Ferrari is a universally known name and the allure of the brand alone can transform grown men into little boys. Known for the impressive performance of their models, the Prancing Horse factory has been at the forefront of supercar world for over 60 years. However, most of the models were two seaters, meaning that you could not carry your children (or groceries, dogs, cats, unicorns, etc) with you.
The lack of a genuine four seater meant that potential customers could go to competitors such as Aston Martin or Porsche, which offer such models, making the two seater Ferrari that they (may have) owned to be just an occasional vehicle or a track toy. This did not look good to the board of directors and, driven by a need to gain or recapture clients, a decision – or rather a compromise – was taken: Ferrari would build a four seat vehicle. Previous attempts have been made in the past, from the 408 Integrale concept to the production 456 and 612. The Ferrari FF was the next in line, but unlike its predecessors, which sported a coupe-like appearance, the FF featured a shooting brake silhouette.
However, its controversial body style was not the only surprise it brought. Carrying the name of Ferrari Four, the moniker stands for four seats and four wheels drive. Save for the Integrale concept, no other Ferrari has ever had this configuration, all of the models produced in Maranello being rear wheel drive. The patented four wheel drive system belongs to Ferrari and, unlike a conventional system, it does not add extra heft to the vehicle, being only 45kgs heavier than a rear wheel drive assembly.
Designed by Pininfarina in collaboration with Ferrari’s chief designer, Flavio Manzoni, it keeps many of the elements normally encountered on production models coming from Maranello, such as the massive front grille, plenty of air intake and vents and a respectable air diffuser in the rear. Some character lines, such as the air vent behind the front wheels, stem from the Ferrari California, but all in all, the Ferrari FF has enough personality to stand proud in the line-up of the supercar constructor. The front fascia resembles a grinning shark mouth, while the rear, with its peculiar sloping roof, accompanied by an integrated spoiler and air extractors, shows plenty of individuality.
If you were to remove the rear seats from the Ferrari FF, there would be no indication that this is a four seater GT. The cabin arrangement is similar to the other cars in the range, with a multifunctional steering wheel with the Manettino system and metal paddle shifters.
Aluminium or carbon fibre inserts can decorate the leather-laden cockpit, while an optional display for the front passenger can also be ordered, as well as a silver dedication plate or a fire extinguisher.
Powered by a massive, front mounted 6.2 litre V12, an evolution of the unit present on the Enzo, the FF develops 651 horsepower at 8000 RPM, delivering up to 80 per cent of its torque (540 lb ft) starting from 1750 RPM. The top speed is rated at 208 miles per hour, while the sprint from 0 to 62 takes just 3.7 seconds.
A seven speed, dual clutch semiautomatic gearbox, mounted in the rear (for optimum weight distribution) sends power to the rear wheels in the normal driving mode. However, in more demanding situations (such as rainy or snowy conditions), the front axle is engaged through a second, front mounted gearbox and a 20-80 ratio (front-rear) characterizes the drivetrain. The four wheel drive system is capable of running in this configuration up to the fourth gear, but above, only the rear wheels will power the Ferrari FF.
Despite the fact that it is a four seater and a four wheel drive vehicle, the FF is a genuine sports car, its performance figures alone warranting this claim. The sound of the V12 is also a fantastic achievement, and the active exhaust can also be silenced (via a valve system) if desired. But would you do it?
Apart from the usual consumables – such as oil, gas and tyres, the Ferrari FF was not plagued by any major issues. In fact, Ferrari offers 7 years of free maintenance, so if you are considering making an investment by purchasing the supercar, your costs will be close to zero.
A minor annoyance – but one that can become a major issue – is the car’s behaviour when it is close to running out of gas: it stalls. Several cases have been reported, with the solution being either a visit to the dealer or, the worst case scenario, replacement of the vehicle with another one, similarly equipped or next in line (for the FF, the F12 being the replacement).
Of course, the dealer may buy back the vehicle and you could order another, but the waiting time for such an action is 7 months. However, the cases have been isolated, so if you take care of the car, no major problems should arise.
The base price for an Ferrari FF in the UK is £227,077, but any optional you may choose will add to that, resulting in a eye-watering bill. Some of the options include a chromed front grille, carbon fibre interior inserts, a panoramic roof, a rear entertainment system with two screens integrated in the headrests and a 1280 watt sound system, an LCD dashboard mounted display for the front passenger (which can display current speed, gear and rev-counter). Leather covers everything, but save for the standard choices, your custom request will be greeted with smiles and appreciation, but it will also carry a price tag.
A 91 litre tank holds the gas, while the official consumption for the European version is rated at 15.4 litres, mixed cycle. Mind you, the figure can easily alter, depending on the driving style and current disposition.
For a supercar, the Ferrari FF has few rivals, with regard to the practicality level it offers. The front seats are spacious and offer plenty of lateral and lumbar support, while the rear ones are capable of accommodating two normal sized adults. The manufacturer states that on the FF’s front seats two adults, with the height of up to (or over) 1.95 cm can fit, while the rear seats are able to accommodate two adults with the maximum height of up 1.85 cm.
Storage compartments total 20 litres, while the boot space has a capacity of 450 litres; folding the rear seats and central console section can expand the storage space to 800 litres. Additionally, the centre console section can be folded separately in order to facilitate up to two pairs of skis or even a golf bag. Additionally, the Ferrari FF can be ordered with a bespoke luggage set, a four-piece semi rigid bag kit, a weekend bag, boot nets kit and even a suit carrier.
If you’d like to visit the official website of the Ferrari FF, click here.