The exclusive and unmistakably Pininfarina-designed Superamerica is named after a very famous series of limited edition 12-cylinder models built by Ferrari between 1956 and 1961. In line with this illustrious past, the new Superamerica is also a limited edition car.
Interior and exterior styling Styled by Pininfarina, the Superamerica retains the beautifully balanced proportions typical of Ferrari’s V12 berlinettas, cleverly integrating the model’s unique Revocromico roof. This innovative feature blends seamlessly with the car’s lines thanks to the two side buttresses, a styling cue taken from some of Ferrari’s most classic models. The buttresses also provide roll-over protection along with the roof structure itself.
The whole rear section of the car is characterised by the new carbon-fibre boot featuring the Ferrari shield in relief, and was designed to highlight the Superamerica’s muscular yet sensual curves. The unusual roof profile gives the car a firmly sporting stance which is further enhanced by the standard 19″ split rims equipped with Bridgestone Potenza RE050 tyres.
The front of the car is characterised by the new-look aluminium-coloured headlight cluster rims and air intake on the engine compartment.
The Superamerica is just as exclusive inside as out with meticulously handcrafted leather trim and carbon-fibre detailing for the roof switches, the car radio surround and the instrument display. The whole interior is completely transformed by the light flooding in through the large, metre-square glass roof, but this in no way affects the on-board comfort or space.
The Superamerica seats are also trimmed in special perforated leather while on-board storage space has been enhanced, courtesy of a storage compartments as a well as a special closed cabinet behind the seats.
The Ferrari Superamerica’s most important stylistic and functional feature is its unique Fioravanti-patented rotating roof which has been dubbed Revocromico to highlight the combination of its rearward rotation movement and electrochromic technology. The RevocromicoTM roof boasts an entirely carbon-fibre supporting structure which integrates with the electrochromic glass, itself linked both functionally and stylistically with the rear window. The roof boasts a simple yet highly innovative single fulcrum rotational mechanism which opens and closes it very smoothly indeed.
Once the roof catch has been released, the Superamerica converts from a coupé to a drop-top in less than 10 seconds. When opened, the roof folds back and rests flush with the boot lid. Further evidence of just how original the Revocromico roof is comes from the fact that the heated glass rear window doubles as a very effective wind-deflector when the top is down. Structural reinforcements have been made around the roof mechanism and the two specially reinforced side buttresses also act as roll-bars.
A further technical innovation is the integrated roof and boot design: the opened roof rests flush with the boot lid, so that the car’s boot capacity is unaffected whether the top is up or down. The rear section is also roomy enough to allow the boot to be opened regardless of the roof position.
When the top is down, a special tonneau cover can be fitted to protect it from the weather. When the top is up, however, this tonneau cover tucks away into a special compartment inside the boot.
The use of electrochromic technology in the cabin is a world first in the automotive industry. The glass roof is approximately one square metre in size (1130 mm wide and 840 mm long) and floods the cabin with natural light even when closed. However, it also offers the added advantage of allowing the occupants to adjust the tint of the glass to suit their own requirements.
In fact, the electrochromic glass, manufactured in collaboration with Saint Gobain, is laminated and the inner surface of one of the glass sheets is multi-coated with electrochromic film. When a low-voltage electrical charge is passed across this, it activates the electrochromic layer which changes the tint level. In the case of the RevocromicoTM roof, this is achieved by using the five-position switch located on the central tunnel.
At the very lightest setting, the amount of light coming into the cockpit is the same as a conventional glass sunroof, while at the very darkest setting only 1% of solar rays filter through. It takes just under 60 seconds for the glass to go from the darkest to the lightest setting. When the engine is turned off, however, the glass automatically reverts to its darkest setting to protect the cockpit. In terms of safety, maintenance and cleaning, the glass roof and its structure is quite similar to a normal windshield.
The Superamerica’s engine is based on the most classical of all Ferrari’s layouts – the V12. It features a 65 degree vee architecture with twin overhead cams per cylinder bank and four valves per cylinder, with the crankcase, cylinder heads and sump all in aluminium alloy. In finest Ferrari tradition, the V12 also adopts a dry sump lubrication system.
The Superamerica’s engine has been boosted to deliver 540 hp at 7250 rpm (25 hp more than the 575M Maranello). This extra power was achieved thanks to specific engineering features:
- the use of new higher-flow intake tracts
- an improved flow coefficient thanks to the optimization of the fluid-dynamic characteristics of the cylinder head inlet ducts and intake manifold
- the new exhaust system design which reduces back-pressure.
The electronic engine control is entrusted to a single Bosch Motronic ME7 CPU per cylinder bank which controls the PFI multiplex injection, the drive-by-wire throttle valve and individual single coils for each spark plug. Four sensors are positioned in the crankcase to prevent knocking.
The Superamerica has a transaxle layout featuring a six-speed gearbox with multi-cone synchronisers.
The self-locking differential has specific locking calibrations (25% in traction, 45% in release), aimed at optimising the traction and stability in all conditions.
With regard to the F1-style gearbox, the introduction of the latest generation electronics not only makes for faster gear changing times (down to 180 ms), but also smoother automatic shifts in F1 A mode.
The Ferrari Superamerica chassis is based on the 575M Maranello with additional structural reinforcements to ensure the perfect blend of Ferrari performance and stylish convertible elegance. Adopting the innovative rotating glass roof called for stronger sill members, reinforcements in the chassis tubes around the central tunnel and particularly the A-posts. The rear buttresses add to the structural reinforcements carried out around the roof mechanism, while the rear firewall has been strengthened and additional bracing added around the transaxle area.
The Ferrari Superamerica’s roadholding has been fine-tuned by adopting active damping with proportional-valve shock absorbers and six accelerometers. The system “reads” the road surface and adapts the damping almost instantly to suit.
The driver can choose from two settings:
- Sport: calibrated for sporty, high performance driving
- COMFORT: calibrated to absorb bumps from uneven surfaces – particularly suited to city driving and long motorway journeys.
In line with Ferrari’s innovative philosophy, the settings govern not only the damping but also the traction control and the F1 gearbox logic.
The Superamerica can be fitted with the GTC Handling package which includes:
- a more sporting suspension set-up courtesy of a group of springs which offer 35% more rigidity to the front and 15% to the rear, and which are integrated with a rear anti-roll bar that itself is 73% stiffer;
- a sports exhaust
- red brake callipers with logo;
- CCM (Carbon Composite Material) brake discs (398 mm front and 360 mm rear).
The latter are derived directly from Ferrari’s experience on the F1 circuits and were developed in collaboration with Brembo to guarantee consistent stopping distances even after intensive, high performance use.