We already know what makes the 575M Maranello so special, so let’s dive right in with what sets the Superamerica apart. Starting with the 575M as the base of this recipe, Ferrari then added some special ingredients to spice things up. All told, only 559 Superamericas were sold, making this special concoction a rare treat for the dedicated enthusiast.
The most notable feature on the Superamerica is the trick electrochromic glass roof featuring not one but two industry firsts. Called Revocromico by Ferrari, this roof allowed the driver to choose the level of tint to match his or her mood, ranging from nearly opaque to crystal clear. Simply rotate a knob on the centre console to choose from 5 different settings. That’s not the only ground-breaking feature built into this roof, however. Unlatch it from the windscreen and hit a switch, and 10 seconds later the whole contraption has rotated 180 degrees on an axis situated just behind your head, situating itself right over the boot lid. It beggars belief that such an elegantly simple solution to the convertible problem had never been implemented on a production car before this. And because the roof sits on top of the boot, there is no dent taken out of the cargo space.
So now that we know about the Superamerica fantastic party trick, what’s it got under the bonnet? Not one to leave well enough alone, Ferrari decided to kick things up a notch with a tuned version of the 575M’s V12, producing an extra 40 bhp, for a grand total of 540. A choice of either a 6-speed manual or F1-style automatic was given to Superamerica buyers, although only 7 percent chose the former. With a top speed of approximately 198 mph, the Superamerica could proudly claim the title of world’s fastest convertible, a fact Ferrari was quick to point out in its marketing materials at the time.
To keep everything stable after destabilizing the roof, added bracing was given to various areas such as the transaxle, side sills, and rear bulkhead. Buttressing was added to the rear of the car as well. All of this added kit resulted in a 90 kg weight penalty compared to the basic 575M, enough to offset any gains from the bump in power. The GTC handling package, consisting of upgraded brakes, wheels, exhaust, and a firmer suspension, was optional on the Superamerica.
Andy’s Thoughts – Ferrari 575 Superamerica
There is no doubt that the 575 Superamerica is a very special car. Not only is it a limited edition but the roof mechanism is a one off. Not just for Ferrari but for any manufacturer. More on that in a moment, but for me personally the Superamerica is a very special car. Back in 2005 I made my first visit to Maranello for a Factory Tour, and at the time the production of the 575 Superamerica was in full force. I was able to see the cars at the start of the production line, midway, and on road tests afterwards. Seeing such a special car has always stuck with me, as some models often do for all of us.
Earlier I mentioned the unique roof. Ever thought why Ferrari have never made another? Well firstly, the auto tinting mechanism over time faded, meaning the entire roof needed to be changed. It might not happen to all, but it happens to enough for it to be a problem. From what I understand the stock of used roofs has also now depleted.
The second problem was more basic. Picture this, driving around some beautiful country roads, and then the rain starts. You stop, flick the switch, and all the dust that had settled on the inside of the roof whilst it was upside-down is now emptied on the driver and not so happy other half. It could cause marital problems!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad Ferrari made this car, and if ever I can get one, I will. No other manufacturer is gutsy enough to continuously innovate their products. It might have it’s fault, but the plusses are way more.