If ever a supercar deserved to be bought for its name alone the choice would surely be the Ferrari 575M Superamerica, a moniker resurrected from an earlier Ferrari glory era. This was an evolution of the Ferrari 575M Maranello that first appeared back in 2002.
A total of 599 Superamericas were produced from 2005, the number dictated by Enzo Ferrari’s enduring ‘make one less than we can sell’ mantra. Sell they did, for this stylish convertible benefitted from Ferrari’s return to the classic front-engined configuration, was technologically advanced, had too-good-to-be-true-but-I’d-die-for-one looks and just happened to be the fastest convertible on the planet.
The Superamerica wasn’t any old convertible, either, for it had Ferrari’s innovative electrochromic glass panel roof that allowed the driver to determine the amount of light that entered the luxuriously appointed cockpit, with five tint levels available that changed from dark to light at the twirl of a dial.
This unique roof could also be turned through 180° to lay flat over the boot when the moment to go topless arrived, using a patented mechanism that transformed the car from coupe to convertible in under 10 seconds. Meanwhile, the rear window remained in place to act as an effective wind deflector.
Exclusivity was further enhanced because the Maranello’s 5.7 litre V12 engine was tuned to deliver an impressive 540 bhp, which was transferred to the quaking tarmac with the help of an F1-style paddle-change or conventional gate-change six-speed gearbox. Handling is laser-sharp, acceleration rapid, roadholding tenacious and top speed . . . well, you may never get there.
When that lottery win comes along, don’t buy a Superamerica for the name alone, beguiling though it might be, but because this is one of the finest Ferraris ever to appeal to a devil-may-care millionaire.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
2005 (until 2006)
5,748 cc V12
Top speed of 199 mph (320 km/h); 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 4 secs
YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Even though the Superamerica was itself a performance-enhanced version of the 575M Maranello, it could be further boosted with the GTC package that added a retuned exhaust, carbon-fibre brakes, firmer springs and a larger roll bar.