5 of Luca di Montezemolo’s finest Ferraris
Spending 23 years at the same company is a commendable endeavor in itself by most people’s standards. Luca di Montezemolo, however, lasted just short of a quarter of a century as president of arguably the world’s greatest supercar maker, but as of last week, his charismatic reign at Ferrari came to an end. With CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Sergio Marchionne, stepping in to fill some rather large Italian loafers, here’s a look back at five of the finest road-going Ferraris produced under Di Montezemolo’s watch.
Following on from Enzo Ferrari’s F40 monster after it ceased production in 1992 was never going to be an easy task, but in 1995 Di Montezemolo dared to show the world a carbonfibre, V12-powered follow-up called the F50. Overlooked when it first launched, the Ferrari F50 is now an icon of its age.
550 MARANELLO (1996)
Considering Enzo Ferrari favoured his own grand tourer cars over the more aggressive sports cars, the 550 Maranello was a fitting tribute to the tastes of the company founder when it launched eight years after his death in 1996. Sporting a front mounted 5.5-litre V12 housed in a slender body, the 550 Maranello flew the flag for the Ferrari GT cars until 2002 when it evolved into the 575.
Once again, Di Montezemolo pushed the boundaries of automotive performance in 2002 with the launch of Ferrari’s first, true hypercar – the Enzo. Named after the founder himself, potential buyers of the Enzo were selected by Ferrari and invited to purchase one of 349 cars after it was revealed at the 2002 Paris motor show. All 349 were sold this way before the car even reached production and auction values today regularly surge past £1million.
As the most daring Ferrari body style to reach production since the Ferrari 250 GT SWB ‘Breadvan’ took to the track in 1961, the FF was certainly a brave call for Di Montezemolo in 2011. With four seats and four-wheel drive, the FF rekindles the idea of a high performance shooting brake, which surpassed GT levels of practicality without compromising on performance.
Di Montezemolo’s final foray into hypercar territory came in the form of the clumsily named LaFerrari. Making the list for reasons other than its sporting credentials, it’s LaFerrari’s claim to being the first hybrid Ferrari that will cement its place in motoring history. Although it may only give a token nod to Mother Nature, it’s the thought that counts and the technology embedded in LaFerrari will undoubtedly percolate into future models long after Di Montezemolo bids farewell to Maranello.