Elegant, powerful, comfortable: the Ferrari 550 Maranello is a noble Super GT. It replaced the Ferrari 512M, the latest iteration of the legendary Testarossa. The 550 Maranello brought the V12 engine at the front, with the classic grand tourism layout. You can find beautiful exemplars fairly easily. Nowadays, buying a Ferrari is no longer pure gambling… if you deal with the best professionals.
History of the Ferrari 550 Maranello
Ferrari concentrates in the 550 Maranello all its savoir-faire and mastery of performance. The gearbox is perfect and the powerful 12-cylinder is a source of unforgettable sensations. This GT encourages you to travel far in the pure Grand Tourism style. Owners praise its usability and reliability. The current market is attractive as the car is still fairly recent (1996-2002), and it has not reached yet the “icon” status of its 60s and 70s siblings. For a similar price, you can find a 360 Modena powered by a V8. These 2 cars are not used the same way: the V8 is sportier, while the V12 is a GT. Surprisingly, maintenance costs are less expensive for the V12. But fuel consumption, tyres and brakes will cost more.
Ferrari 550 Maranello: 1996 – 2002
5 474 cm³
Manual 6-speed gearbox
1 690 kg
Max speed: 312 km/h
You simply need to remember the interior of the Ferrari Testarossa to measure the progress. The built quality is impressive, and the general style fabulous. The atmosphere in the cockpit is absolutely unique, mixing beautiful Italian leather and historical details. However, the quality of some parts is below average, and they do not age well.
Bodywork and structure
There is no particular issue with the general structure. You will need to be careful when inspecting the car to spot any sign of crash and repair. Parts are extremely expensive and each intervention will annoy your insurance provider…
This 12-cylinder is very reliable. Ferrari recommends an inspection and engine oil change every 20 000 km but we recommend to do a gearbox and engine oil change every 10 000 km. Major service should be every 3 years or 50 000 km. It will include timing belt replacement, gearbox oil change, air filter replacement, power steering fluid replacement and spark plug change.
Gearbox and Clutch
The 575 M Maranello replaced the 550 Maranello in 2002 and introduced the F1 transmission. It is the first time it is available with the V12. But the 550 Maranello is only available with the 6-speed manual transmission, and it is simply brilliant. It is fairly firm to use, but the gear ratios are perfect. As on every Ferrari, it is safe to warm the gearbox oil. You can plan a gearbox oil change every year. The clutch requires obvious attention considering the torque it has to handle.
Suspension and chassis
Fast and heavy, this GT will use its tyres and brakes quickly. These parts are not cheap and will need to be changed regularly. Also, we recommend you to look for a model with the Fiorano handling package. The level of grip when pushing the car is non-negligible. This kit offers shorter and stiffer springs, a more direct steering rack and special brake pads. Finally, the suspension is strong and solid and is not known to fail. You will need to plan a spring replacement every 50 000 km.
You simply need to pop the bonnet to check the identification plaque. Then, a quick call to any official Ferrari dealership can help you find the full history of the car.
Luxury Lifestyle Experts’ choice
A Ferrari 550 Maranello equipped with the Fiorano handling package with a clean maintenance history. Mileage is not relevant if the maintenance history is complete. As for any luxury sports car, ask for invoices. You can also ask for a car fitted with new tyres and brake pads, with discs in good condition. In terms of colours, we appreciate the 550 in classic red, or in more discrete colours such as silver and blue. Below is a video by Harry Metcalfe, who has owned 2 and done 50,000 miles in them.
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