Ferrari 575M Maranello - The Ultimate Ferrari V12 Front-Engined Berlinetta

Ferrari 575M Maranello

Ferrari 575

The arrival of the Ferrari 575M Maranello hails a whole new level of achievement for Ferrari's hugely successful V12 front-engined sports berlinetta concept.

It represents a further leap forward in the development of the 550 Maranello, a car generally considered to be one of the marque's most popular models ever.

As with all Ferraris, the heart of the new car is the engine. In this case, the 575 is the abbreviation of its effective displacement, which has been increased to around 5,750 cc.

The 'M' Maranello not only links the new model to its predecessor, the 550 Maranello, it also stands for 'modificata' (Italian for modified), meaning that all-round performance has been improved, particularly by the introduction of the company's legendary Ferrari F1 gearchange in a road-going Ferrari V12 for the first time.

There are two versions available in the UK, costing £154,350 for the manual version and £160,845 for the F1 model.

Exterior Styling: Pininfarina And Aerodynamic Efficiency

The styling of the 575M Maranello was entrusted to Ferrari's long-time creative partner Pininfarina. The balanced lines and sober design that made the 550 Maranello an "instant classic" when it first appeared, have been left largely untouched.

The modifications made to the original forms are subtle and are designed to meet specific technical requirements. The shape and size of the front air intakes, for instance, have been optimised to increase the flow of cooling air to the more powerful engine and there's a new, full-width front spoiler design which improves downforce.

The new front section of the car incorporates redesigned headlights, with body-colour surrounds and grey detailing, featuring xenon technology bulbs for dipped beam, as standard. The wheels now also have a much sportier look more in line with the new car's racier temperament.

Engine

The 575M Maranello's 12-cylinder engine retains many of the most prestigious elements of this configuration. They include the 65 degree V12, four overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder layout, along with the crank case, cylinder heads and sump all in light alloy and a dry sump lubrication system.

The 575M Maranello's new V12 engine was designed to increase both power and torque right across the rev range, for even sportier power delivery, quicker response times in all conditions and improved driving pleasure. The result was an increase in maximum power to 515 bhp (379 kW) at 7,250 rpm, and in maximum torque to 589 Nm at 5,250 rpm (435 lb ft).

Overall, torque is up on average 1.5 kgm (11 lb ft) between 1,000 and 4,000 rpm compared to the 550 Maranello. This improved power delivery comes courtesy of the wide range of modifications made to the V12. These include:

  • An increase in displacement to 5,748 cc with new bore and stroke values of 89 mm and
    77 mm respectively, plus the use of a new drive shaft and steel cylinder liners slimmer than the previous aluminium ones
  • Compression ratio increased to 11:1, with new forged aluminium alloy pistons by Mahle
  • New intake manifold fluid-dynamics
  • New variable back-pressure exhaust system
  • New timing for the intake and exhaust cams
  • New cooling circuit for the heads
  • New electronic engine control, courtesy of the new twin-CPU Motronic fuel-injection with four anti-knock sensors in the combustion chamber, motorised throttle bodies with drive by wire control and static ignition coils.

Transmission And F1-Style Gear Change

The new car boasts a perfect weight distribution of 50 per cent over both front and rear axles with the driver on board. This occurs as a result of the rear Transaxle layout, with the gearbox in unit with the limited-slip differential and situated in the same casing as the bevel-type final drive.

This is a six-speed gearbox with new multi-cone synchronisers. In fact, synchronisation has been completely reviewed and improved to guarantee quicker gearshifts during more assertive driving.

In addition to manual shifting, the new 575M Maranello's transmission also has the F1 gearchange, developed directly from the marque's experience on the Formula 1 tracks.

The F1 gearchange is an electro-hydraulic system controlled by two paddles on the steering wheel instead of the traditional gear stick and clutch pedal. The F1 system offers the following improvements over the traditional system:

  • Shifting up and down through the gears is faster than with a traditional gearbox and the accelerator can also be fully depressed during shifts
  • Drivers can select a gear without taking their hands off the steering wheel
  • More comfortable control (no clutch pedal)
  • Safer as it prevents driver error
  • Protects against over-revving when going up and down gears.

The F1 gearchange is about much more than just improved performance, however. It is also part of an integrated driver control strategy on the car.

The F1 transmission works in conjunction with the adaptive damping management and traction control, giving the driver the opportunity to select different performance parameters, for either a sportier or more comfortable ride, at the touch of a button.

The driver has two main manual shift modes - Sport or ComfortRegular - to choose from, using a button on the console, and these are both integrated with similar corresponding suspension damping management and electronic traction control settings.

The use of the F1-style gearchange in the 575M Maranello means faster shift times during more high performance driving (for example, up and down over 6,000 rpm). As a result, the F1 transmission also delivers better acceleration than the manual. In order to optimise acceleration when moving off quickly from a standstill, the 575M Maranello's F1 gearchange has also been given a "launch control" mode.

In addition to the manual mode, the F1 gearchange also offers two other complementary push-button modes: Automatic (fully automatic gear shifting), and Low Grip (to avoid wheel slippage when changing gears on low grip surfaces).

New High Performance Adaptive Suspension Control

One major improvement in the 575M Maranello's handling has been accomplished by introducing the new high performance adaptive damping system, based on four proportioning valve shock absorbers and six sensors which independently read body and suspension movements and instantly relay the information to the CPU.

Thanks to the speedy response of the Mannesmann proportioning valve shock absorbers (80 ms compared to 180 ms for traditional shocks), the system can "read" the type of road surface the car is travelling over (uneven, smooth, dirt) and instantly adapt the suspension for improved in-car comfort.

The driver has two automatic modes to choose from:

  • Sport: this setting is optimised for sportier press-on driving and brings to the 575M Maranello a whole new level of traction control. Although calibrated for sports driving, this mode also copes well with uneven surfaces.
  • Comfort: a ride comfort-biased setting perfect for when driving on uneven surfaces and for road input filtering, although designed more specifically for city and long-distance motorway driving.

Braking System, Wheels And Tyre Pressure Sensors

The already excellent braking system of the 550 Maranello has been further upgraded to meet the 575M Maranello's higher performance levels as well as to improve their general functioning.

To achieve this, the following modifications were carried out:

  • Improved ducting of cooling air to the discs, courtesy of a larger air intake for the brakes, and the introduction of two extra channels on the underbody to help direct the airflow to the front brakes.
  • The use of a new brake pad material - Ferodo HP1000 - which means that the system characteristics remain virtually unchanged even under hard use.
  • Quicker braking times, especially in panic stop situations.

The 575M Maranello now boasts the new 5.3 version of the 550 Maranello's 5.0 ABS/ASR system, while Ferrari's two traction control modes (Normal and Sport) have been retained.

With regard to the wheels and tyres, weight reduction on the front wheels amounts to 1.8 kg (4 lb) and 1.2 kg (2.6 lb) on the rear. In addition, a special 19-inch tyre (255/35 front and 305/30 rear) has been developed to fit the special-order split rims which offers more extreme handling characteristics, especially lateral and longitudinal grip, without sacrificing too much of the 575M Maranello's ride comfort.

The 575M Maranello also boasts a sensor that enables the driver to check tyre pressures in normal day-to-day driving, courtesy of a dial on the console.

Safety And Construction Options

The 575M Maranello's chassis, body and interior details were all completely redesigned to ensure that they were compliant with the most up-to-date safety norms.

Particular attention was paid to protecting passengers from side impacts. The 575M Maranello has a particularly effective chassis and body structure when it comes to side impact protection (high resistance materials, thicker section sills, door structure optimised to absorb side impacts). In addition to this, however, the interface structure and components between the doors and sides have been further optimised, especially the locks and hinges.

The 575M Maranello's bucket seats also offer protection against side penetration and help contain the occupants' movements in the event of an impact. The style and construction of the door panels mean that stresses are spread in impact situations. They also provide impact absorption areas to further improve occupant safety.

Passive safety features that have been designed to work with these design solutions include two front airbags, seat belt pre-tensioners and a safety inertia switch, which is designed to cut off the fuel supply in the event of a collision.

These features, which link in with the car's basic structure and specific construction choices, mean that occupant protection levels are extremely high and meet Ferrari's design objectives, both in terms of head-on collisions and side impacts.

Interior

While still remaining faithful to the original 550 Maranello concept of in-car comfort and quality of life on board, the interior of the 575M Maranello has been completely redesigned to give it a more sporting, functional ambience.

The main dials are now contained in one single group in the driver's direct line of sight with the large metal-ringed rev counter taking pride of place in the centre. The console directly in front of the driver hosts the ancillary indicators, including the clock and tyre pressure gauge.

The steering wheel is now slimmer and stripped down to its metal structure, while the horn buttons and F1 gearchange paddles are all in brushed aluminium.

The dashboard is more compact, but the new seats feature six-way power adjustment with memory on the driver's side and co-ordinate with the completely redesigned door panels, to create an area that harmonises perfectly with the rest of the interior.

Other more subtle functional details have also been redesigned and updated. The fuel tank cap and boot poppers have been moved to a new position, functional new rubber inserts have been added on the rear luggage compartment for improved luggage grip and new seat belt fasteners spread the load surface.

The Carrozzeria Scaglietti Personalisation Programme

In keeping with Ferrari practice, the 575M Maranello can be personalised to taste. Thanks to the wide range of options available from the Carrozzeria Scaglietti programme, owners can now extensively modify the style, kit and functionality of their car to suit their own preferences.

They can also enhance the 575M Maranello's racing spirit with track-oriented options, such as new carbon racing bucket seats, the Fiorano handling package and the use of carbon fibre details in the interior.

The range of optional extras now also includes a powerful new eight-speaker stereo with four-channel 200 watt amplifiers and analogue signal processing and an efficient satellite navigation system.

The flexibility of the Carrozzeria Scaglietti programme means that Ferrari can now create customised colours from a sample supplied by the client. Every last upholstery detail in the cabin can also be dyed to suit individual requirements using a line-drawing of the interior as a guide. Personalised stitching, featuring contrasting colours, different thicknesses and stitch sizes, is also possible.

Ferrari 575M Maranello - Technical specifications

Dimensions and weights

Overall length 4,550 mm 179.13 in
Overall width 1,935 mm 76.18 in
Height 1,277 mm 50.27 in
Wheelbase 2,500 mm 98.43 in
Front track 1,632 mm 64.25 in
Rear track 1,586 mm 62.44 in
Kerb weight 1,730 kg 3,815 lb
Fuel capacity 105 litres 23 gal

Tyres

Front 255/40 ZR 18
Rear 295/35 ZR 18

Brakes

Front 330 x 32 mm 13 x 1.3 in
Rear 310 x 28 mm 12.2 x 1.1 in

Engine

65° V12
Bore/stroke 89 x 77 mm 3.46 x 2.95 in
Unit displacement 479 cm3 27.8 cu in
Total displacement 5,748 cm3 334 cu in
Compression ratio 11:1
Maximum power @ 7,250 rpm 379 kW (515 bhp)
Maximum torque @ 5,250 rpm 589 Nm (60 kgm)

Performance

Max. speed Manual F1
0-100 km/h / 0-62 mph 4.25 s 4.2 s
0-400 m 12.3 s 12.25 s
0-1000 m 22 s 21.9 s

Fuel Consumption

Urban 8.20 mpg 8.20 mpg
Extra-urban 19.79 mpg 19.79 mpg
Combined 12.97 mpg 12.97 mpg
CO2 emissions 499 g/km 499 g/km
Published 4 July 2002 Melanie Carter

The information contained this Ferrari 575 news article may have changed since publication on the 4 July 2002. Our car specifications, reviews, and prices may only apply to the UK market. You may wish to check with the manufacturer or your local Ferrari dealer, before making a purchasing decision. E.&.O.E. You may NOT reproduce our car news in full or part, in any format without our written permission. carpages.co.uk © 2017