Let me introduce you to the beast of the Tuscan hills. This is Stefano Ricci’s personal whip, a 1 of 25 ABT RS6-R. Stefano Ricci is the clothier to some of the world’s wealthiest men. In this line of work, being great is not enough—you must continually pursue the ultimate.
At a time when the words “handcrafted” and “artisan” are bandied about, Stefano Ricci is one of the last menswear companies truly committed to Italian craftsmanship. For the Ricci family, the methods that master craftsmen use to restore and maintain some of the world’s most prestigious vehicles offers a perfect parallel to how Stefano Ricci’s clothing is woven, cut, and stitched to life.
In our film, Filippo Ricci takes us to magnificent Florence, the home of the world’s finest clothing, where the Stefano Ricci company operates a historic 250-year-old silk textile factory, which includes a warping machine designed by Leonardo Da Vinci. Then, we go into the hills of Tuscany, where at the Mugello Circuit the priceless Ricci classic car collection illustrates the commitment this family has to the traditional values of quality and craftsmanship.
Back to the RS6-R. This beast of a wagon is the perfect reflection of Stefano Ricci’s values of honor, power and pride, particularly power in this case. The RS6-R has 730 hp on tap, up from 560 from the standard model. I’ll let the bonkers front splitter and rear diffuser speak for themselves.
This nutty machine is adorned in a custom colour, Stefano Ricci’s favorite hue of green, which evokes the famous green of the Mugello hills which lie north of Florence . There is no doubt Stefano exploits the performance on offer from this car’s potent mix of turbo-charged V8 and 295 section tires on his daily commute.
The Quattro all wheel drive system comes in handy when driving from the Stefano Ricci factory in Fiesole outside Florence to the family estate, Poggio Ai Segugi. The route runs across the Passo Del Gogio, a twisty Tuscan mountain pass, which is icy in the winter months. The drive took us 50 minutes when we made the journey, a somewhat cautious night time cruise up and down the Florentine hills, merely feet from deadly drops beyond rather feeble crash barriers. Stefano admits that in the RS6-R, he’s managed the trip in 35. Yup.
Here the car is in the pit lane at the Mugello Circuit, a historic track. Mugello hosts major events such as the Moto GP and DTM racing. Stefano spent much of the day at Mugello taking friends, family and journalists out around the track, along with a pair of 488GTBs and a Huracan.
I went out in a 488, an experience like no-other, although I may have bitten of a little more than I could chew, trying to film the lap at the same time. With the track being slippery from a foggy morning, I imagine Stefano was putting faster times in than the super cars, what with more power available, and all four wheels driven, to help around the greasy corners.
The sound of this thing storming down the start finish straight can only be compared to the sound of thunder, echoing from the hills that surround the track. What a privilege it was to be standing at the pit wall, witnessing such a rare car being thrashed to the edge of its potential, in the way it should be.
Stefano is not the first person you expect to see in such a car, but when you understand the values that motivate him, it all starts to make more sense, and the RS6-R seems perfectly tailor-made.