With its front engine/rear wheel drive platform, the 550 brought back a classic drivetrain layout not used since the Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona production ceased in 1973. The car was designed for Grand Touring with a higher degree of comfort than the F355 and F50 which were produced concurrently.
Named is honor of Ferrari's Headquarters in Maranello the 550 was first introduced in 1996. The car used technology from the 456 2+2 but featured an entirely new 5.5-liter V12 that could produce nearly 500 bhp.
The steel chassis is a modfied version of the one in the F456 and supports an aluminum alloy body.
Source: Ferrari Press Release