While the SLR would feel more at home on the open autobahn and under high-load track cornering, it traversed the canyon roads with great authority and remained extremely stable, thanks in part to an all-independent double wishbone suspension, long wheelbase and wide track. It also features a front-mid engine layout, which places the engine aft of the front axle and creating what is considered an ideal 50/50 weight balance. Moreover, the F1-inspired, carbon-fiber, flat-bottom tub, complete with inlet ducts and a rear diffuser, creates pavement-sucking downforce. Its new tire and wheel package also proved extremely effective, providing ample traction with nearly a foot of contact patch at each rear corner.

Inside, the two-seater is quite comfortable with luxury and sport-trimmed features abound. Unlike the stripped-down Enzo, the SLR comes fully loaded with all the creature comforts imaginable.

In addition to passive and active safety features, I'm told SLR and 612 also feature awesome upscale audio systems. I wouldn't know. The thought of disturbing their precision tuned exhaust notes never once came to mind.

As comfortable as the SLR is, the 612 offers substantially more in every respect. As stated, this is a true GT. Aside from its slippery design, my first thought was how unlike a traditional mid-engine Ferrari it is. Not only is the engine in the wrong place, there's room for four normal sized adults. Measuring 193 inches long by 77 wide, it's also the largest Ferrari to date, comparable in size to a midrange SUV. But make no mistake, the 612 is still very much a died-in-the-wool Ferrari. Its blistering 4.1-second zero-to-60-mph performance will affirm that. Like the SLR, it also has extremely long legs and is said to hit a top speed of 199mph. Though intimidating in both power and size, the 533 bhp 612 is actually extremely well mannered and is quite forgiving too. In other words, it will make up for a lack of good judgment or driver incompetence and make you look like a pro. This is a good thing, considering the car's ultra-high-revving V12 bark and six-speed F1 transmission will make you believe you can outrun Schumacher himself. Trust me, it has this effect on everyone.

Similar to the SLR, the 612's monster 5.7-liter engine is placed behind the front axle, providing a 46/54 front-to-rear weight ratio. Additionally, and as with the F430, the 612 uses an aluminum space frame construction, reducing curb weight and increasing torsional rigidity in the process. It is 54% stiffer in torsion than its forebearer, the 456, which amounts to better overall handling and a more positive feel at the wheel. Given its overall dimensions and larger rolling stock, which I might add tucked beautifully under the 612's muscular fenders despite their size, I couldn't imagine the car handling any better.

Unlike the gear change chatter in the 360 Modena, gear swaps in the 612 are smooth and quiet. Delivery is faster too, executing shifts in just two-tenths of a second. It's rapid fire paddle shifting at its finest. Stopping power is equally impressive with giant 13.6- and 13.0-inch rotors front and rear mated to like-sized binders. Pedal feel also seems much more familiar with no sudden surprises.

At the end of my brief encounter with two of the world's most admired automobiles, I concluded that both offer power, prestige and practicality unlike any other exotic available. Though I spent the better part of the day driving by the seat of my pants, the fun and excitement ended far too soon.

Ruined for life, I may never play the video game again.

2005 Mercedes-Benz SLR Mclaren

Drivetrain
Longitudinal front engine, rear-wheel drive

Engine
5.5-liter V8, dohc, four valves per cylinder, supercharged and intercooled

Transmission
Five-speed automatic w/TouchShift

Suspension
Independent double wishbone suspension

Brakes
14.6-inch ceramic front discs with 8-piston calipers, 14.2-inch ceramic rear discs with 4-piston calipers

Wheels and Tires
GFG Beverly Hills Edition
9x20 (f), 11x20 (r)
Continental SportContact2
255/30-20 (f), 305/25-20 (r)

Chassis
Carbon fiber monocoque, carbon- fiber panels

Performance
Peak Power: 617 bhp @ 6500 rpm
Peak Torque: 575 lb-ft @ 3250 rpm
0-60 mph: 3.8 sec.
Top speed: 207 mph

2005 Ferrari 612 Scaglietti

Drivetrain
Longitudinal front engine, rear-wheel drive

Engine
5.7-liter V12, dohc, four valves per cylinder

Transmission
Six-speed auto-clutch manual

Suspension
Adaptive Variable Suspension, independent triangular arms with coil springs, shock absorbers and rear stabilizer bar

Brakes
13.6-inch ventilated front discs, 13.0-inch ventilated rear discs

Wheels and Tires
GFG Spiello-6
9x22 (f), 10.5x22 (r)
Pirelli P-Zero
245/30-22 (f), 295/25-22 (r)

Chassis
Superleggera all-aluminum spaceframe

Performance
Peak Power: 533bhp @ 7250 rpm
Peak Torque: 434 lb-ft @ 5250 rpm
0-60 mph: 4.1 sec.
Top Speed: 199 mph

SOURCE
GFG Forged
Modular Wheels
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