Ferrari’s greatest cars under Amedeo Felisa – Top Gear


5fifty Maranello (1996)

Ferrari’s range-topping V12 two-seaters were traditionally front-engined, until 1973’s 365 GTB4 Berlinetta Boxer belatedly moved the energy unit to the middle (the link to Formula One was and remains invaluable to Ferrari). The Testarossa that complied with in ’84 – however just recently re-embraced by Seventies youngsters along with many disposable – stuck to the format, however the 2 possessed tricky on-limitation handling ‘foibles’. 1996’s 5fifty Maranello – pray that Aston Martin doesn’t launch a automobile called Gaydon – moved the engine spine to the front, a reworked version of the 5.5-litre V12 in the 456, along with 478bhp and a 7000pm red-line.

“The large obstacle was devising a front-engined layout that functioned much better compared to the mid-engined configuration,” Felisa informed me spine in 2012. “however the actually large action ahead was the gearbox. The gearshift in a automobile along with the F1 transmission is so substantially much better due to the fact that it enables you to push the automobile as an entire considerably more. I was initially resistant, due to the fact that I was a minor bit afraid of wasting something characteristic of our cars. however it was quickly certain this was the way forward.” 

It was launched at the Nürburgring along with Michael Schumacher, midway via his very first period along with Ferrari, available to prove to off. Even with its dimension and weight, the 5fifty Maranello possessed the handling chops of a considerably smaller sized car. It additionally really felt exceptionally robust; Montezemolo demanded Ferraris clients could possibly in fact usage and rely on, and the ingegnere Felisa duly delivered.