When cars get the GT designation, it stands for "grand tourer." That most often means that the car is suitable for driving around Europe or the United States with a few bags in the back and a list of charming bed and breakfast-type places to stay at when the mood strikes you. The 550M Maranello doesn't have the GT stamped on its name or its body, but that was Ferrari's idea when it updated the 550 Maranello in 2002.
Like it's dad the 550 Maranello, the 575M Maranello has a 12-cylinder engine, but this time around it's been tuned for more power and torque. (Thus the M in it's name, for "modificato" or "modified.") The management system was tweaked, too, to make the engine more efficient. Though how efficient a 12-cylinder monster can be is a bit of a moot point. The engine remains up front, which gives the 575M a 50/50 weight balance when the driver is in his seat. Like so many Ferraris of the modern era, the 575M can switch driving profiles at the push of a button, from sport to GT. Even the transmission can adapt, with an automatic mode for cruising along and a low-grip mode for slippery spots.
While the guts got a tuneup, the body got an overhaul by Pininfarina. The changes were slight, though, with a smaller shark mouth and and edgier look.
The interior of the 575M saw a lot of changes in keeping with the grand tourer idea without losing the central function of the driver. Gauges were grouped together in the dashboard to minimize the time your eyes were off the road, with the tachometer in the center. The new seats were adjustable six ways -- heavy adjustable seats being far more highway-worthy than track-worthy -- and even had a memory function for the driver.
Ferrari 575M Maranello
- Engine: 5.7-liter V12
- Horsepower: 508 hp
- Torque: 434 lb-ft
- Top speed: 202 mph
- 0-62 mph: 4.2 seconds