Luck­y80get a su­per­car

A Fer­rari for the ul­tra­rich is a huge hit in Paris, writes Paul Gover

Herald Sun - Motoring - - On Road -

THE ul­ti­mate drop­top Fer­rari — an ope­nair 599— is the lead­ing con­tender for Car of the Show in Paris this week. But don’t think about buy­ing one. Only 80 cars are be­ing built and the SA Aperta is al­ready a sell­out to cus­tomers who have been wait­ing for as long as two years.

And be­cause the car is be­ing built only in right-hand drive, it’s not com­ing to Aus­tralia.

The Aperta, which takes its name from the Ital­ian word for open, is a cel­e­bra­tion of the 80th an­niver­sary of Fer­rari’s long-term de­sign part­ner­ship with Pin­in­fa­rina in Italy.

The SA tag comes as a salute to Ser­gio and An­drea Pin­in­fa­rina.

It is the first V12-pow­ered Fer­rari con­vert­ible in five years, though the Ital­ian brand is do­ing huge busi­ness now with the V8-en­gined, soft­fo­cus Cal­i­for­nia drop­top.

‘‘The last time there was a V12 con­vert­ible was the Su­peramer­ica in 2005,’’ Fer­rari spokesman in Aus­tralia Ed­ward Rowe says.

But the SA Aperta is not the only Fer­rari hero in Paris this week, be­cause the Cal­i­for­nia is go­ing hy­brid. There are no de­tails yet, but it will be some­thing spe­cial. It’s the same with the SA Aperta, even if the car is ridicu­lously ex­pen­sive — more than $600,000.

Fer­rari says it proves you can have a con­vert­ible that is as rigid as a sedan with­out any ma­jor weight penalty.

Just as im­por­tantly, Fer­rari prom­ises that each of the 80 buy­ers will be able to make their car unique with a near end­less com­bi­na­tion of colours and trims.

Un­like the Cal­i­for­nia, which has a clamshell top, the open-air 599 has an old-school fold­ing fab­ric roof. PIN­IN­FA­RINA, first the de­signer Ser­gio and then his com­pany, have been re­spon­si­ble for Fer­rari body­work since the 212 In­ter of 1952.

Among the more mem­o­rable de­signs for Fer­rari are the 250 GT SWB of 1959, the 365 GTB/4 Day­tona of 1968, the Dino 246 GT of 1968, the F40 of 1984 and the F50 of 1995.

It is also re­spon­si­ble for the lat­est 458 Italia.

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