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2009 Ferrari 612 Scaglietti

With the launch of the so-called "Dino" entry-level Ferrari set for the Paris Motor Show this September, Ferrari used this year's Geneva show to redirect attention to its 612 Scaglietti. The two-plus-two-seater, V-12 flagship grand touring coupe has been overshadowed the past two years by the 599GTB sports coupe, so the 612 was chosen as the debut vehicle for Ferrari's new customization program, called Ferrari Atelier. This is a new, organized marketing effort to allow Ferrari customers to have their 612s tailor-made to their specific tastes.

Yes, of course it's true that you've always been able to get things done your way at the Ferrari factory, but it was not part of an official program. Now, the factory will have a special salon where you can sit down with a specialist to discuss your specific needs and desires, look at samples of leathers, try out different seating styles, choose your matching handmade luggage, and in general get the white-glove treatment.

Ferrari set up a mini version of the Atelier on the second level of its opulent stand at the Geneva show, where we sat in a gorgeous chocolate brown 612 whose every interior surface was swathed in the most exquisite brown stitched leather we've ever seen. Even the trunk, including the underside of the trunk lid, was covered in these hides! How much do these baubles cost? If you have to ask...

In other 612 Scaglietti news, the car has been fitted with the latest version of the F1 SuperFast automated manual paddle-shift transmission, so 612 drivers now enjoy the same gearshifting times - about 100 milliseconds - as 599GTB drivers. The 612's steering wheel now has the Ferrari manettino switch, which controls stability control and other chassis systems, on the right spoke, plus a red engine start button on the left spoke. (You can still get a manual transmission for the 612, in theory, but virtually no one does.) Carbon ceramic brakes are now standard, as they have been on all other Ferraris since October 2007 production. The 612 also gets a new, standard, full-glass roof with electrochromatic tinting.

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