Named after Ferrari’s ancestral home, the 1996 Ferrari 550 Maranello is a true return to its roots for the Italian Prancing Horse. While it was well known that Enzo Ferrari detested the mid-engine configuration for road cars, he relented to the pressure of his advisers who told him they could sell a lot of cars if they only made them. While that was true, Enzo Ferrari was more a fan of the traditional front engine, rear-wheel drive configuration, and the 550 Maranello was, at the time, its epitome. Personally designed by Sergio Pininfarina, the 550 Maranello pleasantly rounded, with a slightly bulging, elongated hood, a sharply raked windshield, and vents, scoops and curves in all the right places. Of course, it wasn’t all about style. The Maranello was fast. Insanely so.
At the heart of this silver beast is a beautiful, powerful 5.5-liter V12, producing an impressive 485 horsepower. With so many ponies crammed under the hood, it’s not surprising that the Ferrari 550 Maranello could reach a top speed of 199 miles per hour – 320 km/h! – and accelerate 0-60 in as little as 4.2 seconds.
The Ferrari 550 Maranello is a Ferrari; it’s not all about speed. It’s about the complete driving experience, and once again it doesn’t disappoint, with precise direction, perfect handling and excellent breaks. The 550 remained in production until 2001; almost 3,100 were produced in total.