Ferrari - 550
The Ferrari 550 Maranello and 550 Barchetta were 2-seat Gran Turismo sports cars built by Ferrari. Introduced in 1996, the 550 was an upmarket front-engined V12 coupe of the kind not seen since the Daytona. It shared its platform and 5.5 Ltr (5,474 cc) engine with the 2+2 456 (Engine Code: F133) but was positioned as the company's highest-end model.
The car used a transaxle layout, with the 6-speed manual gearbox located at the back, in-line with the driven wheels. The model number refers to total engine displacement (5.5 litres) and the model name of Maranello refers to the town where the Ferrari headquarters are located.
Ferrari 550 Maranello V12
North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
The demise that same year of the F512 M left the company with only the exotic F50 and V8 F355 as mid-engined models. Although the 550 was a softer GT model, it did take the place of the F512 M as the company's upmarket coupe, discounting the F50 supercar. The 550 featured a luxurious and roomy interior. The (rear) trunk was tall and wide, though not very deep, and could accept a full set of golf clubs or standard overnight bags.
It also had performance to look up at, with a top speed at 323 km/h (201 mph) and a 0-100 km/h acceleration time of just 4.5 seconds. The 550 line was replaced by the Modificata 575 M Maranello in 2002. It was surprising at the car's launch that Ferrari had abandoned the famous mid-engined layout in favour of a front-mounted power unit, but this was quickly forgotten as the 550 soon established itself as one of the most desirable supercars of its era. It has been praised by magazines and testers all over the world.