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Pininfarina Barchetta


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Fiat : Ferrari 550 Pininfarina Barchetta

The 550 Pininfarina Barchetta unveiled in Paris

During the Press Day at the Salon de l'Automobile in Paris Ferrari featured the launch of the 550 Pininfarina Barchetta. Present at the event was Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo (right) and the designer who gave the car its name, Sergio Pininfarina (left). The latest barchetta to come out of Maranello will go into production next January.

Only 448 will be built, all numbered and signed by Pininfarina to mark his fifty years of collaboration with Ferrari.


President Montezemolo expressed his satisfaction with the way this year was going, both in production and sporting terms. "Without wishing to gloat in any way, we can say that Ferrari is living through really exceptional times," he said.

 "In 1993, we sold only 220 cars. By the end of August of this year, sales were already up by 18% compared with the same period in 1999. The league table of countries where we sell the most is headed by the United States, followed by Germany, Great Britain, Italy and Japan." On the subject of Formula 1, Montezemolo was both clear and cautious: "The results speak for themselves.

But we have not won yet and so it is best to stay very calm with our feet firmly on the ground. Last year we had an extraordinary season, winning the Constructors' Championship, despite being deprived of Schumacher for six races. This year we have done much better, both in terms of wins and points. However, there are still two very difficult races to go, during which anything can happen. Whatever happens, seeing Ferrari finish first and second in Indianapolis was a great pleasure."

Photos: Automotive Intelligence

The Ferrari 550 Pininfarina Barchetta

The first car to leave the Maranello factory in 1947 was a red, V12-engined barchetta. From the outset it was designed as a racing car and it went on to win at its second outing – the Grand Prix of Rome. Alongside the racing cars development continued apace for a road-going version. This is how the 166 MM – the first Ferrari to win the Le Mans 24 Hours and also see use as a high-performance, road-going two-seater - was created.

The history of the V12 front-powered Ferraris started here. Many were to follow, and amongst the most significant were the 250 California and the 365 GTS4, which is better known as the Daytona. The 550 Barchetta Pininfarina is the perfect interpretation of the classic, open-top front-engined V12 Ferrari sports car, complete with modern styling and technology.

The 550 Barchetta Pininfarina has a traditional barchetta-style cut to the windscreen (around 100 mm lower than the 550 Maranello) with a body-coloured finish to the lower section of the surround. Furthermore it reflects the past as a model aimed exclusively at open-air use, providing just a manual soft-top for emergency use. The 550 Barchetta Pininfarina is a modern recreation of special Ferrari models from the past.

It has been intentionally designed to be provocative and more extreme than the rest of the company’s current range. As such only a limited number of cars will be produced in Maranello during 2001, each individually numbered and carrying a plaque inside with the car’s own serial number and Sergio Pininfarina’s signature.

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