456 GTA

2+2 versions are a tradition with Ferrari. The same tradition embraced automatic transmission for the first time in 1976, when it was mounted on the 400 GT Automatic, followed in 1979 by the 400i and in 1985 by the 412. The Ferrari 456 GT 2+2 now bows to this tradition with a special version, the 456 GTA 2+2, where the A stands for Automatic. The basic reasons that led to the development of an automatic version are the same in the past, but the scenario in which the 456 GTA makes its appearance is very different.

The differences are:
  • the great success of the 456, which in little more than two years from its launch has already sold 1,100 units. By way of comparison with the past, a total of 1,576 units of the 400 with mechanical gearbox were sold in its whole life cycle (18 years), and 1,520 if the 400 Automatic in 15 years. The demand for a Ferrari, with all the characteristics of a Ferrari but capable of carrying four people comfortably, is much stronger than it was in the past;

  • the extension of Ferrari activities in the habitual markets for automatic transmission. Ten years ago Ferrari sold just about 5% of its output in the Far East. This percentage is now 15% and will soon reach 20% of total sales. For many countries in this region, automatic transmission is almost a must. The same can be said for North America, historically Ferrari's leading market, where 2+2 versions are often requested with automatic transmission;

  • current technology that makes it possible to respond to the demand for a sporty driving style even with an automatic transmission. FDD Ricardo and Ferrari have designed and developed a four-speed gearbox, capable of governing the engine's 440 horsepower while guaranteeing a driving style that is identical in many ways to the mechanical version.

The 456 GTA therefore enters the scene as a response to precise technical and market demands, alongside the successful 456 GT 2+2.
In purely technical terms, the 456 GTA combines the 65° V12 engine of the GT, with a rear gearbox-differential assembly, maintaining the weight distribution practically identical to that of the GT, namely 49/51 instead of 51/49. It is an improvement, albeit minute, on the better known version. Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h takes 5.5 s, while the top speed is 298 km/h.
The electronically controlled gearbox has an artificial intelligence that interprets the driver's driving style, cutting in and changing gear to match the situation.
If the transmission is positioned in third, performance is even sportier because the gearbox will adapt its behaviour to the driver's requirements.
In these conditions, the gears are changed up or down very rapidly, and at peak torque.

The Ferrari 456 GTA is yet another indication of Ferrari's policy of offering models that meet each and every requirement of those who love its cars.