The 2014 Ferrari FF brings back memories of the Shooting Brake, a design nearly forgotten. The most interesting feature about this vehicle, however, is the way in which power is displaced. Ferrari has designed the FF on a four-wheel-drive platform, after a long time. Ferrari had experimented with a four-wheel drive train back in 1987, with their 408 integral concepts. However, their FF is the first vehicle that makes it into production after a long time.
Unlike regular all-wheel-drive vehicles, the Ferrari FF does not have a centre differential. This makes it an effective rear-wheel-drive based vehicle too, as power dissipation can be controlled. A seven-speed automated transmission system mated to its engine, provides maximum backup, while gear ratios are sufficiently spaced, which in turn allows maximum reliability and stability at high speeds.
Understanding the Mechanics behind the Vehicle:
The dual-clutch mechanism on the FF is of utmost importance, as they work simultaneously to provide maximum traction, engine control and torque vectoring, which in turn enhances handling. The slipping clutches on this vehicle do not overheat, as power is delivered to its front axle for a short time span only. This is a tight and lightweight system, even though Ferrari claims it adds a hefty 45 kg to their final vehicle.
Engine Specifications and Performance:
Steering wheel corruption has been reduced, while precision driving is what defines this Shooting Brake. Under the hood lies a 6.3-litre V12 engine displacing 651 BHP, which helps the 2014 Ferrari FF accelerate from 0 – 60 MPH within 3.7 seconds while reaching top speeds around 208 MPH. Experts have highly praised this vehicle after taking it for a spin on the track and we expect superior levels of handling and overall performance from this vehicle.
Suspension upgrades along with advanced magneto rheological damper settings make driving worthwhile. Additional traction and road grip is present while speeding and in corners, while braking potential has also improved by a considerable margin. It is unfair to compare this vehicle with other legends from Ferrari such as their 599 GTB or the Enzo, especially since all these vehicles are in their respective market segments.
Weight Distribution and Handling:
Despite weight differences between the FF and 599 GTB in favor of the GTB, superior power to weight ratio reduces their lap times. Nimble handling is the FF’s forte, while power displacement levels are elegantly poised. Peak torque is available once you cross the 1750 RPM mark, post which, the FF becomes totally tractable. While cornering at high speeds, the rear section of the FF tends to lift off, although in medium pace, the vehicle tends to hit over-steer.
This is the exact time when front-wheel drive intervenes and you get a mixed feeling of being pulled and pushed, all at once. This 651 BHP displacing vehicle is surprisingly quite easy to handle and maintain on roads. We tested the 2014 Ferrari FF briefly under winter conditions, using winter tires and this vehicle felt stable under most conditions. Hence, if you plan on taking your FF to a snowy destination, feel free to go right ahead!
Places Needing Improvement:
Steering control ratio of this vehicle is surprisingly smooth and placid, along with well-balanced weight distribution and a chassis adjustment, which makes this vehicle feel lightweight and flexible at all times. There are however a few negative sides to the FF that needs to be addressed. Its smooth transmission system feels hesitant at low speeds. Driving under heavy traffic can be painful at times. Constantly shifting between first and second gears can be quite painful, while engine displacement is twitchy at times.
Pricing and Summary:
Priced at AU$ 625,000, this vehicle is value for money, even though minor upgrades should work perfectly. Contradicting popular beliefs, the FF is not quite firm or reactive, while people looking for cruising may like something softer for long journeys. The most interesting part about Ferrari’s FF at this moment is that it has no potent rival in class.
Despite Mercedes Benz offering a host of Shooting Brake options, none of them actually seem to fit the bill. The closest competitor of sorts is Bentley’s Continental GT, although, in reality, they are as different as chalk and cheese. Hence, Ferrari manages to hold its own, in class.