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Superamerica 45
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Country of origin:Italy
Produced in:2011
Designed by:Pininfarina
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:May 25, 2011
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Click here to download printer friendly versionDuring Ferrari's formative years it was still the rule rather than the exception that the top of the line models were built to custom order. Modern mass-production manufacturing methods have long since limited the customers' options for a bespoke Ferrari. In 2006 prominent Ferrari collector Peter S. Kalikow helped break this status quo by commissioning Pininfarina to build him the custom 612 Kappa.

At the same time Zagato launched a completely rebodied 550 Maranello with a plan for a limited production run and in August Jim Glickenhaus revealed his Ferrari Enzo based P4/5 by Pininfarina. Ferrari took notice and soon after announced its 'Ferrari Special Projects' program. Customers now have to order a bespoke model directly from Ferrari. The first special project was the Leonardo Fioravanti styled SP1 completed in 2008, which was followed by the P540 Aperta built late in 2009.

About fifteen months in the making, the third car built under the Special Projects banner is dubbed the Superamerica 45 and was first shown to the world at the 2011 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este. Like the 612 Kappa, this striking one-off was once again commissioned by American collector Peter Kalikow, who first became a Ferrari client 45 years ago. The inspiration for the project was the 400 Superamerica Cabriolet that Kalikow's ranks as one of the best cars in his collection.

The Superamerica 45 is built around an aluminium spaceframe chassis similar to the limited production 599 Aperta roadster. Power comes from the very potent V12 also used in the 599 GTO. Based on the engine originally used for the Enzo, it produces well over 650 bhp. This is transferred to the rear wheels by a semi-automatic gearbox, which is operated by paddles behind the steering wheel. Carbon ceramic discs ensure that the Superamerica 45 can slow down as fast as it can accelerate.

What really sets the bespoke machine apart from the rest of the 599 range is the rotating roof that was previously used on the 575M SuperAmerica. It is finished in a spectacular blue carbon-fibre and once opened sits on top of the rear deck, so opening the hard-top roof does not affect the luggage space. In fact the luggage compartment can be accessed regardless of whether the roof is resting on the lid.

Like 400 Superamerica Cabriolet, the new Superamerica is finished in a lovely metallic blue paint, which is further accentuated by blue carbon-fibre sections and polished aluminium A-pillars and wing mirrors. Additional vents in the front wings and a spoiler on the tail set the car further apart from the 'standard' 599. The latter was a necessary addition to create sufficient downforce and stability at high speeds. The interior is finished in a lavish tan leather with additional blue carbon-fibre trim.

While the Superamerica 45 did make its public debut at Villa d'Este, it was not yet officially delivered. Ever the perfectionist, Kalikow pointed out several details that still need changing before the car is really 'ready'. Among them were the lining on the roof, which will most likely be changed to the same tan leather as the rest of the interior and the door handles, which still need to receive the Kalikow's initials as previously seen on the 612 Kappa.

When Kalikow does take official delivery of the car, he intends to use it extensively on the road, like he does with a vast majority of the fabulous Ferraris in his collection. We, particularly, can't wait to see the Superamerica 45 next to the 400 Superamerica Cabriolet that inspired this project.

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  Article Image gallery (27) Specifications