In 1992 Ferrari re-entered the GT market with this car, the gorgeous 456 - this was the first front engine Ferrari so be built since the 412 was discontinued in 1989. The 456was inspired by the 365 GTC/4 produced for just 18 months back in 1971/'72, the 456 was clearly influenced by C/4 in concept and style. Production cars featured a new tubular steel spaceframe chassis that was dynamically far superior to the old 412, ride and handling being quite drastically improved. Although self-levelling rear suspension had been seen as long ago as 1967 on the 365 GT, an all-new system fitted to the 456 was state of the art. Two alternative suspension settings (Sport and Touring) allowed drivers to configure the dampers according to their mood while sophisticated Servotronic power steering electronically adjusted the assistance according to road speed and conditions. The 5.5-litre V12 engine featured a light alloy crank, cylinder heads and oil sump, the technological progress Ferrari had been able to make since their last V12 meaning this powerplant was not only exceptionally light but also extremely compact but also producing an awesome output of 442bhp at 6250rpm.
Ferrari were keen to ensure the 456 was a match for its two-seat models. Sprinting from 0-60 in just 5.3 seconds and capable of a top speed of 186mph, the 456 could also lap Fiorano several seconds quicker than a 512 TR and 348. Pininfarina were commissioned to create the bodywork, the Turinese firm using aluminium panels that were chemically bonded to the steel chassis. Although the 412 had been a very fine looking car, the 456 was a much sportier looking machine, thoroughly modern yet incorporating classic Ferrari cues. More lithe and aggressive than its predecessors, the 456 looked like a four-seat Berlinetta rather than a stately GT.
One of just 138 Automatic 456 M GTA's, this 456 is presented in the most desirable colour combination of Tour de France Blue with Tan trim. This example has covered just 24,000 miles since delivery in 1999. The car looks and drives extremely well, having recently had a major cambelt service by a Ferrari main dealer. Having had five owners in total from new this is a very elegant and usable Ferrari that is ready to be used and enjoyed by its new owner.
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