Full 2008 Ferrari 612 Scaglietti Review
What's New for 2008
Every 2008 Ferrari 612 Scaglietti is now equipped with the Bose Media System, a multimedia smorgasbord that includes a high-end stereo, Bluetooth connectivity, an iPod jack and a hard-drive-based navigation system with 15 gigabytes of audio storage. Also, Ferrari's new One-to-One program allows buyers to customize their 612s to their hearts' content.
The 2008 Ferrari 612 Scaglietti makes an intriguing case for itself as a stylish yet practical family vehicle. Its trunk can swallow almost 9 cubic feet of luggage, or about eight times as much as a Bugatti Veyron's. Its rear compartment may only have two seats, but there's 10-gallon-hat headroom back there, and legroom isn't bad either. Its leather-wrapped interior will make practically any road trip a pleasant experience. And with a base price of approximately $270,000, the 612 doesn't cost much more than 13 Honda Accords.
All right, so the 612 isn't exactly a bargain. But in most other respects, it really is a supercar that the whole family can enjoy. Given that steep price of admission, we're probably talking about CEO/rich tycoon/mafia families rather than your own. Nonetheless, certifiable supercars with room for four full-size humans are a rare breed, and Ferrari certainly earns some respect for building one.
Of course, four-place V12 grand touring coupes are nothing new in Ferrari lore. Unfortunately for Ferrari, they generally haven't achieved the legendary status enjoyed by their two-seat stablemates. We doubt the Scaglietti is going to break this mold. Despite owing its design to the iconic Pininfarina styling house, the 612, in our opinion, looks rather mundane by Ferrari's lofty standards. But once those lucky few Scaglietti owners have fired up the ferocious 540-horsepower V12 under the hood or taken familiar corners at belief-beggaring velocities, they probably won't care too much about where this Ferrari falls in the pantheon of automotive design.
That's the primary way in which the 2008 Ferrari 612 stands apart from competitors like the Bentley Continental GT and Mercedes-Benz CL63 AMG: It's got soul. Those rival models are like private jets for the road, whereas the Ferrari is a spine-tingling sports car that happens to have room for four. We could talk about bang for the buck -- not the 612's strongest suit -- but that's really not the point in this rarefied segment. Perhaps no other car in the world can ferry around four adults with this much speed, style and comfort, and that's all the typical Ferrari buyer needs to know.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2008 Ferrari 612 Scaglietti comes in a 2+2 coupe body style. Standard equipment on the sole trim level includes xenon headlights, 18-inch front and 19-inch rear wheels wearing 245/45 front and 285/40 rear performance tires, an adaptive suspension system, a power-closing trunk, rear park assist, heated exterior mirrors, automatic dual-zone climate control, power front seats and leather upholstery. Also standard is the Bose Media System, which bundles together premium sound, a hard-drive-based navigation system, Bluetooth connectivity, an iPod jack, a USB port, compatibility with a wide range of digital media and 15 gigabytes of audio storage.
Optional features include heated front seats, a space-saver spare tire kit, run-flat tires and a six-piece fitted leather luggage set. Should you desire even higher performance, the HGTS package provides a quicker-acting F1 gearbox, a sport exhaust and colored brake calipers, while the HGTC package includes those items plus carbon-ceramic disc brakes, unique wheels and a chrome accent for the rear diffuser. Further customization is available via Ferrari's One-to-One program, which allows the buyer to sit down in an atelier (French for "workshop") at the factory with a Ferrari expert and specify interior materials, color combinations and so on.
Powertrains and Performance
The rear-wheel-drive 612 Scaglietti is powered by a 5.7-liter V12 that cranks out 540 hp and 434 pound-feet of torque. Notably, the V12 is mounted rearward enough that the 612 is considered a front/midengine car. Transmission options consist of a traditional six-speed manual or a six-speed "F1" automated manual. The F1 setup offers a choice of automatic or manual mode, the latter being controlled via steering-column-mounted shift 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.
Antilock disc brakes, stability control and traction control are standard. However, side and side curtain airbags are not available, as Ferrari claims that the 612 provides excellent protection without them.
Interior Design and Special Features
The 612 Scaglietti's interior breaks the stereotype that driving a Ferrari requires sacrificing creature comforts. This leather-lined cabin features sumptuous seating and high-quality materials throughout. Steering-wheel-mounted buttons give the driver control over a wide range of vehicle functions, and the Bose Media System makes the 612 technologically competitive with supercoupes from Bentley and Mercedes. Accessing the two rear bucket seats requires some flexibility, and the cartoonishly prominent rear side bolsters mean that the broader of beam need not apply. Provided that you're fairly fit and can negotiate the seats, headroom won't be a problem, and legroom is adequate as well.
The nearly 2-ton 2008 Ferrari 612 Scaglietti is blessed with light but precise steering and an intrinsic nimbleness that makes it feel two-thirds its size when driven hard. The V12 is a beast under full throttle, of course, but just as intoxicating is the rousing Italian soundtrack it plays every time you put your foot down. Though previous Ferrari F1 transmissions were somewhat unpleasant in everyday driving, the 612's F1 unit provides excellent shift quality along with superhuman shift speeds during performance driving. However, enthusiasts may be hard-pressed to forgo the traditional six-speed manual with its classic gated shifter.