A handful of Australian millionaires have placed orders, even though the car is only being built in left-hand drive. Photo Gallery
This future Ferrari has been whacked with the ugly stick.
But don't read too much into the flat-black paintwork or the misshapen and badly-fitted camouflage body panels. Project 150 will morph from an ugly duckling to a rocketship swan within a month as the replacement for the Enzo supercar is readied for the road.
The 150 - which is likely to get a new name before production begins this year - is already being previewed in Europe and a handful of Australian millionaires have placed orders, even though the car is only being built in left-hand drive.
"My understanding is that probably six or seven will come to Australia," the head of Australia's Ferrari agency, Neville Crichton, reveals to Carsguide. "It will go to Ferrari owners and collectors rather than new customers. People who own an Enzo now would probably be at the top of the list."
Crichton has led a Ferrari renaissance in Australia over the past seven years through his company, Ateco Automotive, with a jump in sales and new multi-million-dollar showrooms built in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.
But the success is working against him, as Ferrari is planning to set up a direct factory operation under the direction of its current Japanese chief, Herbert Appleroth. On the F150 front, European sources hint that production of the mid-engined road rocket will begin around the middle of the year as Ferrari goes head-to-head with the McLaren P1 and Porsche 918 supercars that are also scheduled for 2013.
"I don't know the timing. But I wouldn't be surprised if they show it at the Geneva Show next month," says Crichton. Project 150 is the latest in a string of Ferrari supercars that includes the 288 GTO, F40, F50 and Enzo.
Technically, it is powered by a hybrid package that combines a race-bred V12 petrol engine with an F10-style Kinetic Energy Recovery System for a total of around 600 kiloWatts of power. That means a 0-100km/h sprint time of just 3.0 seconds and a top speed of around 370km/h.
Apart from the 150, Crichton says his Italian action for 2013 will be intense. "We're waiting for the F12 Ferrari and the new Maserati Quattroporte," says Crichton, who also holds Australia's Maserati agency, and will retain it after the Ferrari split. "The F12 will be brilliant for the brand and we expect the first cars in July. We have big plans for Maserati, with the smaller Ghibli at the Geneva show."