It’s important to have a “10-things-to-do-before-I-die” list. It gives life a sense of purpose, a direction, so to say. And, if you have the slightest fondness for cars, most certainly “driving a Ferrari” ought to top that list. Mine did. So, when we received a call saying we could sample a Ferrari, in India, I almost wept with joy. It didn’t matter that the car wasn’t the furiously fast F430 or the obscenely expensive Enzo or even my childhood dream— the F40—because a Ferrari, any Ferrari, in my opinion, is the very epitome of desire.
And the 612 Scaglietti is no different. It doesn’t look as gorgeous as the rest of its siblings. But, it’s gorgeous, nonetheless. It is huge, measuring 4,902 mm (15 feet approx.) in length and 1,957 mm (6 feet approx.) in width, but still beautiful. But most of all, it has the prancing horse embellishing its grille; a giveaway that something wonderful and intoxicating awaits you.
Plonk yourself inside and the sense of occasion swells. The steering, with the engine start button and the CST adjustment knob and the tall paddle shifts in the background, not only looks great, it feels spot on to hold, too. And then, there’s the sporty, centrally-placed yellow rev counter with an 8,000 rpm redline staring straight at you.
If nothing else, goose bumps are surely guaranteed! What’s not guaranteed though, particularly for those money-minded types, is the feel of luxury and opulence that one might expect from a car costing almost Rs 2 crore.
It’s pretty basic in here, and the quality of materials isn’t great. Ditto for the the fit and finish. But then, if you want all that, you are better off buying a Bentley.
Engine.............. 5.7 litre, V12, petrol
Gearbox.....................F1 A, 6-speed
Max Power..........................540 bhp
Max Torque..........................588 Nm
Acceleration (0-100 kmph)...4 seconds
Price: Rs 2 cr (estimated)
Under the long aluminium hood rests a 5700cc V12 with 540 horses on tap—that’s almost 10 times the power that your average hatchback makes. Start it up, and you are greeted by nothing more than a muscular purr, getting you all excited.
Shift to D, pull the right paddle on the steering, step on the gas, and then suddenly, the world turns into a deep, sonorous world of vicious acceleration—an indication that the 612 is now on its way.
Before you notice, the rev needle is banging off the limiter. Flustered, you pull the right paddle again. What follows is a hard blow in the tummy that would make Mohammad Ali proud, as the superquick F1 6-speed gearbox shifts up a gear. The dream continues, albeit at a more fearsome pace.
Now, we weren’t allowed to drive the Scaglietti with the CST (stability and traction control module in Ferrari jargon) switched off or it could have been an even more entertaining but equally dangerous powersliding (when the car is driven sideways with the rear wheels skidding) experience.
Does it mean then, having driven the Ferrari Scaglietti, I just have nine things to do before I die? Not quite, because you see, I am greedy. And, the only way I am going to strike this out is when I drive one of the prancing horses around a race track, with the CST switched off. Sideways. Amen.
Vikrant Singh is Road Test Editor, Auto Bild India