Friday, January 21, 2011

Ferrari FF

Company press releases often throw around the world "revolutionary" as if they are indeed planning a revolution, but instead they are usually just hyping up their latest econobox which is just as boxy and economic as all the others. In the case of the Ferrari FF (Ferrari Four) the use of the word is actually justified as the 612 Scaglietti replacement is a significant departure from everything the brand has done before. Ferrari's new four seater is its first four wheel drive hatchback, perhaps the first modern vehicle actually deserving of the much overused term shooting-brake. In any case the FF is probably one of the largest hatches in the world at 193 inches, this gives the Ferrari four seater 16 cubic feet of luggage capacity. In what is probably a first for Ferrari the rear seats fold to give you 28 cubic feet of carrying capacity making the FF the first Ferrari approved for Costco run duty. Four wheel drive is another new technology to the Ferrari brand. Ferrari claims that its patented 4RM four wheel drive system weighs only half of a typical all wheel drive system. Powering the FF is a 651 horsepower direct injected 6.3 liter V12. Interestingly enough that is the same power output as the Ferrari Enzo with an additional 19 lb-ft of torque, an excellent example of technological progress. The addition of direct injection and a start-stop system (a first for a production Ferrari as well) gives the FF a 33% bump in fuel economy when compared to its predecessor, a two wheel drive car that had 120 fewer horsepower. The performance of the FF will undoubtedly be superb, however the biggest water cooler talk about the FF will be its styling. Reminiscent of the cult status Z3 " the Clown Shoe" Coupe in its profile the styling will be a hot topic for some time. Mostly because it is just too unusual to see a 300,000 dollar+ hatchback. Whatever your opinion of the styling it is refreshing and laudable to see a company pushing the boundaries of design when they could have easily followed their traditional formula and still sell every example that they made. Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see if people are willing to buy a 209 mph hatchback or if they will go for something more conventional like the Lamborghini Estoque sedan.

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