FERRARI TURNS TO A 4X4
The prancing horse is on course for the four-wheeldrive market, says Mark Hinchliffe
IT’S A Ferrari, but not as we know it. Famed for its two-seater, rearwheel-drive supercars, the Italian manufacturer has revealed its first four-wheel drive, the four-seater Ferrari FF.
The latest addition to the Maranello prancing horse fleet is also a hatchback or ‘‘shooting brake’’, but unlike any normal hatchback.
Its 6262cc direct-injection V12 engine delivers 485kW of power that slings the red missile from standstill to 100km/h in 3.7 seconds and a maximum speed of 335km/h.
But the main point of difference in the ‘‘Ferrari Four’’ is the addition of four-wheel drive for the first time, which puts it in closer competition with all-wheel-drive Lamborghinis.
Ferrari’s patented 4RM four-wheeldrive system is claimed to weigh half as much as other systems to provide a balanced weight distribution of 53 per cent over the rear axle.
While no details have yet been released of how the drive system works, it is believed Ferrari favours a part-time system.
It is integrated with the car’s electronic dynamic control systems and there’s the latest version of Ferrari’s magnetic suspension damping system and Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes.
Carsguide has published spy photos from Carparazzi of the car heavily disguised but looking frumpy in the rear end. With the covers removed, it appears Italian design house Pininfarina has produced a sleek supercar that looks like an aerodynamic version of the 1970s Jensen Interceptor.
It has generous space for four passengers and 450 litres of luggage.
With the rear seats down, luggage space increases to 800 litres.
The new four-seater gran turismo style puts it in direct competition with the emergence over the past few years of other four-steer GTs such as the Porsche Panamera and Aston Rapide.
The FF will make its official debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March and arrive in Australia early next year. Importer Ateco says it will replace the 612 Scaglietti in its fourcar line-up.
The current Scaglietti sells here for $698,000, but the FF’s drive system is expected to boost that price.
It would join Ferrari’s current Australian line-up of California Convertible ($459,650), 458 Italia ($526,950) and 599 Fiorano ($677,250).
Ferrari is enjoying record sales in the US and China. In Australia it sold 126 cars last year, up 21.2 per cent, which is double the market trend.
Ateco spokesman Edward Rowe says the FF will appeal to ‘‘people who want a Ferrari that is able to be used across a broad range of uses’’.
‘‘The idea of this car is it’s fully capable of going to a high-speed performance day and then take you and your family and skis in the car down to the snow for a ski weekend,’’ he says.
‘‘ This illustrates the enormous breadth and ability of this car.’’
Rowe says Ateco already has ‘‘double figures’’ of customers ‘‘putting their hand up’’ for the FF.
Fired up: Ferrari FF delivers 485kW of power and goes from standstill to 100km/h in 3.7 seconds.