Ferrari FF breaks cover

The new Ferrari FF. Ferrari's first four wheel-drive, four seater supercar, with 651bhp and love it or hate it looks, it's causing a stir.

By Tim Kendall | 22nd January 2011

The new Ferrari FF.

Ferrari, thankfully, doesn’t do four doors. Whilst Aston and Porsche have sold out to the marketing people and built four door supercars that pander to the current vogue of exhausting every possible niche, this horse is prancing to it’s own tune. Today Ferrari unveiled the ‘FF’, its first four-wheel drive, four-seater supercar. In the model rankings, it’s a replacement for the visually challenging 612 Scaglietti. Whether by accident, or by design, the FF moniker evokes memories of the Jensen FF, one of the first four-wheel drive GT cars, which was conceptually similar. Visually there’s an element of Alfa Brera and the breadvan-esque BMW M Coupé in profile, whilst the front melds 599 GTB with a touch of Mercedes CLS in the sweep of those headlights. It’s a Pininfarina penned shape, and whilst a departure from any Ferrari I can remember, is totally coherent and fresh. Is Ferrari design coming back to form? Judging by the 458 Italia and now this, I’d say so, but it’s unconventional and quite possibly a bit ‘marmite’.

Shades of Merc CLS in the headlights.

Claimed performance, as you might expect, is sobering. Ferrari states a 0-60 time of 3.7 seconds, thanks to a 6.2 litre direct injection V12 developing 651bhp and a dual-clutch F1 Gearbox. Ferrari’s four-wheel drive system is particularly light, the patented ‘4RM’ drivetrain weighing 50 per cent less than conventional systems, allowing near perfect weight distribution of 47:53 front to rear. Being fully integrated into the car’s dynamic stability control systems, 4RM delivers “record levels of performance on all terrains and in all conditions via continuous and intelligent predictive torque distribution to all four wheels”.  Ferrari’s magnetorheological damping system, dubbed SCM3, and Brembo’s finest carbon ceramic braking technology, round off the dynamic picture.

And here’s two words you didn’t expect to hear in the same sentence; Ferrari and practical. The FF is a four-seater with what Ferrari claims is class leading cabin space and boot capacity (450 litres extendable to 800), larger than anything in the four-door supercar category. So, if you want to ferry four unfeasibly handsome and stylish people to the Alps in a hurry, this is surely the machine to do it in.

And how best to investigate Ferrari’s claim that the FF can conquer a wide range of terrains, including snow-covered surfaces? Given Scuderia Ferrari’s F1 disappointment last season, why not stick Alonso in an FF and send him rallying? A sideways Spaniard hurtling through a forest stage in a four-wheel drive Ferrari, there’s something that might revive the flagging popularity of WRC.

The FF will be officially unveiled at the Geneva Motor show in March.

Proof that this really is a four wheel drive Ferrari

Looking good in Grigio

Luggage capacity and cabin space claimed to be class leading

By Tim Kendall
22nd January 2011

Got an opinion? Don't be shy....