the first "mainstream" Ferrari to break the 200 mph barrier.

The new products seem to be coming fast and furious from the folks in Maranello, these days.  Just as the new Ferrari California (reviewed today on reaches U.S. showrooms, the Italian automaker is giving us a sneak peek at the 2010 Ferrari 458 Italia.

Think of the new, mid-engined V-8 replacement for the F430 as “a tribute to Italy,” suggests Ferrari chief Luca di Montezemelo.

Your inside source!

Your inside source!

Scheduled for its public debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show, in September, Ferrari is providing not only an advanced look at the Italia, but some technical details suggesting this will be one serious performance machine.


First Drive: 2009 Ferrari California

Ferrari's first true "daily driver"?

by on Jul.28, 2009

Is the 2009 Ferrari California the first true "daily driver" to wear the prancing pony badge?

Is the 2009 Ferrari California the first true "daily driver" to wear the prancing pony badge?

Is it just me, or does the idea of driving a Ferrari every day seem like something of an oxymoron?

Friends with Spyders and Scagliettis and F430s are likely to pull them out to admire and maybe clock a few dozen miles, on the weekend.  But commute?  Take them to the grocery store?  Leave them in the movie theater parking lot?  Not a chance. At least not until now. But when the folks at Ferrari start describing the new 2009 California as a daily driver, they really mean it. And if you’re willing to risk a ding in the supermarket lot, you just might agree.

The launch of the 2010 Ferrari California has kicked off a little dust-up among those who’ve argued that it’s not quite up to the design standards of the brand.  There’s no question it’s a bit different from the likes of the F430 or the 612 Scaglietti, with some unusual touches, like the vertically stacked twin-double exhaust pipes, a layout Ferrari aerodynamicists came up with because it reduces drag in the rear wheel wells.

Faster than a speeding Ferrari!

Faster than a speeding Ferrari!

But to our eyes, it’s also an admirable attempt at homage to the original 250 GT California, which was produced between 1953 and 1964.