Well then. When PH received a mysterious invite to attend a Ferrari event in Rome, at which an entirely new vehicle would be unveiled, we assumed the same as most in the industry would. With details in the build-up limited to the revelation that the new car did not represent "a derivative or a replacement [of an existing] model" and would see the manufacturer launch "a new car in new segment" there was only one logical conclusion to draw: that the much talked about FUV was finally upon us.
To be presented with this, the new Ferrari Roma, then, is an even sweeter surprise than it might otherwise have been. A '2+' coupe, with its power drawn from a front mid-mounted V8, the car is said not only to be "the pinnacle of performance" in its segment, but is also said to embody a "contemporary representation of the carefree, pleasurable way of life that characterised Rome in the 1950s and '60s." Delightful.
Such models, of course, have long been the remit of Maserati; Ferrari's sister brand being left to cover the more laid-back end of the performance market while the Prancing Horse built 488 Pistas, 812 Superfasts and, um, Portofinos. But with the dust barely settled on GranTurismo production, and the successor to that car expected to be heavily electrified, Ferrari has wasted no time in revealing its own take on the formula.
There's no confirmation of rear seats yet, although the '2+' designation and a headrest silhouette in one of the photos do suggest their presence. If the FF and subsequent GTC4 Lusso could be seen as the first signs of mission creep, then, the Roma could be a full-scale territorial invasion.
Expect the new model to offer the sort of driver-focussed dynamic experience that Ferrari customers have become accustomed to, though, while anyone deciding to take the likely-sizeable step up from a GranTurismo will be met with styling, architecture and interior features over a decade newer - and an automotive echelon higher. "Refined proportions and timeless design combined with unparalleled performance and handling," is how Ferrari sums it up.
The presence of its sensational twin-turbo V8 - a unit closely related to those which have won the International Engine of the Year award four years running - producing 620hp at 7,500rpm and resulting in a 3.4-second 0-62 time speaks to those performance claims. As does the new eight-speed DCT gearbox from the SF90 Stradale. That, and a 1,472kg kerb weight, is all the info we have for now, though, meaning there's still plenty to be learned about Ferrari's most surprising new model in years. Luckily the full reveal takes place less than 24 hours from now, so we don't have long to wait to find out more. La dolce vita indeed.
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