The Ferrari FF, remarkable performer though it may be, is the most polarizing production Ferrari of recent times, if not ever. Scores of Prancing Horse purists worldwide wretch at the FF’s AWD system (even though it’s lightweight and clever) and wagon-like shape (even though Ferrari actually built a couple 456-based four-door actual station wagons for the Sultan of Brunei), but if you ask us, both are kinda cool. It’s the perfect car for a petrolhead couples’ ski retreat.
Of course, a stock FF can only impress your friends so much. But if it was faster and looked different than the ones rolling out of the Maranello factory, their jaws might stay lower longer. These are areas where tuner Novitec Rosso can help.
Historically speaking, the convertible versions of Ferrari berlinettas (i.e. coupes) have been heavier, flimsier and altogether wussier than their fixed-roof brethren. Sure, they’re great for enjoying the fresh air (and the siren song of the engine), and they make it easier for people to see who the Richie Rich behind the wheel is. But if you were into performance, you were better off with a coupe.
That changes, however, with the 458 Spider. The stiff structure and remarkably light retractable hardtop mean the performance drop-off versus the 458 Italia is miniscule. Of course, that performance gap could be made smaller still, or even turned into a performance advantage. And that is precisely what Novitec Rosso has done.
A new year is very nearly upon us (and in some parts of the world, it already is), and while it’s a good time to look forward to what 2012 will bring, it’s also a good time to take stock of 2011’s happenings. Modified and tuned vehicles are, if you haven’t noticed, near and dear to our heart, and the last 364 days have seen some downright dandies debut. But if we listed all the tuner cars, trucks and SUVs that scratched our itch, you’d be reading until at least half your friends and family broke their resolutions. Ergo, we’ve decided to cap this list of 2011’s top tuned rides at 10, meaning that only the cream of the last 52 weeks’ crop made the cut. Here they are…
While vast hordes of Ferrari owners positively quiver at the mere thought of altering their cars with any non-Ferrari parts (“I don’t care that these floormats are 1/64th the price of the official ones! They aren’t going in my baby!”), there are Prancing Horse trainers out there who look at their rides and say, “There is room for improvement.” For those sorts of people (though many Ferrari purists might deem the term “people” a bit too generous), tuner Novitec Rosso is there to take your money in exchange for making your Fezza even fiercer.
Meanwhile, back in Maranello, Ferrari has rolled out its latest V8, mid-engine model, the 458 Italia to rave review. And why not? It’ll blow the mighty F40 into the weeds, and go tit for tat with the Enzo. But could the Italia be made even stronger still? Is there any potential left to be tapped? Turns out, the answer is, “Hells yes.”
This year the 2010 Geneva Auto Show was like a buffet in which I hand-picked all the types of food. The manufacturers were the staples; steak, potatoes, a dessert platter, etc. I expected them to be there and taste good, as usual. But the real treats this year came from the tuners. They are the crazy geniuses that take a mass-produced car into their kitchens and create something extraordinary and (for better or worse) original. There were lots of tuners and coach-builders showing their wares at Geneva this year, and here are my 5 favorites in no specific order:
Novitec Rosso is the Ferrari tuner and has been for 20 years now. So it’s only fitting that they would apply their specialty to the parting Ferrari F430 Scuderia as it sings its swan song. Known as the Novitec Rosso Ferrari 430 Scuderia 747HP Edizione Special, a mouthful for sure, their latest creation is also one of the quickest Ferraris even made.
The 544 lb-ft of torque (200 more than stock) takes you to 62 mph in only 3.4 seconds. Even though that’s just .2 seconds faster than a stock Scud (no doubt due to wheel-spin off the line), once the tires get traction you will surely notice a big difference. Hence, Novitec’s variation will reach 124 mph in 9.4 seconds, a full 2 seconds ahead of a stock Scud. Hold the “fun” pedal down and you will eventually hit a soul-stirring 218 mph.
The Ferrari Scuderia Spider 16M is one of Maranello’s finest creations, a car so special that the production run consists of only 499 limited edition units. But, it’s actually no suprise the Ferrari tuner Novitec Rosso has decided to make this supercar even more exclusive and dynamic by adding its own signature. This effort begins by upgrading Ferrari’s 510 hp powerplant to the Novitec Rosso Race Bi-compressor engine, a 4.3-liter twin-supercharged V8 good for 696 hp and 503 lb-ft of torque. The modified Scuderia can reach 205 mph and jet from 0 to 62 mph in just 3.5 seconds. This engine conversion runs 47,000 Euros ($66,000 USD.)