Despite their cachet of being the ne plus ultra of the exotic car category, the fact of the matter is Ferrari’s road cars rarely break new ground, technologically. Mid-engine road cars? Lamborghini beat Ferrari to the street. All disc brakes? Nope. Fuel injection, magnetorheological suspension, carbon brakes? Ditto. And now, at long last, a red car sporting a Cavallino Rampante badge will feature all-wheel drive.
Ferrari S.p.A. has released pictures of its first four-wheel-drive model, called FF (Ferrari Four). Slated to replace the 612 Scaglietti, the Ferrari Four will rock a new 651-hp, 6.3-liter V-12 direct-injection engine (and no, Ferrari wasn’t the first to street with direct injection either). Of course, the advantage to this strategy is letting everybody else develop a technology, then using it to kick their asses. Indeed, the Ferrari Four is said to be capable of a 3.7-second sprint to 60 mph and a 208 mph top speed.
According to Ferrari, the all-wheel drive system employed by the FF is more compact and some 50 percent lighter than any other similar system currently in production. With it, the Ferrari Four boasts a 47/53 front to rear weight distribution. Frankly though, with the competition from high-performance four-seat coupes such as Bentley Continental GT, as well as Porsche, Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, it’s surprising Ferrari hasn’t produced such a car before now.
Another first for Ferrari (but not the rest of the market) is the shooting brake body style. As stunning as it looks on the Ferrari Four, the look immediately recalls BMW’s M coupes from 1998. Still, Ferrari calls the FF a revolutionary model that is the company’s most powerful and versatile four-seater ever.
Like the 612 Scaglietti, Ferrari Four has four seats, but with the hatchback (yeah, we just said hatchback in an article about a Ferrari), cargo capacity should be considerably greater than that of the Scaglietti, making the FF an even better touring car. It should comfortably accommodate four people and their luggage, thanks to what will be the best cabin space and trunk capacity figures in its category.Plans are to introduce the car at the Geneva Motor Show in April; the Fantastic, er, Ferrari Four will go on sale in Europe around May and in the United States in autumn. Pricing has not been announced, but is expected to be above 250,000 euros in Europe (approximately $338,000 USD).