Used 2001 Ferrari 456M Review

Edmunds expert review

A four-passenger GT that can run with two-seat exotics.

What's new for 2001

The 456M carries over unchanged for the 2001 model year.

Vehicle overview

Continuing a tradition begun nearly 40 years earlier, Ferrari's 456M, in either GT or GTA form, offers the performance of a front engine, V12 sports car with the practicality and versatility of 2+2 seating. After all, a vehicle this stylish will attract plenty of attention from envious onlookers, all of them eager to fill those extra slots behind the front seats.

With the 456M, Ferrari has evolved its 2+2 offering from such underwhelming models as the 400i and 412 of the '80s and early '90s to this highly capable and dazzling machine that truly deserves its billing as a "four seat sports car."

Vital to its role as a high-speed GT car, the 456M features the requisite Ferrari V12 under its long, sloping hood. Displacing 5.5 liters and producing 442 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque, the 456M offers drivers a 5.1-second zero-to-60 time and a top speed of over 186 mph. Four overhead camshafts operate four valves per cylinder while a Bosch Motronic fuel injection system features injectors with dual spraying angles for precise combustion control.

Even more unique, this Ferrari can be had with an automatic transmission in the 456 GTA. As with the six-speed manual transmission, the four-speed automatic is combined with the rear axle to offer near perfect front/rear weight distribution. Using adaptive technology, the computer-controlled automatic can pick from relaxed or high performance shift patterns based on throttle input, RPM, and vehicle speed. Pulling the shift lever from fourth gear to third gear keeps the transmission in its most aggressive mode for optimum vehicle performance.

The 456M boasts a slippery body made up of aluminum panels (except for a carbon-fiber hood) that are welded to a steel tube chassis. This combination helps reduce weight while maintaining a rigid structure. A four-wheel independent suspension, complete with driver selectable settings for normal or sport mode, further enhances this Ferrari's multipurpose mission.

Inside the 456M you'll find four seats covered in Connolly leather. Front seats offer five-way power adjustments, including adjustable lumbar, seat height, and seat angle. These seats also slide forward automatically to allow access to the rear cabin, where a fold-down center armrest and seatback storage pockets await rear passengers. Large, clear gauges, side-impact airbags, automatic climate control, and a trademark three-spoke steering wheel work to give the 456M classic looks and modern convenience.

Should all that not be enough, you can outfit your 456M with red brake calipers, Daytona style seat trim, a color-matched steering wheel and dash pad, and, for a mere $3,725, matching Connolly leather luggage.

Who says wealth doesn't have its advantages?

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.