As I said in yesterday’s Wordless Wednesday post, we have begun our search for a new family car. Rather than simply go out and sign up for a ten year term with a characterless mini-van,
I thought it would be fun to shop around and see what our options are before buying a new family car. Seeing as I rarely make snap decisions I thought it would be fun and educational for you, our reader to follow along with us as we test-drive a variety of cars.
The first car that caught my eye was a shiny silver car; a Ferrari Maranello 550. The Maranello is named after the city in Italy where the Ferrari head office is located. The 550 refers to the engine displacement 5.5 litres in a V12 format.
The prancing pony on the hood made me realize that this was a quality built vehicle.
I have to admit that the Ferrari was not as easy to get into and out of as I might like. One benefit of a purchase of a Ferrari might be that I would be forced to maintain a healthy body weight, simply so that I can get in and out of my Ferrari.
Once I was seated in the Ferrari I felt like I really belonged in that seat and I needed to feel what the performance was like.
Although the Maranello is billed as a grand tourer, it does not lack for power. On paper it will do 0-60 mph in 4.2 seconds and complete a quarter mile sprint in 12.5 seconds. It reaches 100 miles an hour in 9.6 seconds. That is on paper.
On Burnaby Mountain, after easing the super-stiff clutch out, I stuffed my foot into the gas pedal, jammed the clutch back to the floor and with barely a flick of my wrist shifted the six speed-rear mounted transmission into second gear. The revs jumped to about 4500 and my stomach felt like it was literally getting pushed into my spine. The Maranello leapt forward with such a thrusting forceful roar that I was actually a little taken aback. I didn’t have a chance to see what third gear was like.
And just in case you are running late for work, you can get out on the freeway and really open it up. The Ferrari tops out around 320 kilometres per hour. Imagine that, you can get from Vancouver to Kelowna in about an hour! How cool is that!!
However, as impressive as the performance was, I had to think about how practical the car would be for our family. First thing I noticed was that here are no cup holders in the front seat area. What a silly oversight!
And then I asked about rear seat belts. There aren’t any…in fact there is no back seat…at all.
The Ferrari has impressive forward performance and equally impressive stopping power with four wheel disc brakes. While coming down Burnaby Mountain, even though I opened her up and got up to 160kmh, I never felt a bit out of control knowing that the four wheel disc brakes would stand the prancing pony on her nose.
It was a nifty feeling sitting in the Ferrari Maranello. Even though the car is not all that ostentatious it still draws many looks and second looks as you pass other people.
My favourite view of the car is the front grill which is unspoiled with a license plate.
At the end of the day though, I’m not so sure that this is the car for our family’s needs at this time. Fun to drive but no cup-holders…deal breaker for me. Never-mind the lack of room in the rear seat, well the spot where the rear seat might have been. Perhaps if it came in a four door we would consider it. As it sits now, it is not the car for us.
Not too sure what the next test drive will be but I hope it is half the car that this Ferrari Maranello was/is. The prancing pony really is a work of art.