2011 Geneva Auto Show: 2012 Ferrari FF shows its interior

Article by Christian Andrei, on March 3, 2011

The four-seat FF, the first Ferrari with four-wheel drive, is targeted at wealthy families and at sports-car enthusiasts who need big trunk space. Ferrari S.p.A., Fiat S.p.A.'s most profitable unit, launched this car at the Geneva Auto Show. The 660hp FF, which stands for Ferrari Four, has a price tag of 260,000 euros ($359,000).

It can sprint from zero to 100 kilometers (62 miles) an hour in just 3.7 seconds. According to Fabio Barone, chairman of the Passione Rossa owners' club and the owner of two Ferraris, four-wheel drive is a “revolution for Ferrari owners.”

He said that the FF offers extreme performance but it can also be used for a family skiing trip. He said that supercar sales are increasing along with the renewed optimism in the finance industry after the U.S. economy grew 2.9% last year -- the most in five years.

IHS Automotive said that U.S. sales of the world's most expensive cars, costing from $200,000 to $400,000, could increase by 146% this year after falling 40% in 2010. During a Feb. 23 webcast, Chairman Luca Cordero di Montezemolo introduced the car to clients and dealers, saying that the FF is "a different Ferrari for different Ferrari owners."

He also said that the Ferrari can be used for families and for long trips as it can comfortably accommodate four people and their luggage. The FF features a 450-liter (15.9 cubic feet) trunk, extendable to 800 liters with the back seats down. Ferrari said its trunk and cabin space are the biggest in the category.

Italian sports car maker Ferrari is presenting a new reinterpretation of the Grand Tourer theme in the guise of the new Ferrari FF. This is the first Ferrari model to feature four-wheel drive, thus combining superior sports car performance with the usability and versatility of a genuine GT in an innovatively designed package.

Sitting as the core of the Ferrari FF is the first GDI V12 engine – mated to a seven-speed F1 dual-clutch transmission – that generates around 660 CV at 8,000 rpm and 683 Nm of maximum torque available at 6,000 rpm, with 500 Nm readily accessible at just 1,000 rpm. With these power numbers, the Ferrari FF could dash from zero to 100 km/h in just 3.7 seconds and achieve a top speed of 335 km/h.

Despite these dynamic figures, the Ferrari FF is a very efficient sports car, consuming just 15.4 liters of fuel per 100 km and emits 360 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer – representing a 25-percent improvement over the previous V12 model. These improvements were thanks partly to the High Emotions- Low Emissions (HELE) System that includes Stop&Start technology.

The superior performance of the new Ferrari FF, even on terrain with very low grip coefficients, is further made possible by the Italian company’s Ferrari's patented 4RM four-wheel drive system that allows torque to be translated to superior grip through the rear wheels. However, the PTU (Power Transfer Unit) guarantees that the amount of torque generated is enough for the low-grip surfaces.

The ability of the new Ferrari FF to intelligently distribute torque to each of the four wheels individually is courtesy of the fact that all dynamic vehicle controls -- E-Diff, F1-Trac and PTU -- have been incorporated into a single CPU. On the other hand, the Ferrari FF is fitted with a transaxle architecture in which the engine is positioned mid-front with gearbox over the rear axle while around 53 percent of the vehicle weight is focused on the rear – a configuration that allows for exceptional sporty driving.

Ferrari took efforts to further lighten the engine by using a new casting. It also reduced the weight of the body shell by employing new aluminum alloys and production processes, and an array of other components. The Italian sports car maker also optimized the FF’s interior by employing high-tech materials like magnesium for the seats, with its lighter and more durable carbon-ceramic brakes made by Brembo.

These innovations have allowed the Ferrari FF to feature a superb weight-to-power ratio of 2.7 kg/CV, which represents a new standard for this kind of car. With styling courtesy of Pininfarina, the Ferrari FF has lines that reflect its signature balance of sportiness and versatility.

This new offering from Ferrari features a roomy cabin and body-hugging seats that comfortably accommodate four people. Users could expand the FF’s boot from 450 liters to 800 liters just by folding down the rear seats, allowing this vehicle to offer a cargo room larger than any rival models.

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