Engine: 6.3-litre V12
Transmission: Seven-speed twin-clutch, four-wheel drive
Top speed: 208mph
Price: £240,000 (est)
It’s flipping fast, as you’d expect from a Ferrari. But it’s also Focus flexible, with about as much boot space as Ford’s top-selling family car. This is the FF – the sensational replacement for the prancing horse’s 612 Scaglietti.
The initials stand for Ferrari Four: it’s a genuine four-seater and, for the first time, sends the mammoth power output from its V12 engine to all four wheels. This is a revolution for the men from Maranello.
Crucially for supercar fans, though, the newcomer isn’t flaming foul to look at. The 612 was widely regarded as one of the most pig ugly Ferraris ever, but the FF marks a spectacular return to form. The firm has always said it will never produce a four-door, so this car, with its two-door hatchback layout and spacious, luxurious accommodation for four, is as close to the likes of the Aston Martin Rapide and Porsche Panamera as it will get. And it’s an utterly convincing piece of design.
The shape is the work of Pininfarina, and beautifully disguises the fact that the newcomer is longer and taller, yet narrower, than the model it replaces – at 4.9-, 1.3- and 1.9-metres respectively. It’s 50kg lighter, too, tipping the scales at 1790kg. The nose clearly takes cues from the stunning 458 Italia, with those striking LED headlights accentuating the length of the bonnet, and adding to the drama.
The main styling talking point, though, is at the other end of the car: the shooting brake-style rear hints at its impressive versatility. That’s not to say function has triumphed over form, though. The tailgate has a gorgeous flowing shape, reminiscent of a Nineties BMW Z3M, which tapers around into the rear wings, where the passenger windows mould effortlessly into a rising shoulder line. It looks fantastic.
Inside, there’s the usual blend of driver focus and luxury. All four occupants get sculpted sports seats, finished in high-grade Frau aniline leather. Their bases are constructed from ultra-light magnesium, and the obsession with minimising weight – which defines any modern Ferrari – extends to the liberal use of carbon fibre trim throughout the cockpit.
Yet the firm hasn’t neglected comfort; the FF is designed as a cosseting grand tourer, after all. So passengers in the rear get their own entertainment system, to help wile away the miles. This consists of TV/DVD screens in the back of the front headrests, plus a 1280Watt, 16-channel surround sound system.
Further back is more proof that this model is designed for owners who live in the real world. The boot offers an impressive 400-litres of space with the back seats in position. But if you need more capacity, the bench folds out of the way, extending the maximum to 800-litres – on a par with a modern family car. That makes this the most practical prancing horse model ever produced.
Yet none of this comes at the expense of the driver appeal Ferrari’s customers demand. And hinting at this is the steering wheel-mounted manettino switch, which provides instant adjustment of throttle and steering responses to suit the road or conditions. Plus, the wheel itself won’t be far removed from that used by Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso every other weekend, with Ferrari having turned its back on stalks and switches in favour of buttons in the centre of the rim…
Read the full feature in issue eight or in the digital issue by clicking here.