Amedeo Felisa, Ferrari's chief executive and veteran engineer, says his all-new Ferrari FF four-seater is as fast around a track as a 599. "Not the GTO," he adds hastily, "but the regular 599." For the FF to be as fast as the shattering (and shatteringly hard-to-drive) GTO would be impossible. For it to be as quick as the regular 599 is merely miraculous.
Ferrari people are suspiciously keen to stress the Ferrari-ness of their new car. Could this be because the last time they strayed from their supersports heartland with the California, they suffered a squall of criticism for going soft and selling out?
Well, if the California tore the envelope of the traditional Ferrari ideal, then the new FF straight-up shreds it. It's got four adult-sized seats, a hatchback, and all-wheel-drive.
But here are some stats that might nudge it back towards Ferrari-ness in your mind. The car retains a 53-percent rear-axle weight distribution, and that weight is just 220 pounds more than a 599. Which, incidentally, makes it some 1000 pounds less than its nearest conceptual rival, the new Bentley Continental GT.
At 8000 rpm, the FF's new 6.3-liter direct-injection V-12 generates some 651 horsepower. Did that get your attention? It means a better power-to-weight ratio than the 599 GTB Fiorano, never mind the 612 Scaglietti, which the FF replaces. The über-responsive seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox is mounted as a rear transaxle, aiding weight distribution. As a result, Ferrari can plausibly claim a 0-62 mph figure of 3.7 seconds.
Felisa says the 612 Scaglietti accounted for just 10 percent of the company's worldwide sales, and that wasn't enough. His head of product marketing, Nicola Boari, said customer requirements were important in determining the direction of the new car, which in turn impacted the concept and execution. So it can seat four 6-foot, 2-inch occupants and carry two golf bags, or offer 15.9 cubic-feet for four weekend bags, or with the rear seat folded, two sets of vacation luggage -- all of which are accessible through the FF's hatchback. A full rear-seat AV system is available. And the AWD system means it's usable in wet climates.
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