Ferrari’s controversially styled FF was launched to the South African press today. With a starting price of R4 050 000, it is the most expensive Ferrari on sale today. And yet, according to one salesman, around 20 privileged South Africans have already placed orders.
The FF replaces the 612 Scaglietti, itself not the most beautiful of Ferraris. Like most of the rest of the world I gasped when first images of the FF was released, but, once again, like most modern cars, it looks significantly different in the metal and, importantly, better.
It is a big car, measuring 4 907 mm in length and much of that metal is stretched over the vast bonnet. In reality the car looks a lot more squat and muscular than pictures suggest. Of course, the FF is the “family man’s” Ferrari, and is claimed to offer full four-seat capability. I was very eager to find out just how spacious it can be, given its sleek looks. Firstly, the front accommodation is superb, and there is lots of adjustment on offer. I selected my preferred seating position and then climbed into the back. Surprise, surprise… it was indeed possible to sit behind myself, legs slightly apart. Headroom is very good and so is shoulder room. Obviously, and mostly because of the entry procedure that comes from it being a two-door car, it is never going to be as practical a proposition as a Porsche Panamera, for example.
The other big news is the unique all-wheel drive system dubbed 4RM. It is a massive 50 per cent lighter than conventional all-wheel drive systems and helps the FF achieve the desired front/rear weight distribution figures – 47%:53%. The system will only send torque to the front if the power requested by the driver exceeds what the rear axle can transfer to the road. It is completely integrated with the car’s electronic dynamic control systems. The FF is also equipped with the latest magnetorheological damping system (SCM3). SCM3 is claimed to provide response times five times faster than a standard damper. I have not driven the FF, but those who have say the system works very well.
Powering the newcomer is a new direct-injection V12 engine that delivers a whopping 492 kW at 8 000 r/min and 683 N.m at 6 000. The engine is mated with a seven-speed dual clutch transmission and powers the FF to 100 km/h in 3,7 seconds, 200 km/h in 11 seconds and on to a 335 km/h top speed. It is claimed to stop as well as it goes – third-generation CCM brakes bring it to a stop from 100 km/h in only 35 metres.
We hope to have the opportunity to drive the FF soon. Stay tuned.
Tags: Ferrari FF