RE: Driven: Ferrari FF

Monday 12th November 2012

Driven: Ferrari FF

OK, so the FF's got space for guns and fishing rods but what's it actually like to drive?



As road tests go, 2,300 miles in a week gives opportunity for a fairly thorough analysis. The longest day’s driving saw 800 miles racked up – enough to experience the good, the bad and the ugly, even in a machine as gourmet as this one.

It takes some big scenery to shrink the FF
It takes some big scenery to shrink the FF
The FF is the latest in a long line of distinguished GTs from Maranello. Big, sexy, V12-powered Continent crushers have always been a Ferrari forte, so this car has a lot to live up to. By introducing four-wheel drive and a rather distinctive body style to the mix, it breaks with tradition and the FF’s styling has been, let’s be tactful here, divisive.

Mmmm Coupe
For those with fond memories of the BMW M Coupe it looks great though. For some, though, it’s a step too far. But remember that coachbuilders have been producing shooting brake variants of Ferrari’s cars for wealthy customers for decades. Some – such as the 365 GTC/4 Break by Felber – are hideous. Others – the 456 Venice by Pininfarina for example – are beautiful.

And it's about here the front axle wakes up...
And it's about here the front axle wakes up...
At a motorway cruise, the V12 is a discreet purr in the background, but as soon as you stretch that right ankle out the note hardens and deepens, swelling and soaring towards a spine-tingling redline yowl at over 8,000rpm. The way a car weighing, with passenger and full load aboard, over two tonnes responds to the throttle is electrifying.

At just shy of five metres it’s not a small car but with its long wheelbase the wheels really do sit in the corners, while the V12 engine is set right back ‘front-mid’ style behind the front axle. The result is a car that really does seem to shrink you as you tap into its remarkable agility.

Nimble for a big lad
The steering is surprisingly quick and the nose darts into turns. Even when you think you have been a bit ambitious, it dives for the apex and hangs on. The overwhelming sensations – in dry conditions at least – are of grip, grip and more grip. With a soupcon of body roll. It just digs in, hangs on and as soon as you ask for it, unleashes hell. Just when you expect the rear to give up and incinerate the tyres, it finds away to convert the firepower into forward motion.

Yeah. You'll be spending a bit of time here
Yeah. You'll be spending a bit of time here
I’m sure the trick four-wheel drive system is working very hard but it’s hard to tell from the driver’s seat. That’s technology at its best: unobtrusive and effective. If it lacks the razor-edge of the 458 Italia and the inner hooligan of the 599, it counters with all-weather ability and wonderful suppleness. The hallmarks of any great GT. Subjectively it feels every bit as fast as its stablemates, mind.  Top speed: 208mph. The benchmark sprint: 3.7 seconds. Plenty quick.

Click-clack
You do miss the ‘click-clack’ of a classic open-gated manual gearbox on sentimental grounds, but the seven-speed twin-clutch is incredibly fast, smooth and proficient. It’s even pretty acceptable in auto mode, although rather keen to shuffle cogs when you feather the accelerator. The massive carbon ceramic brakes are extremely powerful – way beyond the demands of road driving – but there is a slight lack of pedal feel on initial application that keeps them short of perfection.

As estate cars go the FF isn't the usual
As estate cars go the FF isn't the usual
The FF could just be the most comprehensive supercar ever. It looks magnificent (to these eyes, at least). It is mind-scramblingly quick and handles beautifully. It easily seats four adults. It has a decent boot and you can fit a zimmer frame in the back (don’t ask!). It even comes with seven years free servicing. We say free - this test car tipped the scales at over £272,000.

It’s effortless and epic and of course it doesn’t make any sense at all that it costs more than the average four-bed detached house. But the buyers won’t care. And let’s be honest, you’ll be checking the classifieds for 612 Scaglietti prices and planning for the future. Let us save you the trouble: £50K-ish. 456s are under £30K. Start saving now!


FERRARI FF
Engine:
6,262cc V12
Transmission: 7-speed dual-clutch auto, part-time four-wheel drive
Power (hp): 650@8,000rpm
Torque (lb ft): 503@6,000rpm
0-62mph:  3.7 sec
Top speed: 208mph
Weight: 1,880kg
MPG: 15.4mpg (NEDC combined)
CO2: 360g/km
Price: £227,100  (£272,000 as tested)

Author
Discussion

Not Ideal

Original Poster:

2,269 posts

116 months

Monday 12th November 2012
quotequote all
Big fan.

That press car must be one of the highest mileage FF's out there..?? Bet they won't be releasing that into the used car marketplace anytime soon.

don logan

2,072 posts

150 months

Monday 12th November 2012
quotequote all
Not Ideal said:
Big fan.

That press car must be one of the highest mileage FF's out there..?? Bet they won't be releasing that into the used car marketplace anytime soon.
I wonder how many transmission issues it`s had, or do we not mention that little problem?

Edited by don logan on Monday 12th November 09:47

bigandclever

8,889 posts

166 months

Monday 12th November 2012
quotequote all
What does £45k in extras actually entail?

pimpchez

848 posts

111 months

Monday 12th November 2012
quotequote all
torque at 60,000rpm :O

peter450

1,650 posts

161 months

Monday 12th November 2012
quotequote all
The best looking 4 seater modern Ferrari is the 456 IMO, the 612 would have been great if it had the 456 front end, and the FF would hace been great if they had err not given it this body... i just dont like the shooting brake design and expect this will be a big big depreciator

Epic complexity and running costs outside of warranty period + very controverisal styling with a love it or hate it following
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WCZ

5,153 posts

122 months

Monday 12th November 2012
quotequote all
still waiting for these to come down in price!

y2blade

56,027 posts

143 months

Monday 12th November 2012
quotequote all
Big fan, would be great in Black.
cool

Rosscow

6,834 posts

91 months

Monday 12th November 2012
quotequote all
It looks fantastic.

I want one.

AyBee

8,922 posts

130 months

Monday 12th November 2012
quotequote all
Love this cloud9 The shape is awesome, it's just a shame it costs the best part of £300k frown

kambites

53,917 posts

149 months

Monday 12th November 2012
quotequote all
Sounds like a great GT, and to my eye it's the best looking current Ferrari (although that's not saying much).

Not in red though - I've never liked red Ferraris.

Davey S2

11,697 posts

182 months

Monday 12th November 2012
quotequote all
I do like it but it would be easier to set fire to a skip filled with £50 notes

Dr Interceptor

4,753 posts

124 months

Monday 12th November 2012
quotequote all
Sounds like quite a machine biggrin

I'd liken to know though what options were fitted to this car to bump the price up by more than an M-Sport 1-Series biggrin Ceramic Brakes? Satnav?

seefarr

470 posts

114 months

Monday 12th November 2012
quotequote all
bigandclever said:
What does £45k in extras actually entail?
I was watching a show on the FF the other night that said the average customer will spend over 50k Euros on badges, matching alcantra underwear and various carbon fibre gubbins.

Ferrari record profits you say?

Davey S2

11,697 posts

182 months

Monday 12th November 2012
quotequote all
£272K as tested.

Mental.

If you wanted a big, fast, 4x4 I'd prefer a Panamera Turbo and change for a used 458 for the weekends.

Yes I know the Panamera isnt exactly a supermodel but neither is the FF.

Teh depreciation on these is going to be stratospheric.

Nick644

240 posts

195 months

Monday 12th November 2012
quotequote all
What did Chris Harris say about his 599....'think there might be a hole in the fuel tank'! 4 or 5 years before it dips below £100K....how much will petrol cost then I wonder!

MrFrodo

21,348 posts

170 months

Monday 12th November 2012
quotequote all
Article said:
Some – such as the 365 GTC/4 Break by Felber – are hideous.
You're not kidding...

Boydie88

2,693 posts

77 months

Monday 12th November 2012
quotequote all
Fell in love with this at the Ferrari Sunday Service.

Had a poke around the one that was on display and I was amazed at how comfortably it fitted me in the back and my mate in the front, both of us touching 6ft powerfully built company directors.

Definitely would be my car of choice if I had money to chuck around and needed more than 2 seats.

Dagnut

3,515 posts

121 months

Monday 12th November 2012
quotequote all
Davey S2 said:
£272K as tested.

Mental.

If you wanted a big, fast, 4x4 I'd prefer a Panamera Turbo and change for a used 458 for the weekends.

Yes I know the Panamera isnt exactly a supermodel but neither is the FF.

Teh depreciation on these is going to be stratospheric.
Ugly or not the FF has presence...it's fairly big but disguises it well..the Panamera is just a big bulbous oversized lump of misplaced curves

Papa Hotel

12,760 posts

110 months

Monday 12th November 2012
quotequote all
That's better. I was expecting a but more Evo-style evangelism after our "taster" from Friday, but at least it's about the car. More pics please, more words please. smile

Daveyraveygravey

1,297 posts

112 months

Monday 12th November 2012
quotequote all
Lottery win, I'd have one like a shot! Only thing is, does the front not look a bit like a Renault Megane, with the shape of the headlamps and bonnet line?