The Italian Almanac

Ferrari FF

The New Ferrari

Ferrari is taking the grand touring car to unprecedented extremes with its Ferrari Four (FF), which debuted at the Geneva International Motorshow. The roomy four-seater with a serious haunch is the premium sports car maker's first ever four-wheel drive, and has been called the most versatile vehicle Ferrari has ever produced. Its name refers to its four seats and four-wheel drive.

Ferrari has already sold all of its FFs to be manufactured this year, Chairman Luca Cordero de Montezemolo said. Sergio Marchionne, head of the Fiat group that controls Ferrari, said he'd already ordered a white FF. "I like it a lot. It's a beautiful car and a symbol on the US market," said the Fiat and Chrysler chief.

"The FF is one of the most innovative cars, breaking in an unprecedented way with the past, but it is a car that has Ferrari's DNA," said Enrico Alliera, Ferrari's senior vice president for sales and marketing, at the model's world premiere at the carmaker's headquarters in Maranello last week. Ferrari claims its patented four-wheel drive 4RM system weighs 50% less than a conventional one, and keeps the car's weight nearly ideally distributed with 53% over the rear axle. The system also works in tandem with the car's electronic controls to adjust the torque required for each wheel depending on terrain and conditions.

The 1790-kilo powerhouse can blast from 0 to 100km in 3.7 seconds, with a top speed of 335 km per hour, delivering the best power-to-weight ratio in its category. It is taking aficionados by surprise for also offering best-in-class cabin space and boot capacity. The FF is designed to rocket four people and their baggage, in comfort, across all kinds of terrains and a wide range of weather conditions. A Ferrari-produced video shows the FF streaking through the ice and snow of a Finnish winter, and zooming across water-slicked asphalt in road tests as exciting as an action flick.

Ferrari's new creation will replace the 612 Scaglietti, a grand touring vehicle produced by Ferrari since 2004, which drew inspiration from the 1954 Ferrari 375 MM director Roberto Rossellini commissioned for his wife, Ingrid Bergman.