Famed for its two-seater, rear-wheel-drive supercars, the Italian manufacturer has revealed its first four-wheel drive, the four-seater Ferrari FF. The latest addition to the Maranello prancing horse fleet is also a hatchback or "shooting brake", but unlike any normal hatchback.
Its 6262cc direct-injection V12 engine delivers 485kW of power that slings the red missile from standstill to 100km/h in just 3.7 seconds and a maximum speed of 335km/h.
But the main point of difference in the "Ferrari Four" is the addition of four-wheel drive for the first time which places it in even closer competition with all-wheel-drive Lamborghinis. Ferrari's patented 4RM four-wheel drive system is claimed to weigh half as much as other systems to provide a balanced weight distribution of 53 per cent over the rear axle.
While no details of how the drive system works have been released, it is believed Ferrari favours a part-time system. This could be a system that is activated by driver selection, when slip is detected in the rear wheels or engaged at lower speeds then kicks into rear-wheel-drive for better fuel economy and performance.
It is integrated with the car's electronic dynamic control systems and has the latest version of Ferrari's magnetic suspension damping system and Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes.
Carsguide has published spy photos from Carparazzi of the car heavily disguised but looking frumpy in the rear end. However, with the covers removed it appears Italian design house Pininfarina has produced a sleek supercar that looks like an aerodynamic version of the 1970s Jensen Interceptor.
It has generous space for four passengers and even 450 litres of luggage. With the rear seats down, luggage space increases to 800 litres.
The new four-seater gran turismo style puts it in direct competition with the emergence over the past few years of other four-steer GTs such as the Porsche Panamera and Aston Rapide.
The FF will make its official debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March and will arrive in Australia early next year. Australian importer Ateco says it will replace the 612 Scaglietti in its four-car line-up.
The current Scaglietti sells here for $698,000, but the FF's drive system is expected to boost that price. It would join Ferrari's current Australian line-up of California Convertible ($459,650), 458 Italia ($526,950) and 599 Fiorano ($677,250).
The Italian manufacturer is currently enjoying record sales in the US and China and in Australia, Ferrari sold 126 cars last year, up 21.2 per cent which is double the market trend.
Ateco spokesman Edward Rowe says the FF will appeal to "people who want a Ferrari that is able to used across a broad range of uses. What's been happening over the past 10-15 years is Ferrari owners' average mileage they drive has been increasing significantly every year and Ferrari owners want to be able to use their cars in a much wider range of uses," he says.
"The idea of this car is it's fully capable of going to a high-speed performance day and then take you and your family and skis in the car down to the snow for a ski weekend. This illustrates the enormous breadth and ability of this car."
Rowe says the FF is "still a true supercar" in performance and handling. "It remains a true mid-engined Ferrari but at the same time it's like no other Ferrari that's gone before it."
Rowe says they already have "double figures" of customers "putting their hand up" for the FF.
Engine: 65-degree 6262cc direct-injection V12
Power: 485kW @ 8000 rpm
Torque: 683Nm @ 6000 rpm
Dimensions (mm): 4907 (l), 1953 (w), 1379 (h) Dry weight: 1790kg Weight distribution: 47% front, 53% rear Top speed: 335 km/h
0-100km/h: 3.7 sec
CO2: 360g/kmFerrari FF