Offering novel technical solutions and unusual levels of practicality, Ferrari's FF has arrived — but the one example is not for sale It's the car that has divided opinion on its style. But the Ferrari FF leaves no doubt in anyone's mind that
it's an innovative and accomplished car under the skin.
Ateco Automotive, the distributor for Ferrari in this country, has arranged a whistlestop tour up and down the east coast for customers and the media to see the replacement for the 612 Scaglietti, in person.
After its visit to Australia, this particular car, — built in left-hand drive — will be criss-crossing the Asia/Pacific region on a promotional tour. It's the very same vehicle (pictured) that Ferrari drafted for a promotional video, showing the car cavorting in the snow.
Far from resting in a million pieces and hidden away in a shed somewhere — as Ateco's PR Manager Edward Rowe explained — the car survived its moment of stardom on video and is now the centrepiece of the global tour.
Introducing the car, Rowe described the Ferrari FF as "the most versatile... car that Ferrari has ever produced."
"And at the same time," he continued, "it is also everything you would expect of a Ferrari, in terms of performance, ability and roadholding..."
In brief, the Ferrari FF will be ADR-homologated from November of this year and deliveries will commence from early next year. Ateco expects to sell between 12 and 15 cars for the 12 months of 2012. The manufacturer's list price in Australia is $625,000.
FF technical summary
Coded F140EB, front/mid-mounted oversquare 6.3-litre V12 develops 486kW and 683Nm;
500Nm of torque is available from as low as 1000rpm and up to the other end of the rev range — 8000rpm;
Direct-injection operates at 200 bar fuel pressure and the compression ratio measures 12.3:1.
Dry-sump lubrication, graphite-coated pistons, low-load oil rings and Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC) coating for inverted tappets contribute to low friction;
Fuel saving measures include Stop&Start System that can restart the engine within 230milliseconds, smart radiator fans, closed-loop air conditioning control, continuous fuel pump control.
Transmission & final drive
Dual-clutch seven-speed transmission is a transaxle, mounted at the rear;
Seventh gear is overdriven;
Weight distribution is 47% front/53% rear;
Rear 'E-Diff' is integrated with transaxle to reduce weight;
Four-wheel drive system ('4RM') features a long driveshaft from rear of engine to transaxle;
Drive to front wheels is taken from the front of the engine via a three-speed 'Power Transfer Unit' (PTU) — two forward gears, one reverse;
Use of the PTU reduces weight of the drivetrain by 50 per cent, when compared with conventional 4WD/AWD systems;
PTU operates at speeds up to 200km/h and directs only as much as 20 per cent of the engine's torque to the front wheels;
PTU forward ratios equate to second gear and fourth gear, respectively, in the transaxle;
First gear in PTU operates when transaxle is operating in first and second gears, second gear (PTU) operates when third or fourth gears are selected;
Two carbonfibre clutch packs in an oil bath adjust the torque from the PTU between left/front and right/front wheels;
PTU has its own clutch and hydraulic gear actuation system, and control unit is integrated with the PTU for faster gear changing;
Compact PTU measures just 170mm in length;
4RM system is computer controlled and incorporates ABS/EBD, F1-Trac and SCM3 damping control — all developed in-house by Ferrari;
A 'Manettino' switch for the 4RM system features five settings in the FF: ESC off, Sport, Comfort, Wet and Snow.
Driving & safety aids
F1-Trac manages engine torque to rear axle;
SCM3 damper control features third-generation magnetorheological suspension;
E-Diff manages rear axle torque, left to right.
Dynamics & Performance
0-100km/h acceleration takes 3.7 seconds and the car's top speed is 335km/h;
Combined-cycle fuel consumption is 15.4L/100km — 25 per cent less than 612 — and CO2 emissions are 360g/km;
Carbon-ceramic braking system delivers 35-metre stopping distance from 100km/h;
4RM provides maximum possible torque in straight-line acceleration from a standing start;
Ferrari claims that torque vectoring function for the front wheels ensures FF steers like a rear-drive vehicle on snow and ice;
Slip control optimisation embraces a complex curve algorithm to harmonise lateral slip tendencies on snow, versus wet and dry surfaces.
Packaging & Aerodynamics
Dimensions measure 4907mm (length), 1953mm (width) and 1379mm (height);
Wheelbase is 2990mm long;
Front seats will accommodate occupants up to the 99.5 percentile, measured by height (< 1.95m) and rear seats will accept occupants up to 95 percentile (< 1.85m);
Luggage capacity is rated at 450 litres with rear seats upright;
Rear seats folded frees up 800 litres of luggage capacity in total;
Weighs 5kg more than 612 Scaglietti, but is larger and drives through 4RM system;
Body is lighter than 612, but crash resistance, modal frequency and torsional rigidity are all improved;
Principal driving controls (including indicator buttons) are located on steering wheel;
FF employs Kamm styling principles;
Air outlets placed around sides, at rear and underneath car to bleed air from within the body for aerodynamic efficiency;
'Bled' air breaks up boundary layer airflow over body — as dimples on a golfball do;
Drag coefficient measures 0.329Cd.