In 1992 Ferrari unveiled the 456 GT - the 456 GT was also the first modern Ferrari to revert to a front engine, rear-wheel drive layout, with the gearbox in unit with the rear differential for ideal weight distribution as well as plenty of space for passengers and luggage. The 456 GT (Gran Turismo) continued a tradition that have begun in 1966 when Ferrari unveiled their first 2+2 model: the 250GT.
The 456M, in its GT and automatic gearbox GTA guises, is the evolution of Ferrari’s highly successful interpretation of its traditional 2+2 models. First introduced in 1992, the 456 GT was the marque’s first car designed with the 21st century in mind and has been much appreciated by Maranello’s clients for the way it provides saloon-class comfort and roominess combined with class-leading performance and all-round ability.
The 456M (M for modified) GTA (automatic transmission) was revealed in 1998.
The 456M has a less extreme shape than other cars in the current Ferrari range, yet it remains highly innovative and special. The 456M has a long, smooth carbon fibre bonnet, emphasized by the retractable headlights and two tension lines. Seen from above, the front aspect is more rounded than the previous 456, thanks to the redesigned bumper and integrated spoiler.
The 456M has a redesigned interior offering greater space efficiency. With attention to the sometimes antagonistic twins - functionality and performance, and comfort and elegance - the interior space was redefined and rationalized.
The front turn-signals have been repositioned for improved visibility and the air intake with integral fog lights has a modified shape and size for improved engine and brake cooling. On the sides a new moulding for the windows runs along the door edge. At the rear is a revised bumper with stabilizer wing.
The 456M GTA was powered by a65° V12 engine that delivered a total of 442 hp at 6250 rpm and a peak torque of 550 Nm at 4500 rpm. It was mated to a 4-speed automatic gearbox.
With a dry weight of 1690 kg, the 456M GTA made the 0 to 60 mph in 5.5 sec and was capable of a top speed of more than 185 mph.
The final conclusion is that the 456M GTA featured the aerodynamics and handling characteristics that humiliated any 2+2 coupe of those days, the Ferrari 456 GT become the ultimate four persons of its time.