Ferrari's latest model is a grand touring car named FF — for Ferrari Four, with the "Four" signifying four seats and the first application of four-wheel drive in the company's long history. Ferrari had been one of the last holdouts, as Porsche, Lamborghini, Audi and others already use all-wheel drive in their supercars.
Typical of modern supercars, the FF does zero to 60 mph in less than 3.7 seconds and reaches a top speed above 200 mph, according to Ferrari. Four-seat competitors include the Porsche Panamera and Aston Martin Rapide, though these two are four-doors. The FF has two, as does the Bentley Continental GT.
Designed by famed Italian design studio Pininfarina, the FF has clear Ferrari cues, but its humpback silhouette recalls the BMW M Coupe from 1999-2002 and joins the likes of Porsche's Panamera in employing a high roofline that improves backseat and cargo space but creates challenging exterior styling.
The front and rear wheels measure 20 inches in diameter, and in keeping with the four-wheel-drive initiative, winter tires are available.
The FF's four seats come in the form of snug sport buckets that are bisected by a tall console that runs the length of the cabin. The seats incorporate magnesium, one of many expensive materials employed to minimize weight. Virtually every surface is covered in leather. The FF incorporates more controls on the face of its steering wheel than almost any car, including major performance adjustments for the chassis and drivetrain, along with wiper controls, turn signals and engine start.
Ferrari says the backseat is roomy enough for adults, and it offers a DVD player with two screens.
The cargo area, which has 15.9 cubic feet behind the backseat and a total of more than 28 cubic feet with the rear seats folded, improves markedly over the 8.5 cubic feet of the 2010 612 Scaglietti, which the FF succeeds.
Under the Hood
The FF is powered by a 6.3-liter V-12 engine with direct injection that generates 660 horsepower at 8,000 rpm and 504 pounds-feet of torque at 6,000 rpm. Ferrari says engine torque hits 369 pounds-feet at 1,000 rpm. The transmission is a seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual with automatic modes as well as manual control via steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles.
Ferrari says the driveline operates as rear-wheel drive unless torque becomes too great for the rear wheels, at which time some power is apportioned to the front wheels. Despite the added hardware in the front, the weight distribution is given as 47/53 percent, front/rear.
The suspension employs magnetic adaptive shock absorbers, and the Brembo brakes use carbon-ceramic rotors.
The FF's estimated combined mileage is 15 mpg, which improves on the 612 Scaglietti's 11 mpg with an automatic transmission or 12 mpg with a manual.
As required of all 2012 models, the FF comes standard with antilock disc brakes and an electronic stability system.