Back in 2000, the 550 Maranello was a good test bed for new engineering ideas. The example presented here was an experimental model called Sperimentale that had a number of unique features that were possible improvements for its successor, the 575M.
The most dramatic of all these changes was a side mounted exhaust that not only provided a much more distinct exhaust note, but payed homage to past race cars which donned the similar setups. To provide the necessary room for the exhaust system, the whole car needed to be lengthened which increased weight. However, the resulting 2700mm wheelbase allowed for more cross members and a 10% increase in rigidity.
The Sperimentale’s body was extended at the cowl, leaving a gap between the engine compartment and front firewall. This meant the front end was much longer, with modified hood and front fenders.
Extra air intakes were included on the new sills that helped drop fuel temperatures and send air to the transaxle cooler.
Inside, a new pedal arrangement and telescopic steering wheel were tested to try and remove the need for a heavy adjustable seat. Each pedal included individual adjustment, the same setup you might find on a racing car.
The one and only 550 Sperimentale, chassis 117904, was sold at Ferrari’s Leggenda e Passione auction, and sold for 165,000 EUR plus commissions.