Ferrari FF in India Preview

Ferrari have officially come down to India and though one Mr God of Cricket, Sachin Tendulkar may boast of having this gorgeous Italian marquee in his garage, that’s the “unofficial” one from a long time. Ever wondered where all these exotic cars coming into India would be plying on? Forget it. Those who are going to buy all these cars would never think of the roads, fuel efficiency or servicing aspects. Ferrari are world renowned for their supercars and when one such manufacturer claims to be making  a 4 door supercar, then it is but natural that the entire universe sits up and takes notice. Moreso when this 4 seater car happens to be only with two doors. Hell, even the Aston Martin Rapide and the Porsche Panamera happen to have 4 doors. The car in the news is the Ferrari FF and it is coming to India soon. Now, a Ferrari FF in India would be quite a attraction or distraction, whichever way you look at it. We have got some snippets abouyt the yet to come to India car. Now, officially, Ferrari is setting up a shop in India in New Delhi. That too on the 25th of this month. Though there is no clarity of which Ferrari vehicle would make its first debut on the Indian soil, there are chances that it could be the Ferrari FF. After all, it’s the most practical and desirable cars amongst the Ferrari range.

The looks are unlike any Ferrari which would have been spotted in the world. The FF has a term to its styling and it is called “Shooting Brake”. The styling can best be described as extrovert in nature. The long front snout of this car reminds one that this car’s engine is located in the front and those dagger shaped LED lit head lamps are a revelation in themselves. The Ferrari family face of a smile mimics that of an Aston Martin whereas the fog lamps are inconspicuous by their absence. The bonnet however isn’t a smooth unit and has lots of creases and crests to it. The 20 inch wheels are standard fare with an option to upgrade to 21 inchers. The small air dams are also a good feature which actually shows the naturally aspirated nature of the engine. From the side profile, the car looks like a big hatchback. Well, guess that’s what is called as “Shooting Brake” design. The rear is what usually Chevy cars are like, more of the sloping roof and compact rear portions. The brake lights are circular and lend some muscle to the otherwise weak looking rear portion. The 4 tail pipes, two at the two corners look like bazookas ready to fire off at the next instant. The twin reflectors are nestled very close to them.

In Ferrari’s terms, the FF is actually a mix of radical and conventional. The aluminium spaceframe is a familiar sight and its wheelbase has been increased over the Scaglietti 612 by 40 mm. This increases the cabin space to a great extent. Again, the interiors are similar to its nearest rival, the Bentley Continental GT and this means an all leather interiors. However the similarity ends there. While the Bentley reeks of old world charms, the Ferrari FF is bang the opposite. It has got an F1 style steering wheel with multiple controls on it. The gears are controlled by the paddles located on the steering wheel. If the exteriors didn’t exude any sportiness, then the interiors would definitely make one believe that this is a sports car with saloon pretensions. Not only does it have sporty drilled aluminium pedals, but it also has the engine start stop mechanism on the steering wheel plus various other traction control aids. The Auto, reverse and launch control modes are on the central console. The circular AC vents are completely handmade while the upper part of the dash looks a bit fussy, like the wrinkles of an old chubby dog. The instrument panel is semi digital in its approach but is a wonderful revelation. The front passenger, would not only be swathed in luxury all around but also can monitor the driver’s progress via a small indication screen which shows him which set of wheels are being driven and so forth. Every control falls easily to the hand and this works favors for enthusiasts. All the seats in the Ferrari FF are very comfortable and those at the rear have to topple the front passenger seat first to get in. Seating is good for 2 at the rear with enough of head and leg room. Even though the styling is more like a coupe hatch, Ferrari engineers have done a good part of actually getting the interior packaging just right for a 4 seater car. Boot space, a bug bear for the Ferrari cars has been sorted out with the FF now having 430 liters of space. However once seaten inside, the 4.9 M long car doesn’t seem to appear so. It gives the so vital shrinking around the driver feeling which people piloting the so called big car desperately need.

Ferrari cars are known to be rear wheel driven cars however this one takes the piece of cake with its 4 wheel drive system. Not only is the 4 wheel drive system said to be a very effective one, it is also space and weight efficient. The steering wheel is said to be an epitome as far as electronic steering units go. Not only does the Ferrari FF in India carry forward this steering wheel but it also would sport the same ratios. It is said to be the lightest amongst the slew of steering wheels going around and at the same time communicative at its best. The drive to the front and rear wheels is effectively separate. There is no center differential unlike a conventional 4 wheel drive system. Instead for the majority of the time, the FF behaves like its cousins and that is rear wheel drive mode. Only when required is the power distributed between the front and rear wheels. A Ferrari patent is applied for the system of which neither the two front ratios nor the rear ones are similar. The wheel speed mismatch is managed by slipping two clutches in the forward gearbox, one for each wheel. The role of front differential is played by these two clutches. They not only manage traction but also for improved handling, provide torque vectoring. However to prevent the clutches from getting burnt, the drive to the front axle is delivered in bursts. Only 45 kgs are been added to the vehicle’s overall weight.

On the engine front, the Ferrari FF in India would come with a front longitudinal 6.3 liter V12 engine which makes 651 Bhp of power at 8000 rpm while the torque figure reads as a monstrous 690 Nm at 6000 rpm. The gear shifting chores are being handled by a dual clutch 7 speed automatic. The 0-100 run is said to be completed by this car in only 3.6 seconds whereas the top speed dash is said to be 335 kmph. This is coming from a vehicle which weighs nearly 1880 kgs. Brakes are carbon ceramic ones and are said to be fade free. The fuel tank has got a capacity of 91 liters. The 0-100 kmph were achieved in the launch control mode and in regular mode, it would take 0.2 seconds more. The FF is said to be one fuel efficient super car. It delivers close to an overall mileage of 7.8 kmpl.

Coming to the price, the Ferrari FF price in India would be approximately Rs 1.64 crores. This makes it somewhat cheaper than the price of the Bentley Continental GT. The Bentley costs Rs 1.7 crores. Spares and servicing aspect may prove to be a chink in the FF’s red armor however that all would be seen when the Janpath road show room comes into existence on May 25th 2011. Opening a show room in Delhi was a wise decision by the boffins at Ferrari since New Delhi constitutes the maximum sales for ultra luxury and supercars. Ferrari have done the near impossible with their car and that is incorporating rear wheel drive security and versatility to a desirable car. At the same time, they have also avoided adding on more weight to the car’s overall gross weight. The Marmite looks withstanding, the FF is one desirable beast and it remains to be seen how it would stack up against its so called competition in India.

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