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Ferrari's Naming Department Is Really Phoning It In

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author photo by Will Kinton February 2017

Ferrari recently released their replacement to the F12berlinetta, the 812 Superfast. Being a V12 Ferrari, it will be very quick, very expensive and -- in all likelihood -- it will be an absolute joy to drive and look at. It also has a name that a 12-year-old could have come up with.

Ferrari has a real problem coming up with names for things these days. They named their most exclusive hypercar the Ferrari LaFerrari, which sounds like the product of a 20-minute meeting where everyone wanted to be somewhere else and nobody really cared what the end result was. But you can't really blame them, because the LaFerrari couldn't be named through Ferrari's lazy naming structure.

Ferrari has only a few current methods of giving names to cars, and none of them require imagination. The first method is to name it after the place of production. The 360 Modena was named after the town where the Ferrari headquarters are located, the 550 and 575 Maranello are named after the factory they were assembled in, and the 458 Italia was named after the country itself. Luckily for Ferrari, they make their cars in Italy, and the Italian language can make anything sound exotic. Just ask Maserati how they've gotten away with "Quattroporte" all these years.

Their next method is to name a car after someone important they knew. For example, the Ferrari Enzo -- named after the founder of the company -- or the Ferrari 612 Scaglietti, which was named after one of the best designers they had. Ferrari doesn't use this method often, mostly because you'll run out of names pretty quickly if you name too many cars after important people.

If Ferrari isn't naming cars after places they can see from their windows or people they know, they're rehashing names from lore. The new Superfast falls into this category, as it is named after the 1964 Ferrari 500 Superfast. Also in this category is the new GTC4Lusso, which was named in some weird combination that involves the 1960s 250 Lusso and the 1970s 365 GTC/4. There's also the California T, which is named after the 1966 365 California. And the 599 GTO, named for the 250 and 288 GTO -- but not as special as either. For those keeping score at home, three out of the five latest cars Ferrari has released are named after old, mostly unrelated models.

In fact, if you want to find a truly new name for a Ferrari, you have to go all the way back to the Mondial. Maybe that's why they've been so hesitant to try something new all these years.

And it doesn't stop there. When Ferrari came out with the F12, it wasn't just the F12 -- it was the "F12 Berlinetta." That would've been fine, except Ferrari stylized it as "F12berlinetta," lower-case letter and no space included, like they were trying to form one of those modern ad agencies that uses a plus sign instead of an ampersand. Ferrari still insists the technical name of the Enzo was the "Ferrari Enzo Ferrari," not just the Enzo. Despite all the beautiful names available in Ferrari's home language, its first-ever all-wheel-drive car was dubbed the "FF."

Of course, Ferrari still uses numbers for names fairly often -- like F355, 360, F430, 458 and 488. Those are fine, although the naming pattern seems to change with each passing model: The 355 was named after its 3.5-liter engine with 5 valves per cylinder, and while the 360 did indeed have a 3.6-liter engine, it had more than 0 valves per cylinder. Most importantly, those number names aren't exactly romantic or exciting.

We have to imagine that a company known for making some of the most amazing cars on the market could improve in this area. Ferrari, if you're reading this, maybe you could try a bit harder to give your cars some better names?

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Used 2016 Ferrari California T
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Used 2016 Ferrari California T
Used 2016 Ferrari California
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Ferrari's Naming Department Is Really Phoning It In - Autotrader