When the crush got to be too much, we headed out of town and then up the steep cliffs to La Turbie. Perfectly weighted, laser-accurate steering helped immeasurably in placing the car along the narrow roads cut into the jagged, cream-colored rock. The F1 gearbox's ever-charming rev matching fed Michael Schumacher fantasies (after all, ego stroking is as pleasurable as any other kind) and whipped off superquick shifts that sent the front-and-center-mounted tach zooming toward its 7750-rpm redline.
Intakes, cylinder heads, and an exhaust all redesigned for freer airflow have imbued the Superamerica's 5.7-liter V-12 with 24 more prancing horses than in the 575 Maranello, sufficient to compensate for the fliptop's additional 132 pounds and to send the car hurtling toward the next hairpin at eye-widening speeds. Ferrari asserts that the Superamerica is the world's fastest convertible, able to reach 199 mph with sufficient room and the proper devil-may-care attitude.
Although we came up short in both, our high-speed descents back and forth through the hairpin-studded cornices made us glad for the carbon-ceramic brakes in our red test car. Part of the GTC package--which also includes firmer springs, a larger rear antiroll bar, and a retuned exhaust--the high-tech brakes are impervious to fade (maintaining performance even after 300 laps at Fiorano, according to Ferrari). Like the 575, the Superamerica corners essentially flat; its neutral behavior can be coaxed into oversteer with the stability control switched off and a determined shove of the throttle. The ride is firm, and flicking the Sport switch on the dash makes it even more so (by firming up the active damping). However, for all modern carmakers' carrying on about reducing dive and squat, we're glad to see that the Superamerica still has some. There are few better feelings in the world than booting this car's throttle and feeling the Superamerica rear back onto its haunches as it charges off down the road, V-12 in full song. You won't want the good times to end.
Price: $290,000 (est.)
Engine: 5.7L V-12, 532 hp, 434 lb-ft