First, you should know how to pronounce it. Say skaall-yetti in the fluid and slightly lyrical way that seems to be an Italian birthright, and you'll get approving nods from the cognoscenti. Second, know that although this 199-mph, 532-bhp Ferrari is styled by Pininfarina, it's a tribute to the man, Sergio Scaglietti, a maestro in the specialty of forming aluminum whose achievements include the legendary 250 GTO and pontoon-fendered Testa Rossa of 1958. And third, that it continues the long lineage of V-12 Ferrari 2+2s that began with the 166 Inter of 1948.
In the best grand touring tradition, the 612 is built to cover long distances with great comfort, style and a high average velocity, with reasonable interior room and luggage capacity. In other words, it's the perfect mount to take with your spouse from Rome to Lake Como (or Los Angeles to Monterey) for a weekend getaway. And let's just say that compared with its immediate predecessor, the 456M GT, the 612 is a little grander. With its rolling stock pushed well to the corners, the 612's wheelbase spans 116.1 in., more than a foot longer, while overall length grows to 193.0 in., an increase of 6.8 in. That benefits rear seating room — now survivable, if not comfortable, for 6-footers and downright spacious for kids — and trunk capacity, which will now hold two golf bags or Ferrari's optional six-piece fitted luggage set.
Like the 456, the 612's front-mounted 65-degree V-12 sends its power through a torque-tube-encased driveshaft to a rear-mounted transaxle, either a conventional 6-speed manual or our test car's F1A 6-speed sequential-shift manual (more on this later). Yet Ferrari has taken the front-mid-engine concept to the extreme here, backed up by our own digital scales — with the V-12 well behind the front axle centerline, a mere 45 percent of the 612's 4260-lb. curb weight is borne by the front wheels, and the car's center of gravity is 0.8 in. lower, and farther back too.
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