Ferrari 456

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1999 Ferrari 456M
Ferrari 456
Manufacturer: Ferrari
Class: front-engined 2+2
Production: 19922003
Predecessor: Ferrari Mondial
Ferrari 412
Successor: Ferrari 612 Scaglietti
456 GT/GTA
Production: 19921997
Body styles: Coupe
Engines: 5.5 L V12
Production: 19982003
Body styles: Coupe
Engines: 5.5 L V12

The Ferrari 456 and 456 M is a high-performance Ferrari front-engined grand tourer. The 456 was introduced in 1992 as an overdue replacement for the defunct front-engined 412 as the company's premium 4-seat V12 car. The updated 456M was replaced in 2004 by the 612 Scaglietti.


The Pinifarina designed original 456 was available in GT and (from 1996) GTA forms. The difference in name signifies the transmission: the former has a six-speed manual and the latter has a four-speed automatic developed in partnership with the UK firm Ricardo. This was only the fourth automatic transmission ever offered by Ferrari.

The 5.5 L (5474 cc) 65° V12 engine was derived from the Dino V6 rather than the more conventional 60° V12s used in the 412 and Daytona. It produced 436hp with 4 valves per cylinder and Bosch Motronic 2.7 engine management. It could push the 3726lb car and four passengers to 187mi/h making it the worlds fastest production passenger car. Acceleration to 60mi/h was just 5.1 seconds, with a 13.4 second quarter mile time. At the time of its development it was the most powerful road car ever developed by Ferrari (aside from the F40).

The name 456 is derived from the fact that each cylinder displaces 456 cc. It is essentially a detuned version of the engine that appears in the 550 and 575. Despite its supercar performance the 456 has a relatively unstressed engine which has proven to be a very reliable unit.

The chassis is a tubular steel spaceframe construction with a one piece composite bonnet and body panels of aluminium. The body panels are welded to the chassis by using a special "sandwich filler" called feran that, when laid between, allows steel and aluminuim to be welded.

Approximately 3,289 of all versions where built worldwide. These consisted of the following versions: 456 GT: 1,548; 456 GTA 403;456M GT 688; 456M GTA 650.

2000 Ferrari 456 GTA

456 M

The Modificata 456 M appeared in 1998. Many changes were made to improve aerodynamics and cooling, and the interior – still featuring Connolly Leather – was freshened with new seats and other conveniences (fewer gauges on dash, and a new Becker stereo fitted in front of gearstick rather than behind as in the very shallow and special Sony head unit in the 456 GT). Some readily apparent changes can be seen in the two adjoining pictures. The 456 has a smaller grille with fog lights outside the grille. The 456 also had hood-mounted air scoops which can be seen removed on the 456 M. The undercarriage spoiler on the 456 M is fixed, where the older 456 had a motorized spoiler that began its deployment above 65mi/h. Power was up slightly on the Modificato now using Bosch Motronic 5.2 engine management at 442hp; with the firing pattern was changed for smoother running, and the torque remained the same for later versions of the 456 GT.

Rare body styles

While the 456 fastback coupé was the only version to hit showrooms, three other rare body styles exist:

  • The rarest is the Ferrari 456 GT Sedan. Two of these 4-door sedans (saloons) were built by Pininfarina especially for the Sultan of Brunei. They are the only known Ferrari 456 sedans in existence.
  • A wagon (estate) called the Ferrari 456 GT Venice was also built. Only a small handful were made by Pininfarina. Prince Jefri of Brunei ordered seven to be built. After Pininfarina designed and built them, the prince only purchased six.
  • A convertible version called the Ferrari 456 GT Spyder also exists. Two of these convertibles were built by Pininfarina especially for the Sultan of Brunei. There are also two aftermarket conversions made by the R. Straman Company of Costa Mesa, California. Boxer Mike Tyson bought one such convertible.


The 5.5 L V12 engine won the "over 4 litre" class of the International Engine of the Year award for 2000 and 2001.

< Ferrari timeline 1948–1967 Ferrari timeline 1960s-1990s Ferrari timeline 1990–Present >
Type 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
8 cylinder Mid-engine berlinetta 308 308 i 308 QV 328 348 360
208 208 Turbo GTB/GTS Turbo F355
Mid-engine 2+2 308 GT4 Mondial 8 Mondial QV Mondial 3.2 Mondial t
208 GT4
12 cylinder Boxer berlinetta 365 BB 512 BB 512i BB Testarossa 512TR F512M
Grand tourer 250 275 365 GTB/4
550 Maranello
America 330 365
2+2 coupé 250 GT/E 330 GT 2+2 365 GT 2+2 365GTC/4 GT4 2+2 400 400 i 412 456 456 M
Supercar 250 GTO 250 LM 288
F40 F50
Sold under the Dino marque until 1976; see also Ferrari Dino