The 2012 Ferrari FF is not just the company's new flagship. Nor is it just the most unusually styled Ferrari in, well, maybe ever.
It's also the first all-wheel drive Ferrari thanks to the company's new 4RM system. Furthermore, it's Ferrari's own design, one that it says saves weight and complexity compared to other all-wheel-drive systems.
Exactly how it works has been something of a mystery, until now. Ferrari has released a video that demonstrates how the system routes torque to each individual wheel, depending on its need. The biggest difference between 4RM and other all-wheel-drive systems is the lack of a center differential.
Instead of using a center differential to route torque to the front wheels, Ferrari uses a power transfer unit (PTU) that takes power directly from the crankshaft and routes it to the front wheels. Here, power is directed to the wheels that can use it best, in this case using a set of clutches that can vary torque between the front wheels.
For the rear wheels, power travels through a torque tube to a rear-mounted transaxle that then vectors torque to each individual wheel using Ferrari's E-Differential, sending torque to either side depending on which has more traction.
Ferrari, not surprisingly, says that this is one of the prime reasons that its all-wheel-drive FF has a rearward weight bias, while most AWD vehicles have a front bias. It's a clever system, to be sure. Check it out for yourself but, uh, you might want to turn down the music, unless you're a big fan of Euro-synthesizer pop.