FOR this weeks blog, we will be looking at the rarest production car to come out of Maranello. Welcome to the 2011 Ferrari 599 SA Aperta, the most exclusive Ferrari ever produced.
In basic terms, this is a convertible version of the standard 599 GTB mixed with the powertrain of the ferocious 599 GTO.
This means a 6.0-litre V12 with 493kW (661hp) at 8250 rpm and 620Nm of torque (457 lb-ft of torque) at 6500rpm sits under that huge front bonnet. And yes, the inside soundtrack is brought over from the GTO.
Mated to the engine is a six-speed automated-manual transmission, with manual shifting paddles behind the steering wheel for manual control.
Even though this transmission is a single-clutch unit, it is still capable of shift times lower than 60 milliseconds. That's faster than some dual-clutch gearboxes.
The 599 SA Aperta also has a kerb weight of 1705 kilograms, a mere 17 kilograms heavier than the 599 GTB.
They did this by having a manually retractable roof and by installing a lower-slung, thinner and stiffer windscreen.
The roof featured on this particular model is a one-piece carbon fibre unit, but there is also a fabric option similar to the one seen on the Lamborghini Murcielago Roadster.
All of this equates to a 0-100 kilometre per hour acceleration time of just 3.6 seconds, and the SA Aperta will keep accelerating until it reaches its top speed of 325 kilometres per hour (202 miles per hour).
Ferrari designed the 599 SA Aperta in honour of Sergio and Andrea Pininfarina, and used the first initials of the two in the name.
Pininfarina have designed many of Ferrari's greatest cars, including the F40, Enzo and the 458 Italia.
Aperta, in Italian, stands for 'Open', regarding the open top of the car.
Ferrari chose to build just 80 SA Aperta models in celebration of the 80th Anniversary of Pininfarina, making it the most exclusive Ferrari production car ever built. Unfortunately, none of these 80 cars ever ended up on Australian shores, with most of them going throughout Europe and the United States.
This 2011 Ferrari 599 SA Aperta could sell for as high as $1 million US.
Jesse See is a teenage car enthusiast. His blogs and website can be found at www.jessesee.com
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