Full 2006 Ferrari 612 Scaglietti Review
What's New for 2006
Introduced just last year, the 612 Scaglietti continues unchanged into its sophomore year.
Ferrari has a long history of offering V12-powered, 2+2 gran turismo coupes. For a variety of reasons, however, models like the 365 GT 2+2, the 412 and, more recently, the 456M, have never been as popular as the company's two-seat sports cars. But that hasn't deterred Ferrari; last year the company rolled out the four-seat 612 Scaglietti as a replacement for the 456M. Although designed by Pininfarina, the 612 pays homage to Sergio Scaglietti, an Italian coachbuilder responsible for designing many popular Ferraris from the '50s and '60s, including the 250 GTO.
The 612 Scaglietti is powered by the latest evolution of the V12 used in the discontinued 575M Maranello. More significant, though, is the 612's all-aluminum space frame and body-panel construction, the first for a V12 Ferrari. At 4,056 pounds, the 612 is no lightweight, but it's still 600-1,200 pounds lighter than competitors like the Mercedes-Benz CL65 and the Bentley Continental GT. The Ferrari's V12 is mounted rearward enough that the 612 can be considered a front-midengine car and as a result has a 46/54 front/rear weight balance. Ferrari claims that 85 percent of the car's weight is between the axles.
Though the decision to give the 612 a front midship design has led to somewhat awkward proportions and styling, there's little doubt that Ferrari's focus on weight reduction and handling balance has been beneficial. Indeed, the 612 is the sharpest-handling coupe among already heady GT-oriented exotics like the Aston Martin Vanquish and Bentley Continental GT. This is arguably the 612's greatest advantage.
True, it doesn't have the latest techno toys like the Benz, the sexy bodywork of the Vanquish or the royalty-suitable interior trimmings of the Continental GT. But when it comes to driving, the 612 is our top choice. That it happens to be able to seat an additional two people in relative comfort is just an added bonus. Unfortunately, the 612 Scaglietti, in traditional Ferrari fashion, happens to come with a rather bracing price tag. As such, only a select few will get to enjoy this fantastic grand touring exotic coupe.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2006 Ferrari 612 Scaglietti is a two-door exotic sport coupe that can seat up to four people. Only one trim level is offered. Standard equipment highlights include HID headlights, 18-inch front and 19-inch rear wheels, 245/45ZR18 front and 285/40ZR19 rear performance tires, an adaptive suspension system, a power-closing trunk, heated exterior mirrors, automatic dual-zone climate control, power front seats and a Bose audio system with a trunk-mounted six-disc CD changer. Optional features include rear park assist, a radio navigation system, Bluetooth wireless connectivity, heated front seats, a space-saver spare tire kit, run-flat tires and a six-piece fitted leather luggage set. Prospective 612 buyers can also request special exterior paint colors and additional style-oriented changes.
Powertrains and Performance
The 612 Scaglietti is equipped with a 5.7-liter V12 that develops 540 horsepower at 7,250 rpm and 434 pound-feet of torque at 5,250 rpm. The engine's power is sent to the rear wheels by either a traditional six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed "F1" transmission. The F1 is a computer-controlled, electrohydraulic manual transmission with an automated clutch. Drivers can choose a fully automatic shifting mode or manually select gears via steering-wheel-mounted paddles. According to Ferrari, the 612 Scaglietti is capable of sprinting from zero to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds and hitting a top speed just shy of 200 mph.
Beyond government-mandated safety equipment, the 612 Scaglietti comes with ABS, traction control and stability control. Side airbags aren't available.
Interior Design and Special Features
Though Ferraris typically sacrifice some comfort in exchange for maximum performance, the 612 Scaglietti breaks with tradition by being the most luxurious and accommodating Ferrari in recent memory. High-quality leather upholstery and aluminum trim are used throughout the cabin. Drivers can control the car's many interactive systems via small, intuitive buttons mounted on the steering wheel. Accessing the two rear bucket seats isn't exactly easy, but once situated, passengers will find adequate leg-, head- and shoulder room. The 612's trunk can hold 8.5 cubic feet of cargo.
The 612 Scaglietti is thankfully more than just a collection of high-tech gadgetry. Steering effort is lighter than on the F430 or 575M, but perfectly suited for this market segment -- and clearly better than anything the competition has to offer. It's this light-but-intuitive steering, along with the car's nimble nature that makes it a delight to drive. The V12 is supremely powerful, of course, and it delivers linear power accompanied by an enthusiastic soundtrack. Though earlier Ferrari F1 transmissions were a bit truculent in everyday driving, the 612's updated version is a major improvement. Its shift quality is excellent in almost all situations, and most drivers should be fully satisfied with it.