Ferrari has made big strides in new directions recently, specifically with the California and now with the FF (Ferrari Four). The California was the first Ferrari to offer a hardtop convertible mechanism, dual-clutch automated manual transmission, and a front-mounted V-8. The FF is the first Ferrari to offer all-wheel drive and a wagon-like design (Europeans will call it a shooting brake, which does make it sound better). Despite the hatch out back, the Pininfarina-penned coupe is endearing, although some may refuse to call it outright beautiful. What everyone will like is the Enzo-based 6.3-liter 651-hp V-12 engine out front. It can send the FF and up to 28.3 cubic feet of cargo inside from zero to 62 mph in 3.7 seconds and on to a top speed of 208 mph.
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Thanks to start/stop technology, it is able to perform at such high levels while returning up to 30 percent better fuel economy than the less powerful 612 Scaglietti.The biggest news, however, is how that power makes it to the road. The Ferrari FF’s power will be routed through two transmissions, one for the rear wheels and one for the front wheels. The front transmission sits ahead of the front-mid engine, connects to the crankshaft through a conical gear, and offers two forward and a reverse gear. Power will only be diverted to the front wheels when the car is about to lose traction at the rear wheels. Also, due to the gear ratios of the front transmission, the four-wheel drive system does not work above the fourth cog. This gives the FF a rear-wheel drive demeanor with four-wheel drive grip that is nothing short of tenacious. With better room for four, more cargo carrying capabilities, and all-weather traction, the FF fills a gap that Ferrari has never tried to fill with its other fair-weather track cars.
LIST PRICE: $330,000 (estimated)
ENGINE: 6.3-liter V-12
HORSEPOWER: 651 hp @ 8,000 rpm
TORQUE: 504 lb-ft @ 6,000 rpm
TRANSMISSION: 7-speed DCT
0–60: 3.7 seconds
TOP SPEED: 208 mph
WEIGHT: 4,145 lb
LENGTH: 193 inches
TIRES: Front: 245/45ZR-18, Rear: 285/40ZR-19 (estimated)
Four seats, four-wheel drive,
(shooting brake makes it sound better)
Is Ferrari taking a step
in the wrong direction?
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