Driving the Ferrari 575 Superamerica…
The Ferrari 550 Gran Turismo series was an instant hit with its front engine V12, delivering gobs of power and muscular good looks.
The series evolved into the 575M and later, the opened air 575 Barchetta, a car with a rudimentary soft top that wasn’t really meant to address the elements. At the end of the model run, Ferrari released this car, the very special, limited edition 575 Superamerica.
Superamerica comes from a Ferrari tradition in naming one-off or limited production cars with special names, in this case, taken from the famous 12 cylinder Superamerica cars built between 1956 and 1961.
What makes the Ferrari 575 Superamerica special is an electronically controlled Revochromico rotating hardtop that with a flip of a switch, rotates the roof to over and onto the trunk, to a lie flat position, leaving the owner with the ability to enjoy their car no matter the weather.
Pull down the locking handle, pull the little toggle switch on the center console, and voila, the roof rotates back and snugly flat into place in just 10 seconds.
As well, that rotating roof holds another trick; the transparency of the glass can be controlled by varying the amount of electric current running through it. From fully opaque to nearly clear in a matter of minutes is all controlled by a button.
The already monster 5.7 L 12 cylinder 575 motor was bumped up from 508 HP to 533 HP by reducing the back pressure to the exhaust system, and now that famous 12 cylinder note is so much more enjoyable with the top down.
Ferrari build sheets state the 575 Superamerica weight at 200 lbs. more than the coupe due to structural strengthening, but the added horse power makes up for the increased weight and the Ferrari 575 Superamerica accelerates from zero to 60 MPH in a scant 4.2 seconds with the F-1 transmission.
Billed as the fastest convertible in the world, at 199 MPH, it certainly lived up to the title.
Only 559 Superamericas were built, and their low production numbers and unique design make them very sought after by sports car enthusiasts.
Blending the romance of a convertible with the practicality of a coupe, the Superamerica is a truly rare collectible.