Video: Markku Alen shows how a Ferrari FF should be driven in the snow

Article by Christian Andrei, on February 3, 2012

Former World Rally Champion Markku Alen rose to the challenge of driving a Ferrari FF through a forest track totally covered in snow. A video of this event is available on Ferrari.com. Markku Alen drove the 12-cylinder FF on the highly difficult Arjeplog track, in Northern Sweden, located around 100 km to the South of the Artic Circle.

This FF features a very innovative 4RM four-wheel drive system that has caught the attention of the international press and clients.

 One of those who had been in high praises of the FF is Finnish ice track specialist Markku Alen who had won the 1978 World Rally Championship. The 14km "Forest" track consists of difficult corners and steep inclines while being as cold as -15° to -30° Celsius. 

He took the FF to extreme conditions, testing the car’s traction on surfaces that have exceptionally low grip. Because of the car’s ideal weight distribution and mechanical set-up, the FF showed just how stable and safe it is aside from offering top performance. Markku remarked that the FF is particularly fun to drive, even for a former World champion.

The Ferrari FF, a grand tourer, boasts of its patented 4RM four-wheel drive system. This 4RM system provides the FF with superb traction, handling and stability, which in turn results in the car’s unique advantage of slippery terrain driving capability. Although the rear wheels still supply the torque, a technologically-advanced Power Transfer Unit (PTU) ascertains the automatic transfer of needed torque unto the front wheels when negotiating low-grip driving surfaces. Moreover, the Ferrari FF, through its single Central Processing Unit (CPU), controls and distributes torque individually to each of the four wheels, thanks to the integration of all the dynamic vehicle controls, namely the E-Diff, the F1-Trac and the PTU, into the single CPU.

Another uniquely impressive feature of the Ferrari FF is its transaxle assembly, with a front mid-engine placement and the gearbox over the axle. This assembly, when combined with the specified weight distribution assigning 53% of the car’s weight to the rear, results in an exceptionally stable and fun-filled driving experience. Furthermore, the Ferrari engineers were able to reduce the engine’s weight and that of the car frame by using lighter aluminum metal alloys, in consonance with innovative production processes.

A highly durable and advanced braking system, the third generation Brembo carbon-ceramic brake, was also installed. This carbon-ceramic brake is highly resistant to the wear and tear of normal brake use. The interior was also meticulously designed using high quality, lightweight materials such as magnesium for the seats. Another major achievement of all these impressive design efforts is the Ferrari FF’s amazing weight-to-power ratio of 2.7 kg/CV, a new milestone in its category.

The smooth and effortlessly flowing aesthetic lines of the Ferrari FF’s, designed by Pininfarina, exudes the car’s distinct character combination of sportiness, elegance and versatility. Its ergonomically designed, body-hugging seats and its well-appointed, spacious cabin can comfortably accommodate four people. Lastly, the Ferrari FF’s large 450-litre boot can be expanded further to 800 liters by folding down the rear seats, another category-leading feature which even beats the luggage capacity of bigger four-door saloons.

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