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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Came across this on AOL:
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First Drive: 2005 Ferrari 612 Scaglietti
The Fast Lap of Luxury

By Edmunds.com Editors
Date posted: 04-11-2005

"What is that annoying noise?" I found myself thinking just after firing up the new Ferrari 612 Scaglietti's 534-horsepower aluminum V12. No, it wasn't the engine note, which was as sonorous as anything to roll out of the Modena factory over the past 50 years. And it certainly wasn't the nine-speaker Bose sound system, which easily creates the most compelling audio waves to ever bounce off of Ferrari's handcrafted leather and brushed aluminum interior surfaces.

As my head swiveled toward the gauge cluster I saw a bright red light indicating that my seatbelt wasn't fastened. One short "click" later and the incessant "BEEP-BEEP-BEEP" stopped. I don't recall a Ferrari product ever being so insistent on seatbelt protocol, but what I quickly learned during my time with the 612 was that it's not like any previous prancing horse.

For example, I'm not aware of any previous Ferrari offering dual-zone climate control, power-adjustable head rests, a reverse-sensing warning system or automatic headlights that can be adjusted for ambient light sensitivity. In fact, the level of customizable features on this Grand Touring model, all via steering wheel buttons, was almost BMW-like — but without the aggravating user interface. Unlike the iDrive system, this one utilizes an intuitive design that had me checking tire pressure, changing the LCD monitor brightness and resetting the trip odometer in seconds…all without cracking the owner's manual.

By using small buttons on the steering wheel hub, along with even smaller (but effective) buttons on the back of the steering wheel spokes, the advanced personalization system on the 612 can almost go unnoticed. It certainly doesn't mar Ferrari's traditionally minimalist interior design with buttons and switches cluttering every square inch of the dash and center stack. And while our test vehicle wasn't outfitted with the optional satellite navigation or Bluetooth communication systems, these same steering-wheel buttons could readily control them as well.

Yes, it's clear that Ferrari has upped its game in the GT segment, at least in terms of luxury amenities and high-tech features. But it seems sacrilegious to call the 612 a great GT just because it has an audio system that can compensate for cabin noise. No, for this car to be great it mustn't trade in its Cavallino heritage for 21st-century amenities.

And as we entered triple-digit speeds with absolute confidence (as well as minimal cabin noise for the audio system to deal with), we rejoiced in our confirmation of the 612 as more than just a collection of high-tech gadgetry. Beyond the slightest hint of wind noise there was only a deep thrum emanating from the V12's exhaust system as the car tracked effortlessly over California's expansion-jointed highways. Even with the active suspension set to "Sport" mode, the 612 dispatched road irregularities with ease, all the while maintaining the direct connection between driver and road surface we've come to expect from Ferrari.

Steering effort is lighter than on the F430 or 575M, but perfectly suited for this market segment — and clearly better than anything the competition has to offer. It's this light-but-intuitive steering, along with the car's nimble nature that had us double-checking the 4,100-pound curb weight. In this market only Aston Martin's DB9 is lighter (by about 100 pounds), but the Aston's heavier steering and "mere" 450 hp keeps it from outmaneuvering the 612 when the road gets twisty.

we had our druthers we'd ask for more low-end grunt from the 612's 5.7-liter V12. Peak torque is 434 pound-feet, but it occurs at a heady 5,250 rpm. By contrast the Bentley Continental GT offers 479 lb-ft at 1,600 rpm and the Mercedes-Benz CL600 cranks out 590 lb-ft at a mere 1,800 revs. And while the DB9 musters just 420 lb-ft at 5,000 rpm, 80 percent of that twisting power is available at 1,500 rpm.

That's not to say the 612 won't answer the call when leaning on the loud pedal. Though this is the largest Ferrari ever produced, it can still sprint to 60 mph in less than 4.5 seconds before hitting a top speed of nearly 200 mph, according to Ferrari. Judicious use of the F1 paddle shifters on our test car kept the engine in its sweet zone (4,000-plus rpm) for the duration of our driving loop. And after an hour of listening to the power plant emit its 4,000-to-7,500-rpm siren song, you realize there may be a method to Ferrari's madness. Injecting more torque into its engines would mean less time spent at the top of the tach — a very bad thing indeed.

If there was an aspect to the 612 we couldn't get used to it was the car's exterior styling. This is a highly personal area, and as such we can't make any official declarations, but at the very least we feel the car is highly derivative. The front end has shades of Porsche, while the roofline suggests a lineage to the mid-'90s Nissan 300ZX. One editor summed up his opinion of the 612's styling this way: "I know they're trying to create a full-fledged, four-person GT, but maybe Ferraris just aren't supposed to be this big." The large size does provide for adequate hip-, head- and shoulder room in the rear seat, but legroom is still tight if front occupants are anywhere near 6 feet tall.

Still, getting worked up about rear-seat legroom is like whining about the passenger window not being one-touch up, or questioning the $260,000 MSRP that could buy two CL600s. These items matter on some level, but it's not a level potential buyers for this car are familiar with. They want a passionate GT that makes all the right sounds while performing all the right moves, price be damned. For them there is no competition for the Ferrari 612 Scaglietti.
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I often hear that the Z06 is copying the Ferrari look, which I think is absoulutely absurd! Like Corvette, the Ferrari really didn't become itself until about 50 years ago. I fail to understand this woos and wows people have for one of the most inflated automobile brands ever. If Italians could make a better car than detroit then they would have kicked our butts back in WWII. The only thing that Italian knows how to do is putting up a lot of frills on its cars and kick a soccer ball. This quarter million overpriced 'exotic' have only one thing over the C6Z06. I call it the "SNOBBISH MAGNETISM". :rofl:

All these people choosing ferrari over the Z06, I say most of them are just trying to massage their own inner child insecurity. It seems to me that 90% of the F-car owners, it all comes down to what others feel or perceive about the car he drives instead of what he, himself, feels about driving the car. I mean if the high pitched engine whail is your thing, a S2000 honda would provide the same. If performance is your thing, there are sure much better ones out there.

BTW, the Ferrari is so afraid of the competition, (they can't just rely on selling its name now) it's putting similar features like the Z: Dual Climate control, Navigation, etc. which just add more to its price gouging. Why would the heck people fall for this crap is beyond me! :guiness: :usa: :usa: :usa:

(Flame away, folks!) :coo: :coo: :coo: :p :p :p
 

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you have NO idea what you're talking about. I know this because i was once like you. I'd type more about why you're wrong but I respond to threads like this about once a week. I'm over it. You get it or you don't. I didn't. I got lucky enough to get converted. If you call lucky lusting over something that will take me a while to get when I have a perfectly good 11second car sitting in the driveway.
 

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Personally I'm not a big fan of the 612....and actually not thrilled with the F430.

I loved the modena though. Hopefully I'll grow to dig the F430 but right now its just not happening for me.

All that said...Ferraris are fabulous sports cars...

Its part of the evolutionary process I guess...

I'm just not as attracted to them..at this point of their evolution..Kinda a Enzo wanna be? Outrageous...yes...beautiful? Not in my opinion...but it is definitely recognizable....and thats what they are attempting to create......greater brand awareness...good bad or indifferent.... Anyways...

As far as the Z06 and comparing it? Its a valid point if your discussing performance statistics...Thats one focal point of discussion...

Beyond that? Ferrari is and always will be special.

If you get a chance..c.heck out this months motortrend..comparo of the A4 C6 vert versus the maserati convertible..

Its a good read..

one line in the article states quite poetically..

People don't cross shop these brands..

Same goes for ferrari..
 

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I'm still stuck on the word Sonorous :D

Having or producing sound.
Having or producing a full, deep, or rich sound.
Impressive in style of speech: a sonorous oration.
 

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TetraU said:
It seems to me that 90% of the F-car owners, it all comes down to what others feel or perceive about the car he drives instead of what he, himself, feels about driving the car. I mean if the high pitched engine whail is your thing, a S2000 honda would provide the same. If performance is your thing, there are sure much better ones out there.

BTW, the Ferrari is so afraid of the competition, (they can't just rely on selling its name now) it's putting similar features like the Z: Dual Climate control, Navigation, etc. which just add more to its price gouging. Why would the heck people fall for this crap is beyond me! :guiness: :usa: :usa: :usa:

(Flame away, folks!) :coo: :coo: :coo: :p :p :p

I don't want to flame on your parade here, but have you ever driven a Ferrari to have any type of basis from which you draw your rather harsh conclusions? There are reasons Ferrari has a lengthy waiting list for many of its new cars!
 

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exactly. drive them and you'll understand.
 

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Thats why we all buy our furniture and clothes at Walmart, because they work just as well as those at those expensive "boutique" stores.
 

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As mentioned above, Ferrari doesn't even give the Vette a look.

Ferrari cares about MB, Lamborgini, Porsche, and maybe BMW, but that's about it.
 

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I own a 2004 360 spyder as well as a Z. I can tell you performance wise that the Z surely has an edge but you cant really quantify what it feels like to drive the F-car. the way the car sounds and feels is unlike any car I have ever driven.
 

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f430 said:
Thats why we all buy our furniture and clothes at Walmart, because they work just as well as those at those expensive "boutique" stores.
Those of us that are poor working slobs do. :)

I am sure you remember what it was like when you were one of us little people.. ;) :rofl:

Then again some folks have spent so long in bucksville they forgot that some of us are'nt snob-factor driven.. :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Whenever this topic comparing Corvette and Ferrari is breached. The standard response are always, and I quote:

I don't want to flame on your parade here, but have you ever driven a Ferrari to ...
you have NO idea what you're talking about.
exactly. drive them and you'll understand.
You never really get any answers of substance. It's always how it feels, or maybe more succinctly how one perceive how others feel when one is driving it. How about any real value, like performance, like durability, like quality, like reliability, etc.? For pete's sake, it's car not decoration. You are suppose to drive it not to jerk off looking at it.
 

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TetraU said:
You never really get any answers of substance. It's always how it feels, or maybe more succinctly how one perceive how others feel when one is driving it.
How about this...The steering is like doing surgery with a laser instead of a hunting knife. Starting the engine is like plugging your spinal cord directly into the engine; a buzz that moves right up your spine into your brain and keeps your senses charged - the intensity control for this sensation is under your right foot - and full integration occurs at +8000 rpm when the pleasure extends to all of your extremities. The sound of the engine just multiplies the experience. The sight lines out the front window gives the driver a view of the road matched only by a couple of production cars in the world, allowing the driver to better see the road that's going to be "operated" on. All of the driving controls are balanced equally among each other, and the car feels like it was carved out of one piece of billet aluminum. The interior and exterior design is like art work.

All of this, and not one person watched the driver enjoy the experience.
 

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I love Vettes having owned three since 1985 and ready to own a new Z; however, you can't compare Ferrari's with a Corvette. Just no
comparison - Vette's may be great but they are not in the same league as a Ferrari, Maserati, etc.
 

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TetraU said:
You never really get any answers of substance. It's always how it feels, or maybe more succinctly how one perceive how others feel when one is driving it. How about any real value, like performance, like durability, like quality, like reliability, etc.? For pete's sake, it's car not decoration. You are suppose to drive it not to jerk off looking at it.
If this is the limits to your perception of fine automobiles, then you just don't get it and likely never will. How do you quantify visceral feel and a feeling of being connected with a particular automobile? Like I said, you either get it or you don't. Ferrari's aren't for everyone.
 

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Dock said:
As mentioned above, Ferrari doesn't even give the Vette a look.

Ferrari cares about MB, Lamborgini, Porsche, and maybe BMW, but that's about it.

Personally I wouldn't go quite that far. I believe Ferrari is watching what the new Corvette C6 Z06 does at the track and in the marketplace.

Not a main competitor but they watch.

If I were to take a guess? I'd say the Ferrari engineers marvel at the C6 Z06 once its available.
 

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Ferrari cares....Y? because any 2 seat sports car that performs as well as or better then their world class supercar, that looks as good as it does and costs only 30 % ...its enough to spark the interest of Ferrari...

JMO
 

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I honestly think Ferrari could care less (other than on the race track with the C6R). They are in a market over 2 times the cost of what will be the most expensive Vette made. I am sure they are not worried by it. The people that buy new Ferrari's would still buy a new Ferrari AND a new Z06 just to be a daily driver/bad weather car. Trust me a friend has several Ferrari's including a F-40 at one time and he bought a $85,000 decked out LS430 Lexus for a daily driver.


Chris

As much as people would like to believe it.... Corvettes and Vipers are not in the same class of car. Yes we may be as fast as some (with mods) but not in the same class!!! If it were I wouldn't have dumped 40K+ to make my 04 Z06 better!
I am not trying to insult the Vette's. I have owned 7 so far and will continue to own them. However!!!
 

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TetraU said:
Whenever this topic comparing Corvette and Ferrari is breached. The standard response are always, and I quote:




You never really get any answers of substance. It's always how it feels, or maybe more succinctly how one perceive how others feel when one is driving it. How about any real value, like performance, like durability, like quality, like reliability, etc.? For pete's sake, it's car not decoration. You are suppose to drive it not to jerk off looking at it.
I would have to agree they always say the ferrari is in a different league. what is this league?
 
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