The V12 GTs
WHEN IT CAME TO THE V12 CARS, Ferrari had implemented the big changes a few years before evo came to be. We’re now used to Maranello’s big-banger GTs having their V12s sitting well back in the nose rather than behind the seats, but even when the 575M Maranello was introduced in 2002, it still felt odd not to have a flat-12, Testarossa-shaped flagship for the series-production range.
The 550 of 1996 was a mellow machine, and the 575 continued that vibe, albeit with more power (508 versus 478bhp) and the option of an F1 paddleshift gearbox. The early cars proved to be considerably quicker than the 550, but also a bit at sea damping-
Wwise. There simply wasn’t enough support, so the 575 tended to scrape its belly through big compressions. The subsequent Fiorano Handling Pack addressed the issues and the 575M belatedly found its feet. We weren’t fans of the F1 ’box – though more potent, the 575’s demeanour still better suited a stick – but things would start to change with the 575M HGTC. This car brought some aggression to Ferrari’s V12 proposition. It was great to drive and eye-wateringly expensive, but nothing compared with what was to come.
The 599 GTB Fiorano of 2006 was a bruiser of a car. One powered by a 611bhp derivative of the Enzo’s V12 and mated to what at the time was the best paddleshift ’box around. Then there were the newfangled magnetic