Saturday 7 April 2012
The Ferrari 400 and Ferrari 412 are front-engined 2+2 coupé cars from Italian manufacturer Ferrari. They were available with 5-speed all synchromesh or an optional 3-speed automatic transmission unit from General Motors. Their design was derived from the almost identical looking 365 GT4 2+2 (which itself was based on the famous Daytona). Production began in 1976, when Ferrari revealed its first car fitted with an automatic transmission - the 400 - at the Paris Motorshow of 1976. With the improved 412 introduced in 1985 it was phased out in 1989. Today, its sleek, Pininfarina-designed lines and relatively limited production numbers may give it potential as a future classic. It has not been universally admired however, and is listed at #18 in the BBC's book of "Crap Cars", sandwiched between the Daihatsu Applause and the Austin Ambassador and Jeremy Clarkson on Top Gear described it as "awful in every way".
Although the incorporation of an automatic transmission, and U.S. emissions compliance, indicate it may have been designed for the American market, no version of the 400 series was ever officially imported to the USA. Despite this, many have been brought to America as gray imports, where the car enjoyed a limited popularity with movie stars, such as Sammy Davis Jr.
The 400 was improved for 1985 with an increase in displacement to 4,943 cc (4.943 L; 301.6 cu in) and a restoration of the original car's 340 PS (250 kW). ABS was offered for the first time on a Ferrari; the manual and automatic transmissions were both retained. Production was stopped in 1989 with only the mid-engined Mondial offering 2+2 seating. The classic front-engine layout returned in 1992 with the 456.
Capacity: 4900 cc
Power: 340 HP
Top Speed: 240 km/h