2001 Ferrari 550 SperimentaleSOLD

RM Auction: Ferrari - Legenda e Passione - Sunday, May 20, 2007

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Estimate: 220,000€-280,000€

Offered Without Reserve

165,000 € Sold

Specifications: 485 bhp, 5474 cc light alloy twin cam four valve dry sump V-12 engine with six speed rear-mounted transaxle, four wheel independent suspension, and four wheel power assisted ventilated disc brakes. Wheelbase 2,700mm (106.3 ” )

Introduced in 1996, the new 550 Maranello was a gran turismo clearly intended to fill the shoes of the legendary Daytona. Although based on the longer 456 – whose engine it shared – it was distinctly upmarket. Although strictly a two-seater, the 550 Maranello offered a spacious and luxuriously appointed interior. There was plenty of room for luggage, including a full set of golf clubs.

Its rear-mounted six speed manual transaxle gave better weight distribution as well as improving traction for the traditional front engine, rear drive chassis. The result was most sastifying, achieving a top speed of 323 km/h, and a dramatic 4.5 second sprint from 0 – 100 km/h.

The example offered here, internally designated the F133, is a very interesting development car. The car was produced in 1996, transformed 2000 and registered, as stated herein, in 2005. It was built to examine a number of technical innovations for possible inclusion on future Ferrari road cars. One of the central ideas was to experiment with the use of side exhaust to pay homage to many of the great competition cars of the 1950s – and to increase performance through the use of larger diameter, free-flowing components. Of course the sound was not the point – but it was one of the benefits.

Providing room for the exhaust and catalysts outside of the chassis required that the wheelbase be lengthened. With this in mind, a normal 550 Maranello was stretched by 200mm, resulting in a new 2,700mm chassis. In addition, the absence of a normal exhaust within the chassis allowed room to stiffen the chassis with the installation of up to two additional cross members. One bolt-on cross member was fitted under the rear passenger ’ s compartment, while provision for a second was made forward in the tunnel area.

The result was a chassis that proved to be about 10% stiffer than the standard chassis, despite the longer wheelbase. In the coachwork, the added length was achieved by moving the cowl back, leaving a gap between the engine and firewall. In turn the hood and front fenders were lengthened, lending a sleek and sporting look to an already attractive design.

Two other interesting features were tested on this car. In the first, a system of air ducting was installed to duct air from an intake on the right rear (matching the transaxle cooler on the left side) down and around the fuel tank to provide fuel cooling. Low pressure under the car draws air in and across the fuel tank from a high pressure zone at the rear bumper. Cool fuel is denser and improves power output, but more important in these times is the potential it provides to improve engine emissions.
The second feature installed on the 550 Sperimentale was a unique system of moving pedals and steering column intended to allow the driver ’ s seat to remain fixed in an ideal position while adjusting the pedals over a large range to accommodate any driver – although the seat fitted is a standard power adjustable unit.

Interestingly, the pedals are adjustable separately – the accelerator can be adjusted independently of the brake and clutch pedal assembly. This allows not only overall adjustment for comfort, but also fine tuning of the positioning of the pedals for more effective heel-and-toe downshifts.

S/n 117904 provides a fascinating glimpse into the world of product development at Ferrari. Its one-off coachwork and special features combine to make the 550 Sperimentale a Ferrari with a very unique look – and an unmistakable sound!

Reference Number 8585

as of 4/15/2007

Overview
Car 2001 Ferrari 550 Sperimentale
VIN 143658 
Exterior / Interior Color      Red /      Tan 
Configuration Left Hand Drive (LHD) 
Transmission Manual Shift 
Options Exterior: Alloy rims
Interior: Leather interior, Leather steering wheel 
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