Introduced at the 2004 North American International Auto Show, the 612 Scaglietti 2+2 coupe is the successor to Ferrari’s 456M GT/GTA coupe, which ceased production after the 2003 model year. This was the first time Ferrari launched a new model at a U.S. auto show.
Bigger and lighter than the 456M, the 612 is named for Sergio Scaglietti, a coachbuilder in Modena, Italy, who worked with Enzo Ferrari in the early years of the company. Ferrari claims the 612 Scaglietti will rank No. 1 in the world for acceleration and top speed. With its 540-horsepower V-12 engine, Ferrari says the coupe can accelerate from zero to 62 mph in 4.2 seconds.
Billed by Ferrari as a “genuine four-seater,” the 612 Scaglietti is the company’s first V-12-powered car to feature all-aluminum construction. Even the interior is built with aluminum components.
Ferrari says the new model signals a genuine break with the past. The 612 Scaglietti is built for a “highly sophisticated clientele that now demands elegance and dynamic comfort as well as blistering performance.” Serving as firsts for Ferrari, active damping and a Stability and Traction Control system are installed.
Each Ferrari sold in the United States during 2004 contains a plaque to commemorate the company’s half-century in the American market.
The 612 Scaglietti’s styling is the work of the Pininfarina organization, which has designed a long list of Ferrari models over the years. Some of the details, including the concave scalloped bodysides, are meant to recall the unique Pininfarina-styled 375 MM Ferrari that was given by film director Roberto Rosselini to his new bride, actress Ingrid Bergman. Otherwise, the body benefits from clean lines with little ostentation.
Overall, the new coupe displays a teardrop profile — especially at the cockpit, which sits considerably farther back than usual. The engine sits behind the front axle, and the gearbox and differential are mounted at the rear. Front and rear overhangs are short.
Moving the cockpit, fuel tank and battery rearward helped produce what Ferrari calls very normative weight distribution: specifically, 46 percent at the front and 54 percent at the rear, which is surprising for a front-engine automobile.
A low, mouth-shaped grille contains horizontal bars and Ferrari’s famed prancing horse logo in the center. Integrated headlight covers blend neatly into the front fenders, which flank a long hood. Built on a 116.1-inch wheelbase, the 612 Scaglietti is 193 inches long overall and stands 52.9 inches tall. The front tires measure P245/45ZR18, while the rear ones are sized P285/40ZR19.
Four occupants can sit inside the 612 Scaglietti, which is fitted with aluminum and leather. Ferrari claims that all four riders can get in and out easily. The 240-liter trunk can hold a six-piece set of specially designed luggage. If desired, Carrozzeria Scaglietti can personalize the interior. Dual-zone climate controls and a Bose audio system are standard.
Under the Hood
Mounted up front, Ferrari’s 65-degree V-12 engine displaces almost 6.0 liters and generates 540 hp at 7,250 rpm. Torque output is 433.8 pounds-feet at 5,250 rpm. A six-speed-manual gearbox or a Formula One-style electrohydraulic system is available for semi-automatic operation using paddle shifters behind the steering wheel.
Vented-disc antilock brakes are standard. Dual-stage front airbags are installed, but side-impact airbags are not available.