Ferrari has just unveiled its first-ever production four-wheel-drive model, a front-engined V12 four-seater GT that not only replaces the two-plus-two 612 Scaglietti coupe but also aims to attract a new kind of Ferrari customers.
The new 2012 Ferrari FF is named for its four seats and four-wheel-drive. It was designed by Pininfarina under the direction of Ferrari’s own chief designer, Flavio Manzoni.
The first Ferrari of modern times to accommodate four full-sized adults and their luggage, it will be unveiled at next month’s 2011 Geneva Auto Show, and go on sale soon afterwards.
Ferrari hopes it will appeal in particular to buyers who usually use all-wheel-drive saloons or SUVs for winter driving and especially ski trips at this time of the year.
The revolutionary Ferrari has an all-new, longer wheelbase chassis that rides on a new all-independent suspension that incorporates the latest-generation magnetically-adjustable dampers and standard Brembo carbon ceramic disc brakes.
The four-wheel-drive system, claimed to be around 50 percent lighter than comparable applications, preserves the desirable rear weight bias of recent V12 Ferraris. Called 4RM (for ‘Ruote Motori’) the system is unique to Ferrari, using the car’s electronic systems seamlessly to direct torque to the front wheels when slippery conditions demand it, but mostly leaving the car in its desirable (and understeer-free) rear-wheel-drive state.
Though the FF is more versatile than traditional Ferraris, Maranello counters any suggestions that it is “soft” by giving it a newly developed 6.2-litre V12 with just under 10 per cent more swept volume and 22 percent more power than the 612. It’s mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox.
The FF also gets the efficiency-building measures introduced in the California, including stop-start and smart charging to improve economy by about 10 per cent. The FF engine produces 650bhp at 8000rpm and 504lb ft of torque (up 16 per cent) at 5000rpm. Despite these higher outputs, CO2 output is dramatically slashed from 470 to 360g/km (23 per cent) while combined fuel consumption improves from a distinctly average 13.8mpg to 18.3mpg.
The FF’s 0-62mph acceleration time of 3.7sec also undercuts the 612’s by 0.4 sec, while its 208mph top speed beats the 612 by about 10mph.
Ferrari claims an impressive kerb weight of 3,957 pounds for the FF, undercutting the 612 by 110 lbs. despite the new all-wheel drive system.
This and the fact that the FF is almost identical in length and width to the outgoing 612, (and only 30mm taller) suggests Ferrari has scored a considerable packaging coup, if not built a beautiful coupe. [FerrariFour via AutoBlog and TopSpeed]