The Sunday Times Driving Placeholder
No sports car, but Ferrari’s finest grand tourer to date.
Pros
Epic engine
Sumptuous and spacious interior
All-weather ability
Cons
A trifle expensive
Odd-looking
Not a real driver’s car

Ferrari FF review (2011-on)

The idea of a go-anywhere Ferrari with space inside for the family should sound more than a little appealing

More Info

What is the Ferrari FF?

A four-wheel-drive Ferrari may sound a complete contradiction, but for those who have always had to bid their Italian supercar farewell as they head off to the slopes each winter, the idea of a go-anywhere Ferrari with space inside for the family will sound more than a little appealing. The FF, despite its curious quasi-estate styling and all-wheel-drive hardware, is the direct replacement for the 612 Scaglietti.

The drive

For drivers of average ability, this is probably the fastest point-to-point Ferrari yet. You don’t have to worry about a lack or traction or the back trying to overtake the front at the exit of a wet roundabout: put your foot down and rely on Ferrari’s ultra-clever four-wheel drive (in effect a pair of two-wheel-drive systems with separate gearboxes) to sort out the rest. Even with 650bhp from its Enzo-derived 6.3-litre V12, the FF can cope. And that V12 is a world-class engine, likely to have you driving miles out of your way just to find a tunnel, so you can drop the windows and hear it howl.


Search for and buy a used Ferrari FF on driving.co.uk


To avoid disappointment, you need only remember that this is Ferrari’s grand tourer and has been configured accordingly. It is a vast car, wider even than a Rolls-Royce Ghost, so thoughts of hurling it through the lanes should be set aside, as should ideas of barrelling sideways out of tight corners: even if you turn all the assistance off, the FF is an obstinate understeerer. It’s best by far in wide, open spaces, where the engine can be let loose and the car’s natural poise allowed to shine. In that environment, the FF offers blinding point-to-point pace coupled with a ride so good that your passengers will have no idea how fast you’re going.

The interior

FF cabin

Here the FF pulls its second big surprise. It has only two doors, but there’s more room in the back of the FF than in some four-door supercars, notably the Aston Martin Rapide. Indeed, this is Maranello’s first car that can be said to be a genuine four-seater rather than a 2+2. The cabin ambience is exceptional, but the instrument layout, mixing digital-readout TFT screens with analogue dials, is less successful, and Ferrari’s button-infested steering wheel looks even more out of place here than in its more sporting products.

Buying a used Ferrari FF

You can’t have missed the YouTube videos and web coverage of the FF fires — a handful of early cars spectacularly went up in flames. This led to a recall in China, though in other countries owners appear to have had their cars inspected and modified as part of their service routine. Ferrari has not released an official statement on the matter.

Many FF owners are reporting happy daily usage of their cars with only very minor concerns noted as yet — noisy air-conditioning, noise from the window seals, the odd software glitch. Careful maintenance of the complex AWD system and suspension is going to be crucial, however, and though the FF is the least likely Ferrari to hit a track, look out for signs that it has been hard-driven — early replacement of those carbon-ceramic brakes is going to be expensive. Ferrari’s dual-clutch transmission has had its glitches, too, and as a general rule modern-day Ferraris seem to benefit from regular use — an ultra-low-mileage example may bring more problems than a car that has clocked up a bit of running time.

The FF comes with a seven-year servicing and maintenance package covering routine work and an annual full inspection using Ferrari’s diagnostics, and this is transferable to subsequent owners. Second-hand Ferraris sold through the company’s European pre-owned scheme are extensively inspected and come with a 24-month warranty.

The One to Buy

Ferrari FF

Factfile

Engine:
6262cc, V12
Power:
650bhp @ 8000rpm
Torque:
503 lb ft @ 6000rpm
Transmission:
7-speed double-clutch sequential/auto
Acceleration:
0-62mph in 3.7sec
Top Speed:
208mph
Fuel:
15.4mpg (combined)
CO2:
360g/km
Road Tax Band:
M (£1,030 for the first year, £475 thereafter)
Dimensions:
L 4907mm, W 1953mm, H 1379mm

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