The Pininfarina designed original 456 was available in GT and (from 1996) GTA forms. The difference in name signifies the transmission: the former has a six-speed manual and the latter has a four-speed automatic developed in partnership with the UK firm Ricardo. This was only the fourth automatic transmission ever offered by Ferrari. The 5.5 L (5474 cc), 65° V12 engine was derived from the Dino V6 rather than the more conventional 60° V12s used in the 412 and Daytona.
The name 456 refers to the fact that each cylinder displaces 456 cubic centimetres. This was the last Ferrari to use this naming convention. The 456 GT was also the first modern Ferrari to revert to a front engined, rear-wheel drive layout, with the gearbox in unit with the rear differential for ideal weight distribution as well as plenty of space for passengers and luggage.
Built as a true 'grand tourer', this 180mph Ferrari links the classic era of the past with the super-car era of the future.