Ferrari 550 GTZ by Zagato
One of the most exclusive roadster ever builtby Ciprian Florea, on
The Ferrari 550 Maranello came to be in 1996, when it replaced the F512M, the last iteration of the aging Testarossa. Not just a significant departure from its predecessor in terms of technology and design, the 550 Maranello also marked the beginning of a new era for the company’s grand tourer, putting an end to the mainstream mid-engine 12-cylinder Ferrari. The 550 Maranello had its V-12 mounted in front of the driver, a configuration that has been kept on the current F12berlinetta.
The 550 Maranello remained in production until 2001, but before it was discontinued, Ferrari launched the limited-edition Barchetta, a roadster designed by Pininfarina. The grand tourer was replaced by the 575M, which was essentially un upgrade that feature minor styling changes and a revised drivetrain. This version was built until 2006, when the completely redesigned 599 GTB Fiorano stepped in as the company’s flagship grand tourer.
However, two years after the 575M was discontinued, Ferrari unleashed a special-edition roadster based on the 550 Maranello. This happened in 2008, no fewer than seven years after the last 550 rolled off the assembly line. This special-edition goes by the name 550 GTZ, it was penned by Zagato, and it’s one of the most exclusive Ferraris ever built.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2008 Ferrari 550 GTZ Zagato.
.What Makes the Ferrari 550 GTZ Zagato Special?
If you’re familiar with the 550 Maranello, the first thing you’ll notice is that the 550 GTZ looks nothing like the car it is based on. And I mean absolutely nothing, because Zagata rebodied the 550 Barchetta from bumper to bumper. Up front, the wide and slender grille of the 550 was reshaped into an oval intake that paid homage to Ferrari designs from the 1960s. The massive opening was flanked by two smaller vents that were shaped to mimic the rounds turning lights of classic sports cars.
The headlamps and front fenders were also redesigned. The latter are more muscular and feature a big upper vents instead of the dual, vertical slats of the 550 Maranello, while the lamps were smaller and integrated into the fender rather cut out into the hood. This design was later used by Pininfarina in the 599 GTB Fiorano. Speaking of the engine hood, it was the only front element that was similar to the base car.
Onto the sides, Zagato reworked everything from the doors and side skirts to the rear fenders. The latter were quite dramatic to look at compared to the regualar 550 Maranello and gave the GTZ a more muscular stance. Around back, the taillights had a similar design to the headlamps, while the reworked trunk lid and bumper were shaped into a boat-tail-like design. Two subtle buttresses added to the 550 GTZ’s unique appearance.
Unlike the exterior, the interior remained unchanged. This wasn’t exactly a bad things since the 550 Barchetta had quite the fancy and well-equipped cabin, but it was a bit dated at the time Zagato modified the cars. Also, the unique exterior design deserved at least a few interior modifications for a more exclusive approach.
Under the hood, however, the 550 GTZ was more than just a standard Barchetta. In order to make the Zagato stand out, Ferrari used the updated 5.7-liter V-12 engine in the 575M Maranello. Enlarged from the 5.5 liters of the 550 Maranello, this unit was rated at 508 horsepower and 434 pound-feet of torque, a 30-horsepower and 15-pound-feet increase over the 550 Maranello. The oomph was enough to push the GTZ from 0 to 62 mph in 4.2 seconds and up to a top speed of 202 mph.
Production was limited to only five units, all of which have been spoken for long before they were completed. Each example was sold for a whopping £1 million, or the equivalent of $1.6 million back in 2008.