Culture / Cars

With Hot New Cars and a Staff of True Experts, Ferrari of Houston Roars Into the Future

Next Level High-Performance Cars and Service

BY // 11.15.21

With a whole range of sleek new high-performance cars and a team of award-winning employees, there’s a lot of excitement at Ferrari of Houston. One of the world’s most fabled luxury brands is looking to a bright future built on its illustrious past.

Two Ferrari of Houston staff members have been chosen among the finalists in the Testa Rossa Awards, a prestigious international competition that recognizes the “best of the best” Ferrari talents working in the Prancing Horse’s dealerships around the world.

“It’s kind of like the Olympics for Ferrari,” says Ferrari of Houston marketing manager Diane Caplan, who has been named a finalist in the Top Marketing Executive category. Caplan is one of only three finalists from the United States.

Ferrari of Houston master technician Josh Klug is a finalist in the Top Technician category for the second year in a row and is one of only two finalists from the United States in the category. The winners will be revealed in December.

“Our processes and training have taken our staff to the highest level in the world,” says Ferrari of Houston general manager Tony Nevotti. “It really allows us as a very small dealership to know that we’ve got the best people possible doing the jobs for the brand. It’s very satisfying.”

Josh Klug is one of the top Ferrari technicians in the world.
Josh Klug is one of the top Ferrari technicians in the world. (Photo by Nick Dennis Photograhy)

Ferrari of Houston is unique in the rarified world of Ferrari. It is one of the company’s oldest dealerships in the United States. Owner Giuseppi Risi opened the Houston dealership in 1980 after his friend, Ferrari founder and industry titan Enzo Ferrari encouraged him to open a location in North America.

In 1997, Risi started his own Houston-based racing team, which has won a host of long distance racing events, including the fabled Le Mans race in France three times in its class.

The Risi Competizione professional racing team has also won the 10-hour Petit Le Mans race in Atlanta five times and placed second twice in the last three years in the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway. The racing team will debut a new car at Daytona in January.

The New Ferrari

Such prowess on the racetrack and a tradition of reinvesting a higher percentage of its profits into research and development than any other car manufacturer has allowed Ferrari to stay ahead of the pack in developing cutting-edge technology. This allows it to create a range of new cars, including several hybrid models. Ferrari’s first SUV, the Purosangue, a front-engine V-12 hybrid with all-wheel drive, is expected to debut next spring.

Ferrari’s plug-in hybrid, the SF90 Stradale, pairs a twin-turbo V8 with three electric motors to make it the brand’s most powerful road-going car ever, packing nearly 1,000 horsepower.

“The traditional Ferrari customer was apprehensive, but once they drove it they’re all in,” Nevotti says. “The new younger customers jumped on it. The car, the technology in the car and the response in driving the car is just absolutely second to none.”

The SF90 Spider, a convertible version of the SF90 Stradale, will debut later this year. Fans can get an up-close view of the new car at the Houston Ferrari Festival in River Oaks District on December 5. The Ferrari Festival will also mark the Houston debut of the limited edition 812 Competizione.

The 812 Competizione will be revealed at the Upcoming Ferrari Festival December 5th at River Oaks District.

Other new high-performance offerings include the Ferrari 296TGB, an exotic sports car that represents a new era for the Italian automaker with a V-6 engine and hybrid technology (it debuts next spring), and the second car in the brand’s Icona series of reproducing limited edition classic Ferrari models with modern technology. Shrouded in secrecy, the yet-unnamed “Icona II,” which is set to be unveiled later this month, is rumored to take its inspiration from the 1967 330 P4 race car.

The Portofino M, a two-door 2+2 hardtop convertible, and the Roma, a 2+2 front-engine coupe, are attracting a new clientele, particularly affluent women who crave a Ferrari that fits into their active lifestyles.

“We want them to have a choice and not just that traditional Ferrari mid-engine car. Women want a sports car but they also want to be able to drive it during their daily activities and to work,” Nevotti says.

With so many new offerings, the entire Ferrari lineup will have been revamped over the course of 24 months.

“There’s really no other sports car manufacturer with the diverse range of sports cars that we have,” Nevotti notes. “Every new car is built on the traditions of the past cars, so they just continue to get better.”

The wide range of cars is attracting an expanded customer base that understands Ferrari is the pinnacle of luxury. In recent years, the average age of a first-time Ferrari buyer has come down (in the United States it’s 54 and in China, where Ferrari is wildly popular, the average age of a new Ferrari buyer is 40) as a new generation discovers the brand.

“Ferrari has recognized that this generation coming up have more wealth than any generation in history, so it’s our job to put something in front of them that’s appealing,” Nevotti says.

And, while a Ferrari may be hard to come by, even with models starting at $250,000 and going up from there, the resale market is booming.

“We never have any new inventory in stock,” Nevotti says. “All of our new cars are presold and preordered which is a nice position to be in as we never have excess cars on the ground.

“This also says something about the product and the resale value of the cars, because there’s not new inventory on the ground, it keeps the value very high on preowned Ferraris.”

“It is a position we are very fortunate to be in.”

To learn even more about Ferrari of Houston and all it offers, check out its full site.