Debuting at the 1976 Paris Salon, the 400 GT featured an upgraded 4.8-liter version of Ferrari’s four-cam V12 engine. Its distinctions from its predecessor, the 365 GT/4 2+2, were primarily in the details. The 400 GT underscored Ferrari’s commitment to competing in the realm of top-tier luxury sports saloons, aiming to appeal to mature and discerning customers who might have traditionally considered Bentley or Mercedes-Benz.
To cater to this clientele, the inclusion of an automatic transmission, specifically General Motors’ three-speed Hydramatic, was deemed essential. This transmission was renowned globally, having been utilized by Cadillac, Rolls-Royce, Jaguar, and others.
The handsomely appointed 2+2 by Ferrari boasted features such as self-levelling independent rear suspension, power-assisted steering, electric windows, and optional air conditioning. Despite the introduction of fuel injection and the transformation into the 400i GT, the model remained predominantly limited to the European market due to the substantial expenses associated with crash-testing for US safety standards.
Remarkably, production continued for 17 years until the conclusion of the final 412 version in 1989. Despite its extended production period, the exclusivity of Ferrari’s premier 2+2 meant that annual sales rarely exceeded 200 units.