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The Italian Stallion

We’ve all seen this before; a front-engine rear-wheel drive Grand Tourer that promises the world but hardly delivers. Often being excessive, side-tracking from its grand tourer roots, these cars turned out more hardcore than what was initially needed to bring you across the continent in luxury and comfort.

But it’s not all full of scaffolding or that it does not have a dash, just that you want something more refined, and not shatter your back into dust. The Maranello then, launched during the 50th Anniversary of Ferrari, has brought back the glory days from where the Daytona and the legendary 250 GTO left off.

The noise from its 5.5-litre V12 may not be louder than a marching band, but it’s certainly a masterpiece to be shouted about. Modifications like the Tubi-styled Exhaust System finished with the Hyperflow X-pipe exhaust however, has made the V12 growl like it’s in heat. But then again it would seem like it is, as there would be flocks of gentlemen in their suits jumping all over it wanting one.

Other modifications such as the K&N Air Filter and the Hyperflow High Flow Catalytic Converters share the same function of providing less restrictions for the gases to flow while adding a few more prancing horses to an already monster of an engine. An ECU remap by DMS Automotive also adds to the figures, bringing this Ferrari’s output to a staggering 530bhp.

The 6-speed Manual gearbox is as crisp as a fresh bag of chips while the simple and functional interior is well equipped for the long haul along the coastal roads or the lush green country roads. As it has aged a little, its 4.2 second sprint to the century mark may have dipped slightly, but it still doesn’t stop the brakes from being upgraded to Brembo GranTurismo 6-pot monoblock calipers with 2-piece slotted rotors in the front.

While at the rear, the upgraded Brembo GranTurismo 4-piston monoblock calipers with 2-piece slotted rotors assisted with Hawk Performance HP Plus brake pads all round, offers a solid and assuring bite to match the Ferrari’s heart-thumping acceleration. Speaking of performance, if one fancies a trip to the wild side, this car is more than able to blast you to as close as it makes no difference, 200mph with much ease.

At such insane speeds, the Ferrari F575M ‘Fiorano’ Handling Pack not only adds stability to the chassis but also allows the car to rocket out of the corners without having to whale its back out. However if you fancy a little hair-rising adrenaline rush, the traction control can be switched off and all hell shall break loose if this prancing horse is not well tamed.

The 550’s shoes might have been worn out after a while so fittingly a set of 19-inch Koenig Specials Design III wheels wrapped in Michelin tires finds its new home under the arches. Ferrari F575M Xenon HID headlamps light the way for a car seem set to blast along the B-roads for a never ending grand tour. There will surely never be a road less travelled then.

Not only has the Maranello impressed in the showroom, it has also stamped a significant mark in motorsports. Excelling in several race series’ such as the FIA GT Championship and the 24-hour Le Mans race, this Ferrari could be remembered as one of the true greats amongst others in the Ferrari stable as being brilliant on the road and superb on the track.

Car: Ferrari 550 Maranello
Engine: 5.5-litre V12
Engine Modifications: K&N Air Filters, Hyperflow High Flow Catalytic Converters, Tubi-styled Exhaust System, DMS Automotive ECU Remap to 530bhp, Hyperflow exhaust X-pipe
Transmission: 6-speed Manual
Brakes: Brembo GranTurismo 6-piston monoblock calipers with 2-piece slotted rotors (F), Brembo GranTurismo 4-piston monoblock calipers with 2-piece slotted rotors (R), Hawk Performance HP Plus brake pads
Chassis/Suspension: Ferrari F575M ‘Fiorano’ Handling Pack
Wheels & Tires: 19-inch Koenig Specials Design III, Michelin tires
Additional Mods: Ferrari F575M Xenon HID headlamps

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