Ferrari just launched the insanely powerful 599 GTO, but it seems another variant -- a roadster -- will be added to the 599 portfolio later this summer.
Speaking with Britain’s Autocar, Ferrari Chairman Luca di Montezemolo revealed a little more about the company’s future product plans. The first new Ferrari we’ll see is the drop-top 599, which di Montezemolo described as being a “roadster.” We’re not certain if Ferrari plans on this being a true ragtop convertible, or if it will follow the form of Ferrari’s last open-air GT -- the Ferrari 575 Superamerica -- and utilize a retractable hardtop of sorts.
Certainly, the 599 won’t borrow its name from the flip-top 575. Di Montezemolo indicated the 599 roadster will have “an emotional, romantic name such as Italia or Fiorano.” Expect the final car to receive a 25-horsepower boost to compensate for the extra weight of the convertible system. Expect the car to be built in extremely limited numbers, and make its debut at the 2010 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in August.
Ferrari’s also working on developing yet another convertible, albeit one based off its new 458 Italia. The car is expected to make its debut next year, and it may very well be the capstone of the consumer 458 lineup. Although Ferrari has typically crafted hard-core versions of its mid-engine sports cars (i.e. 360 Challenge Stradale, F430 Scuderia), the company isn’t planning a similar take on the 458.
“We have no intention to do Scuderia version of the 458,” di Montezemolo told Autocar. “It would be difficult to do better [than the standard 458].”
Ferrari isn’t planning any changes to its V-8 and V-12-engined cars, although a V-12 hybrid powertrain -- previewed by the 599 HY-KERS concept shown at the 2010 Geneva motor show -- is under development. Turbocharged, small-displacement engines may become the norm for Ferrari, but interestingly, di Montezemolo is open to the idea of producing a car with a V-6 engine -- something we’ve never seen in a Ferrari, lest you count the Dino 206 GT and 246 GT(S).
“An engine smaller than a V-8? Why not?,” di Montezemolo said. “Turbocharging could be the answer, and with the V-8, we’re confident that we can achieve impressive consumption and emissions through technology, innovation, and electronics.”
Di Montezemolo hopes some of the innovation for its road cars will stem from its Formula 1 team. KERS is one such technology that may trickle down from F1, but other fuel consumption aids -- including engine advancements and lightweight materials -- may also be born on the track.