Maranello’s latest brainchild is the result of a three-partner effort involving Ferrari, Pininfarina and Fioravanti. Driven by a need to gratify an American market that, above all in the Sunbelt states running from Florida to California, wants open cars, but also the need to give the nine-year-old, first 550, now 575 model a facelift, Ferrari has decided to take the name Superamerica back out of the closet after 42 years.
Given the success of the limited edition Barchetta, and this despite the obvious drawback that it lacked a soft-top, there seemed to be considerable potential for a 12-cylinder, front-engine convertible. But what was needed was a cutting-edge concept, and this is where Leonardo Fioravanti’s rotating roof came in, a feature already previewed on the Vola concept – built on an Alfa Romeo platform – at the Geneva Show in 2001. Now it’s making its debut on a production model and may well have a great future in the coupé-cabriolet sector because of its intrinsic simplicity, limited cost and adaptability.
In effect the new Superamerica only differs from the Maranello 575 in terms of the roof and, consequently, the rear. Even the door line is identical to the saloon model. For Fioravanti this also represents a great comeback. Ex-head of design at Pininfarina, ex-Deputy General Manager at Ferrari (“I’ve been hanging around Maranello for over 40 years and designed eight Ferraris, so it was quite a feeling”) and he can’t disguise his pride in this latest creation. “Everyone’s delighted,” echoes Ramaciotti, Pininfarina’s Vice Chairman of Design, “Ferrari with its new model; Fioravanti to see its roof in use; Pininfarina with their design. One car by three Great Names that have worked together in the past.”
The article continues in Auto & Design no. 151