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Ferrari's shock new AWD hatch

2011-01-21 14:44

FAMILY FERRARI?: Debuting all-wheel drive to the brand, Ferrari’s new FF will have its work cut out to win over the traditional fans of the hallowed supercar nameplate.

Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Ferrari
Model FF
Engine 6.2l V12
Power 478kW @ 8 000r/min
Torque 683Nm @ 6 000r/min
Transmission Seven-speed dual-clutch
Zero To Hundred 3.7 sec
Top Speed 335km/h
Fuel Consumption 15.4l/100km
Weight 1 790kg
Weeks ahead of its Geneva auto show debut, Ferrari has released details and images of its new, curiously-named, FF, the company’s first ever all-wheel drive car.

Ferrari’s Geneva-bound show stopper is a car of many firsts for the world’s most famous performance car brand.

Billed as a versatile four-seater grand tourer, the FF's styling is a departure for Maranello’s long standing styling consultant, Pininfarina.

The shape is sure to be controversial as it is a take on the classic shooting brake large hatchback theme. To Pininfarina’s credit there is a sense of harmony about the proportions, at least more so than is the case with Ferrari’s 612 Scaglietti, the car being replaced by this new FF.

Pure (all-wheel drive?) Ferrari

Although the FF is configured to be a blend of supercar, hatchback and estate (luggage allowance is 450-litres, expandable to 800-litres with the rear seats folded), its suite of mechanical features is still pure prancing horse supercar.

Housed beneath the substantial bonnet surface is a 6.2-litre naturally aspirated V12 engine in the great Maranello tradition, producing a considerable 478kW at a dizzying 8 000rpm, supported by 683Nm of torque.

For the first time in its illustrious history, a Ferrari road car’s performance will be fully accessible in all weather conditions courtesy of the FF’s breakthrough all-wheel drive transmission.

Purists may scoff at the introduction of all-wheel drive traction security in favour of rear-wheel drive dynamic fluidity, yet the FF’s set-up is said to be 50% less of a mass burden than conventional high performance all-wheel drive systems. There would appear to be some truth to Ferrari's claim too, as the FF, despite its 4.9m length and four-seater configuration, weighs only 1 790kg.

Ferrari’s 4RM system will receive its torque allocation from an upgraded version of the seven-speed transaxle mounted dual-clutch transmission currently doing service in the company’s V8 California and 458 models.

This new drivetrain is said to be impeccably integrated with the car’s dynamic safety intervention systems to not only deliver optimal safety in snowy or wet conditions, but also guarantee a rewarding driving experience when conditions are more conducive to exploiting the balance on offer by the FF’s ‘magnetorheological’ adaptive damping system.

HATCHBACK FERRARI?: It may offer class leading luggage space compared to its siblings, but will the near 1.8t FF have the same dynamic magic?…

Reining in the FF's momentum are a set of combination composite ceramic rotors and calipers from established Ferrari technology partner Brembo.
Performance claims for Ferrari’s first all-wheel drive supercar are hardly shy either.

The benchmark 0-100km/h sprint achievable in only 3.7 seconds, before the FF powers onto a top speed of 335km/h.

Yes, it may look like a contemporary version of the BMW Z3 M Coupe but this Ferrari promises to be as dramatic a motoring experience as a family of four could wish for - and at least it has a proper wheel size to side sheetmetal surface ratio, unlike its 612 predessor...


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