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Ferrari's 599 roadster (2010): first details

Wed, 09 Jun 2010 00:00:00 -0700

Ferrari’s next new model will be a 599 roadster, Ferrari chairman Luca de Montezemolo told journalists in London last night. 

‘A lot of our clients are saying they want an open, 12-cylinder car with very sporty performance. At Pebble Beach, we will present this car,’ said de Montezemolo.

Yes. Ferrari is currently presenting the convertible 599 to a select number of clients, before unveiling it to the wider public in August.

‘It’s a car I like very much. As usual we will make it in low numbers for collectors. It’s beautiful, a car to enjoy at a particular time of life,’ said de Montzemolo, eulogising on how Ferrari’s diverse portfolio caters for everyone from young batchelors to families of four. And soon, front-engined, 12-cylinder convertible-lovers of a certain age and income.

Ferrari’s last 12-cylinder convertible was 575 Superamerica, unveiled in 2004, which adopted an unsual, pivoting glass roof. This flipped to lay flat on the rear deck, to avoid compromising luggage space. Bizarrely, it’s a concept that will soon be available at a tenth of the price, on Renault’s forthcoming Twingo-based Wind roadster.

No word yet on whether the open 599 will have a similarly pioneering roof system, a fabric top or a folding metal roof. Our money is on a California-style folding hardtop.

Expect some engine modifications to enhance the 599 GTB Fiorano’s 612bhp V12, and a similar inflationary modification to the coupe’s £207,620 asking price.

De Montezemolo suggested that this 599 will have a suffix added to its badge, most probably a place in keeping with the Fiorano, Italia and Maranello nameplates adorning recent cars. ‘It won’t be any of these, but it will be a romantic name,’ said de Montezemolo.

After the open-top 599, the next car to be unveiled by Ferrari will be a convertible version of the 458. We should see that car in early 2011.

By Phil McNamara