456M GT (1998)
The GT version of the 456M complete with six-speed plus reverse manual gearbox was an evolution of a model that proved particularly popular with owners that wanted an authentic Ferrari that was still capable of seating four and very versatile to boot. Continuing the marque tradition in the 2+2 sector, the Pininfarina-designed 456M GT combines the blistering performance of a 5.474 cc V12 with the comfort and liveability of grand tourer. A front-mounted engine and rear-mounted gearbox was the most rational choice to achieve more cabin space and benchmark driveability and safety. Particular attention was lavished on the car’s aerodynamics yielding a clear front design and involving the adoption a retractable wing integrated into the rear bumper. Front axle life was optimised by the specific shape front bumper spoiler and bonnet as well as work done on the rear diffuser.
The 456 M GT had a tubular steel chassis to which light aluminium panels were spot-welded using a specially-treated foil known as Feran. This meant that the chassis had both the lightness of aluminium and the stiffness of steel. To keep weight down, the front bonnet was carbon-fibre.
The four-seater cabin was trimmed in Connolly leather. The seats were electronically adjustable with position memory. The instruments were analogue with multiple gauges. The 456 M GT also sported a fully automatic climate control system with solar radiation sensor, and stereo system.
The tubular steel spaceframe chassis was linked to four-wheel independent suspension with stabiliser arms and double wishbones with antidive geometry. The electronically-controlled gas dampers had two settings. The Servotronic power-assisted was rack and pinion while the brakes had four ventilated discs with ABS and an electronic rear brake corrector. The car also featured an evolved ASR traction control system linked to the antiskid system which greatly improved safety even in the trickiest of conditions.
The 442 hp 5474 cc front 65° V12 was longitudinally mounted. It had four valves per cylinder with twin overhead cam distribution. The engine management system was the Bosch M5.2. There was also dry single-plate clutch and dry sump lubrication.
The 456M GT had a six-speed plus reverse mechanical gearbox.