Ferrari SA Aperta
While pointedly lacking the GTO nameplate, the SA Aperta possesses its own magical air. The most exclusive open Ferrari offered to that time, its creation celebrated the 80th anniversary of Italian coachbuilder Pininfarina, which has been associated with the Prancing Horse since its coachwork first appeared in June 1952 on the lovely 212 Inter. Since then it has been responsible for the most beautiful Ferraris, from the sensuously formed 250 long and short wheel-base coupes and cabriolets to the brilliant 458 Speciale. That explains the “SA” part of the name, which stands for present-day principals Sergio and Andrea Pininfarina. “Aperta” is Italian for “open,” which brings us to the SA Aperta’s main distinguishing feature. At first glance, the car looks identical to the 599 berlinettas with their gently sloping sail panels that direct air to the rear spoiler. But closer inspection reveals the lower windshield profile that identifies this Ferrari as an SA Aperta. Rather than a folding soft top or electrically operated hideaway roof, the SA Aperta features a single lightweight panel that lifts off to reveal twin integrated roll hoops whose shapes closely match those of the seat headrests. The sail panels have been retained, and are both aerodynamically and aesthetically vital to the F1-inspired design. Ferrari’s F1 technologies are at full play beneath the SA Aperta’s artfully sculpted carbon-fiber skin. The first step in maximizing their value was strengthening the chassis structure to produce, in Ferrari’s words, ”a standard of stiffness comparable to that of a closed berlinetta.” The SA Aperta’s 6.0L V-12 instantly winds up to its hair-raising 8,500 RPM redline, where it generates an honest 661 HP; both that and its peak 488 lb-ft of torque are identical to that of the GTO, which uses more than 90 percent of the engine found in the track-only 599XX. The paddle-shifted 6-speed F1 Superfast transmission rivals the 599XX unit for crisp 60-millisecond upshifts and 120-millisecond downshifts, and like the XX gearbox, the driver can execute multiple downshifts by clamping and holding the left-hand paddle shifter. The GTO also contributed its Manettino-adjusted F1 Trac magnetorheological suspension and massive Brembo carbon-ceramic disc brakes. No surprise, then, that the SA Aperta equals the GTO’s 3.35-second dash to 60 MPH and its 208 MPH top speed.