A four-wheel-drive, four-seater supercar. It’s a first for Ferrari and so too for EFTM’s Chris Bowen who recently spent a weekend behind the wheel of the radical V12 creation. Styled in the Shooting Brake tradition the golf ball white, sorry ‘Bianco Tartan’ FF also demonstrated Ferrari’s remarkable Tailor Made program. Our test model was influenced by the world of golf, in the most extravagant way possible.
The Shooting Brake.
The body design is described as being a Shooting Brake, an unusual term for most but simple to explain. Essentially you get an almost wagon-type shape with a near hatchback rear end. Usually but not necessarily a three door offering, the term has been left over from ye old England and involved shooting parties and breaking in horses. The English elite would load themselves into early wagon-type vehicles and hit the country side for hunting. Before motorised cars a similar chassis was hooked up for a poor old horse to haul around, acting as a weight and hence “breaking” them in.
Fast forward all these years and the term now refers to the rare examples of these sleek, low roofline cars with the practical nature of a wagon but with stunning road presence.
Ins And Outs
All that translates into a very unusual looking Ferrari, one that does divide opinions but still inherits that typical soul and Ferrari flare. A 6.3-litre naturally aspirated V12 produces 486kW @8000 rpm and 630Nm at 6000rpm. The transmission is a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic with part-time AWD. While these are without doubt mind-blowing figures, we are talking about a Ferrari here so it comes as no surprise.
What is very distinctive is the nature of how Ferrari went about executing the AWD system, it’s all thanks to a second gearbox. Without going into chapter and verse the system uses a two-speed transmission connected directly to the engine’s crankshaft which can drive the front wheels alone. Normal AWD systems have the front and rear axles linked, Ferrari cleverly realised that equates to too much extra weight and invented its own much lighter method.
Driving the FF is a truly remarkable experience, here you are sitting in a grand tourer with F1 inspired tech and the ability to sit two adults in the rear hanging on for dear life. It corners with ferocious might, the ‘4RM’ all-wheel-drive system literally gives you super human abilities if you dare. Loaded up with passengers and gear, the FF will tip the scales over two tonne and is also just shy of five metres long, but it drives with razor sharp determination. Plenty of cars offer what is known as torque vectoring but the Ferrari system is so much ahead of the rest. You can feel power being sent across the front axle on demand, when really pushed you sense a lightening quick four-pawed shuffle going on. Bits of data are literally shooting around to each wheel at light speeds transmitting the correct commands to prevent your untimely demise.
The F1 inspired Manettiono (little lever) switch on the steering wheel allows for Comfort, Sport, Wet, Snow and ESC OFF modes. A separate setting allows for a slightly softer ride even with Sport engaged, it even flashes across the screen “Bumpy Roads” – although the difference is minimal.
Of course under the long snout lays yet another masterpiece, one that really wants to be wound up. The huge V12 sits well back up against the firewall for balance and boy does it produce the goods. Like all high performance V12’s, it’s gruff and moody at low speeds, but plant the foot and it simply explodes to silly levels. The beautifully tunned harmony doesn’t come on song until you sore way past 5000rpm, that’s when you start to really feel like you are in an F1 and in fact you are an F1 driver. It screams its heart out. As I drove along the Hawkesbury River to Wisemans Ferry in NSW, sounds ricocheted off the tall sandstone cliffs in ways that will never leave me, you could have heard me coming from several kilometres away. With paddle shifters at hand it was absolutely endless fun, they have even thrown in the LED tacho lights across the top of the steering wheel. Oh to be filthy rich.
While not as blindingly quick as the Lamborghini Aventador and Huracán, the FF still sprints to 100km/h in 3.7 seconds or 200km/h in 11 seconds. It just lacks that mental snap back acceleration those two have, but still this is an exceptionally quick piece of gear.
So yes a very special car indeed but even more so when you really want to splurge. Our particular model was influenced by the world of golf. There’s a special non-stick treatment in the boot so your golf clubs don’t slip around, carbon fibre used throughout the cabin is similar to that used in golfing equipment and some of the trims are tartan in appearance.
The level of bespoke customisation available is unbelievable and really something I hadn’t seen since the Rolls Royce Ghost we drove recently. You can go to such lengths as ordering an $11,500 golf bag to suit your FF interior. Sitting down and ordering an FF to your own personal tastes must be one of life’s great, if not most expensive experiences.
- Carpets – Nera (Black) Alcantara $ 5,800.00
- ‘Ferrari Scuderia’ Shields on fenders $ 3,100.00
- Calipers – Rosso Corsa $ 2,700.00
- RMSV Rims (Tailor Made) $ 10,599.00
- Front Grill Chromed Edges $ 3,100.00
- Sports Exhausts $ 1,350.00
- Rear view mirror cluster painted dark $ 1,350.00
- Panoramic glass roof $ 30,000.00
- Rev counter – White $ 1,750.00
- Carbon fibre drivers zone + LED steering wheel $ 13,950.00
- Carbon fibre dashboard $ 13,500.00
- Carbon fibre central zone $ 7,600.00
- Carbon fibre central tunnel $ 5,000.00
- Exterior sill kick in carbon fibre $ 3,500.00
- Colour upon request for interior upper cabin compartment (Tailor Made) $ 3,300.00
- Colour upon request for leather rear shelf (Tailor Made) $ 1,100.00
- Daytona style seats $ 9,000.00
- Embroidered Cavallino on head rests – Light Grey $ 3,500.00
- Colour Upon request for contrast stitching – Nero $ 900.00
- Rear seats mini ipad installation $ 8,950.00
- Apple Car Play $ 6,790.00
- Golf Bag (Tailor Made to match FF Interior) $ 11,500.00
- Pirelli Tyres Included
- Tailor Made Components: $ 147,400.00
- Exterior in Bianco Tartan (3 Layer Paint)
- Rear spolier in Nero
- Rear diffuser, sill cover and rear mirror cluster in Nero Daytona Matt
- Exterior grills in Nero Daytona Matt
- Red line (Rosso Maranello) on inner carbon fibre elements
- Inner alluminium painted in Nero Daytona Glossy
- Tartan material throughout interior
- Interior in black leather hathor (except air bag areas)
- Floor mats in jet sitin richer carpet
- Rims in nero datyona matt
- Truck – Rear part of backrest, sides, truck lid in nero harthor leather
- Truck floor in superfabric black
- Golf bag in black hathor leather with inserts in tartan
The tailor made components added up to an enormous $147,400. Sure some will see this as sheer gluttony, but if you’ve got it you may as well enjoy it. Some highlights include the $30,000 panoramic glass roof (yup doesn’t open just a see through roof), $10,599 tailor made rims, a $13,950 carbon fibre driver’s zone and LED steering wheel, $9000 Daytona style seats and a $8,950 mini-iPad installation for the rear seats. You can check out the full list here.
Apple Car Play
There are only a handful of manufacturers with factory fitted Car Play at the moment, Hyundai and their Tucson, and Skoda come to mind. Funnily enough my first experience with it came in the FF. As Trevor Long has already succinctly described with his after-market Pioneer installation it is clearly the next leap forward for in-car smartphone integration.
Seeing your vital apps across the screen and the seamless connection with Siri is brilliant. Be it an Apple or Android setup this type of system will be common place within five years, it marries two of the most important pieces of equipment in your life together perfectly, but bring on a Bluetooth connection I hate cables.
Incidentally without Apple Car Play the Ferrari infotainment system is no better than that found in some dual cabs. Well worth the $6790, I think.
The Hip Pocket
For this exact example you’ll need $920,385 before on roads, which will certainly be a five figure sum. Sure you can waltz in and pick up a no frills FF for $624,646 but who wants a bare bones, base model Ferrari? Fuel economy is horrendous at 15.7L/100km and you’ll do worse than that anyway, but in this segment no one cares.
EFTM Rubber Stamp
Front on this is one hot looking piece of machinery, side on it’s a little awkward, from the rear it’s ok again. I could never quite come to love the look of it, perhaps because it was white? But what I do know is that the FF should stand for ‘Fully Functional’. Because despite driving like it has a dose of something suspicious running through its veins it still manages to merge real world needs like space for luggage and drivability into one epically mad experience. I award the Ferrari FF the EFTM Distinction Rubber Stamp of Approval.