Prancing Horse Passion continues…
“Same old thing – I’m not surprised, I’m a hit with all the guys – they all dream about me…a Prancing Horse of independent means – I’m the face on magazines…bet you’ve heard about me”
The Prancing Horse once again displays its fervent recalcitrance to status-quo. The Ferrari FF adds a new definition to grand touring. This svelte beauty is Ferrari’s first four-seat, four-wheel drive shooting brake. It combines extreme performance with versatility. The ferocious V12 engine – a Ferrari signature – is the first gasoline direct injected V12 to use the F1-inspired 7-speed dual clutch gearbox. It is one of the fastest fillies at the Scuderia Stables. This is the latest episode in the continuing saga of Prancing Horse Passion…
The FF – or Ferrari Four – is designed by Pininfarina. The four-seat four-wheel drive supercar is an entirely new concept of Gran Turismo excitement. This Prancing Horse sports elegant three-door shooting brake style architecture. It is also the world’s fastest four-seat automobile. It was unveiled at the March 2011 Geneva International Motor Show. Technology abounds in this 21st century supercar and is presented in a manner that only the master trainers at the Scuderia Stables can deliver. The FF is available in six model-specific exterior colors.
The Ferrari FF is a sleek and extreme aerodynamic exercise. The exquisite bodylines and contours all have purpose. They continually aid its wind-cheating architecture by efficiently managing the airflow all around the vehicle reducing drag and creating necessary downforce. The captivatingly aggressive front end styling continues the legendary Ferrari “toothy-smile.” Its large egg crate grille provides airflow to its massive V12 powerplant. The air exits through the side vents.
This Prancing Horse is built as body on spaceframe construction. It is designed to enhance cabin comfort and space requirements. It also meets 2015 safety regulations. Aluminium alloys are used throughout with hollow cast nodes to boost structural integrity while reducing overall weight. This new chassis is designed in conjunction with the bodyshell to minimize the components in each. The body uses structural parts that are made up of extrusions and castings resulting in a 10 percent weight reduction and a 6 percent increase in torsional rigidity.
Pininfarina designed it as the perfect balance of sportiness and versatility. It seats four adults comfortably. The rear seats fold down to add cargo space. It has a capacious cabin and boot that is usually found in larger saloons. Dual-zone climate control is at the occupants command with many adjustable vents. The man/machine interface is paramount to Ferrari. All controls are convenient to the eye and hand. They are ergonomically located on the steering wheel including the manettino which is a Ferrari signature. The manettino offers a choice of five different vehicle dynamics settings. The engine start button and the F1 gear shift paddles are also mounted to the steering wheel.
The front seat passenger now can have their own display monitor with USB port for recharging their smart phones or connect their own multi-media devices to the on-board infotainment system. The front seats are constructed with a magnesium frame and are electrically adjustable with memory function and lumbar controls. They can be heated or ventilated. Luxurious Frau aniline leather upholsters the body-hugging lounge seats.
A 640 watt 9-channel amp stereo system is standard, with an upgrade available that includes a powerful 1,280 watt 16-channel stereo system with QuantumLogic Surround Sound. The FF is a bespoke supercar. The owner may select from a vast array of options and accessories to make it as unique as their personal signature. This is definitely a Prancing Horse of a different color…incredibly versatile with superb comfort and sophisticated elegance. The rear seat infotainment system has remote controls, two sets of cordless headphones, a DVD player with 6-disc changer, a digital terrestrial TV tuner and audio/visual input for multi-media devices.
The Ferrari Four is available with an innovative and safe way to use the iPhone in the car. The patented Apple CarPlay system is an intuitive system that allows the user to make calls, use the GPS, listen to music, and access messages with the touch of the central display or voice commands. You can drive your Ferrari while enjoying a smarter, safer, not to mention fun way to travel. This is an extremely successful collaboration between Luca di Montezemolo and Apple Electronics. It is the result of two years of research on this technologically leading-edge project. This is a world first and as exclusive as the iconic Prancing Horse itself.
The FF is the first four-wheel drive Ferrari. The patented 4RM system weighs 50 percent less than traditional four-wheel drive systems. It is completely integrated into the vehicle’s dynamics. Excellent stability, traction, and overall performance is due in no small part to its excellent weight distribution with 53 percent over the rear axle.
The four-wheel drive system, E-Diff, F1-Trac, and power transfer unit are integrated into a single central processing unit. This sophisticated four-wheel drive system intuitively knows when to transfer torque to the front wheels when traction to the rear wheels is insufficient. It intelligently distributes torque to each of the four wheels when required. This technology delivers optimum performance on all terrain in all conditions.
As usual…the Prancing Horse kicks the starting gate open and is one of the fastest and most powerful fillies on the tracks. The FF and its naturally aspirated V12 engine is fierce competition. Its inexhaustible power reserves comes from the Ferrari Tipo F140 alloy 6.3 litre 48-valve DOHC V12 engine with direct injection. The engine produces 650 hp @ 8,000 rpm with 683 Nm of peak torque @ 6,000 rpm. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in 3.4 seconds, 0-100 mph in 7.3 seconds with a top speed of 208 mph. It can do the ¼ mile @ 126 mph in 11.4 seconds.
The engine is mated to the F1 dual clutch 7-speed gearbox. It provides lightning-quick shifts. The 7-speed DCT is mounted to the rear axle. A second gearbox is fitted to the front end of the crankshaft exclusively sending 20 percent of the torque to the front wheels. The system reverts to rear-wheel drive for 5th through 7th gears. This unique system uses two independent haldex-type electronically controlled carbon-fibre oil-bath wet multi-plate clutch packs to vector the torque to a half-shaft connected to each front wheel. The front gearbox enables torque vectoring for all four wheels. The Ferrari Four may be driven exclusively as a rear-wheel drive system only.
The Ferrari FF is equipped with the HELE (High Emotion Low Emission) system. A full stop/start system is used to reduce fuel consumption when idling. This type of set-up automatically starts shuts down and restarts the engine to reduce the time the engine idles. This sophisticated system conserves energy while increasing fuel economy. Even the indomitable Prancing Horse must abide by standards…
The Prancing Horse has a sleek wind-cheating silhouette that has a drag coefficient of Cd (0.329) its downforce coefficient Cl (0.200) is 0.608, this is the highest ever achieved for a vehicle of this type. Its rear air vents beside the taillamps help reduce pressure in the wheel arch area while reducing wake turbulence through the Base Bleed effect. Two air outlets recessed in the bumpers separate the airflow along the vehicle’s body sides at the exact point that minimize both size, the wake and its depression.
The rear diffuser optimizes air extraction from the underbody with three channels incorporating two new features. An airfoil boosts the extraction capacity as well as downforce at the rear of the car using a slight curve in the middle channel. The second feature uses the side channels with an inverted curve to ensure the depression area remains uniform across the entire width of the undertray.
For around $300,000 USD you can park this Prancing Horse in your garage. The Ferrari Four is the most versatile filly at the Scuderia Stables. It’s the Ferrari that you can place the kids in the back while savoring all the power and performance of the Prancing Horse as well. It’s the Ferrari that seats four comfortably with four-wheel drive, a first for the brand. With its mid-front mounted V12 engine, it is the most powerful and versatile Ferrari of this type ever built…the architecture boasts the look of a contemporary shooting brake.
Styled by Pininfarina the eminent coachbuilder, the Ferrari FF is a balance of sportiness and luxury in the grand touring tradition in the grand Ferrari manner. Everything is tailored to the man/machine interface (female/machine interface too!) making it specifically to meet the needs of today’s high-performance driver. Elegance with power, and presence…the Ferrari FF ushers in an entirely new concept in Gran Turismo excitement. Once again, the iconic Prancing Horse has not only kicked the starting gate open…it has raised the bar of success even higher. Cheers to the Prancing Horse…long may it reign!
Photos courtesy Ferrari Media Club
“I’m the passion of all men…asphalt is my only friend – also torque and power…I think I’ll have a FAB attack, ’cause fab-u-lous is where it’s at – I think I’ll have… a Fab… attack – I just feel so fabulous baby!” aka the iconic Prancing Horse