Ferrari 456

Any new Ferrari must improve upon the model it replaces, representing a more refined automotive product. In 1989 the final 412 left Maranello and in 1993 the last Mondial was built. In 1992 Ferrari released the 456 GT and GTA, and changed the perception of a high performance 2+2. Refined and elegant comfort and performance were the orders of the day, and the Pininfarina-designed body was as intensely beautiful as the car was luxurious and fast. Sporting a 436bhp 65° V12 engine and either a 6-speed manual (456 GT) or 4-speed automatic (456 GTA), aerodynamics and handling characteristics unlike those of any other 2+2, the 456 was the ultimate 4-person conveyance. Some might consider it the ultimate in practical automotive design. [B]Design [/B] The strongest element in the creation of the Ferrari road car myth was the 2-seat sports car. Over the years, though, the cognoscenti have been aware of Ferraris skill at producing luxury four seat cars that combine top performance with practicality. These are perhaps the truest "gran turismo" cars. The 456 in its GT version with mechanical gearbox and GTA automatic, sought to underscore its difference from other cars by synthesizing the performance and driving pleasure of a sports car with the comfort and the space of a gran turismo. Pininfarina applied this philosophy to define the 456 shape, which was aggressive while compact and slippery. Special effort was applied to producing a 4-seater with overall dimensions similar to those of a classic 2-seater. Many elements made this car immediately recognizable as a Ferrari: front air intake, retracting headlamps, long hood, roof line that flows into the tail, style of the side lamps and tail light clusters. All these elements belong to the lively and rich Ferrari heritage, and highlight the strong character of the car. The combination of cues with a clean-sheet design identifies the 456 as unique.