Ever since I’ve been involved in the automotive industry and motor journalism –Maranello, the home of Ferrari, is somewhere I’ve been really keen on visiting. Thankfully
I was one of the lucky few invited to Universo Ferrari, the first exhibition dedicated to the world of Ferrari with a series of exclusive tours held in September on the Fiorano race circuit.
It’s an event long-awaited by customers, fans, media, and Ferrari enthusiasts. Universo Ferrari showcased the incredible history and glory of the brand.
When I landed in Milan, before heading to Maranello I was driven to Modena. It was my first time visiting this beautifully old and traditional Italian city. In Modena, we visited Museo Enzo Ferrari, a museum dedicated to the life and work of Enzo Ferrari – the founder of Ferrari. Dozens of Ferraris were on display including the world’s most valuable classic car – the 250 GTO from 1962, one of which famously sold for $US 48.4 Million US dollars (the highest price tag from any car in history). I found myself lost in history and admiring the cars from the 40s to today. This museum is heaven for Ferrari enthusiasts.
Maranello could be called ‘Ferrari Town’ – for every Italian flag flying there’s maybe ten Ferrari flags. All the restaurants, shops, and bars seem to have some sort of Ferrari theme, and the people hold a strong sense of pride for the brand.
In a large hall, we gathered around the SF90. This single-seater is currently used in Formula 1 by Scuderia Ferrari, the most successful Formula 1 team ever and this year celebrating its 90th anniversary. We watched a short film on the history of Ferrari racing including vintage clips of Ferrari crossing the finish line – first, of course!
In another large hall, we witnessed the unveiling of the newest V8 droptop… the F8 Spider, a spectacular show where a gleaming and well-lit yellow F8 Spider was driven onto a turning stage. It grabbed everyone’s attention. The retractable hardtop takes just 14 seconds to deploy or retract and can be closed or opened while the car is on the move up to 45 km/h.
The F8 Spider is the latest addition to a prestigious bloodline of open-top V8s which started with the 308 GTS in 1977. It has a herd of horses under the bonnet knocking out a whopping 710 horsepower at 8000 RPM and torque peaking at 770 Nm at 3,250 RPM. The engine itself is a further-developed version of the V8 that won the “International Engine of the Year Award” for four consecutive years (2016, 17, 18 and 19).
After the F8 Spider presentation, the seats we were sat on began to turn around – a cool feature that got everyone excited with clapping and whistling! It’s V12 Spider time. In a similar fashion to the F8 Spider, the 812 GTS was unveiled. She’s a beauty, but a monstrous one. After a presentation on the history of the Ferrari V12’s, I learned that there is history and heritage in the shape and design of the 812; it’s strongly reminiscent of the 250 GTO and 365 GTB4 – especially from a side profile.
With the roof down, the front-engine 812 GTS looks so elegant. More importantly, with the roof down, you can hear the V12 even better. The electric rear screen (wind stopper) makes the car truly useable with the top down, especially at speed. With the top up, it can be left open to hear the naturally-aspirated V12’s unique soundtrack. I do often wonder if anyone ever actually uses the radio when driving a Ferrari.
The 812 GTS is packed with a 6.5 liter naturally aspirated V12 kicking out 789 horses and 529 lb-ft of torque at 8500 RPM. It’ll do a 0-100 sprint in under 3.0 seconds, while 0-200 in just 8.3 seconds. Top speed matches that of the Superfast at 340 kmh.
For the first time in my time covering Ferrari events, they’ve launched two new awesome products in one show. Both of them remarkable. Now, when will we have them in Bahrain?
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