By 2005, the Ferrari 575M was getting a little long in the tooth. As it was essentially just an updated version of the 550, the flagship car that replaced the Testarossa had been kicking around for a decade at that point, and it was time for something new. But Ferrari wanted to send the car out in style, as befitted a car that brought back the front-engine Ferrari gran turismo. So a special swan song edition of the car was conceived of and named the Superamerica, a name steeped in history for the carmaker. Of course, there were some issues with the name.

In much the same way that the 599 that would replace the 575M would have a GTO version that wasn’t really a race car, the 575M Superamerica wasn’t really a true Superamerica either. The original America/Superamerica cars of the ’50s and ’60s whole different models. They were built on an existing chassis, but they had new and much more powerful engines and entirely different bodies (sometimes multiple body options) from the production cars they were based on. The 575M Superamerica wasn’t that, but it was still a special car, and the semantics of it should lead you to believe otherwise.

Continue reading to learn more about the Ferrari 575M Superamerica.

  • 2005 Ferrari 575M Superamerica
  • Year:
    2005
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Transmission:
    6-Speed Manual
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    540@7250
  • Torque @ RPM:
    5250
  • Displacement:
    5748 L
  • 0-60 time:
    4.2 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    198.8 mph
  • body style:

Exterior

2005 Ferrari 575M Superamerica High Resolution Exterior
- image 32276

You have to really know what you’re looking for in order to tell a 575M apart from a 550. Pininfarina did make some tweaks here and there to the bodywork, but none of them are so dramatic that you won’t have to pause for a second to spot them. That said, it’s very easy to tell a Superamerica apart from the “regular” 575M. The difference in appearance all comes down to the glass roof. This is the car’s party trick, the first electrochromatic glass roof in a production car. And not only that, but the roof could rotate all of the way around to lay upside down and flat on the top of the deck lid, another first in a production car. The roof had five different tint settings and could make a complete transition from end of the spectrum to the other in less than a minute. Ferrari even worked out a way for the trunk to be opened while the roof was open, which is an important achievement. For the Superamerica the car is no longer a fastback, and the sloping roof is replaced with a flat deck lid with a big pair of flying buttresses flanking it.

Interior

2005 Ferrari 575M Superamerica High Resolution Interior
- image 37339

Although the interior of the car was updated when it made the transition from the 550 to the 575M, it wasn’t updated any further for the Superamerica. But that’s fine, as it is an excellent interior. The one change that was made is that, since it is no longer a fastback, the cargo area is no longer accessible from inside the cabin. Probably not a dealbreaker for anyone, but it is true. The 575M is also one of the last Ferrari interiors not to be festooned with screens all over the place. A lot of people do like the screens, but for those who like a more analog interior, the 575M is basically the last horrah for Ferrari.

Drivetrain

2005 Ferrari 575M Superamerica High Resolution Drivetrain
- image 37342

Ferrari had been using different versions of the same Colombo V-12 engine from the founding of the company up until 1992, when a new V-12 based on the Dino V-6 engine debuted in the 456. Even the flat engines used in the Berlinetta Boxers and the Testarossa were just Colombo engines with the V angle widened to 180 degrees. So it was a big deal when the 456 debuted and there was a whole new V-12, and this was followed up a couple of years later by the 550 getting the same engine. This was enlarged slightly for the transition to the 575M, and power was at this point up to 515 horsepower. For the Superamerica, Ferrari squeezed a few more horses out of the engine, bringing the total up to 540 and making it the fastest convertible in the world. It was available with wither a regular six-speed manual or a six-speed F1-style sequential gearbox, this being an era when those were still exciting and new.

Prices

2005 Ferrari 575M Superamerica High Resolution Exterior
- image 37353

Ferrari built 599 units of the Superamerica, based on the conclusion that it could sell 600 of them, and this slight scarcity would help them keep their value. And it does seem to have worked. The car started at $305,000 when new, and 11 years later, it goes at auction for prices starting right about at that level. It’s not uncommon to them creep up past $500,000 either, a fairly remarkable thing for such a recent car. The “regular” 575M hasn’t fared so well, normally selling today for around 60 percent of their original value.

Competition

Lamborghini Reventon

2008 Lamborghini Reventón
- image 239914

Introduced a couple of years after the Superamerica, the Reventon followed a very similar philosophy. It was a limited production car that was mechanically largely the same as the flagship Murcielago, but with special styling and a bit more power. The changes to the body were more all-encompassing than those made to the Superamerica, and the result was a car that looked a lot more like a fighter plane.

Read our full review on the Lamborghini Reventon here.

Pagani Zonda F

2005 Pagani Zonda F Exterior
- image 12223

The Zonda might have been around since 1999, but in 2005 it got its first major redesign with the F. The engine produced 594 horsepower, and there were optional carbon/ceramic brakes. Production was capped at 25 units, so they’re all still incredibly valuable. And if you want a car that makes a bold statement, no pop-top glass roof can even come close to the Zonda.

Read our full review on the Pagani Zonda F here.

Conclusion

2005 Ferrari 575M Superamerica High Resolution Exterior
- image 32269

The 575M Superamerica might not have been the complete new model that the 400 Superamerica was, but Ferrari still deserves credit for making it the fastest convertible in the world and including technology never before seen on a production car. It’s a remarkable car, and the fact that it has held its value so well is evidence of this.

  • Leave it
    • Buttresses look weird
    • Scarce on purpose
    • No improvements to the interior
What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: