Full 2012 Ferrari FF Review
What's New for 2012
The 2012 Ferrari FF is an all-new, all-wheel-drive exotic sports car.
Despite what you see in print and video advertisements, those who own exotic sports cars don't always get to drive where the roads are smooth and dry and the weather is perfect. The 2012 Ferrari FF is an exotic car for those driving enthusiasts who live where it's not perpetually 75 degrees and sunny with no chance of precipitation. In other words, most parts of the world.
The FF replaces the 612 Scaglietti and as such has four seats, as well as a front-mounted V12 engine. But that's where the similarities end. The FF sports all-wheel drive and a sport wagon-influenced body style. The former provides foul-weather drivability, while the latter provides more cargo space and true four-passenger capability. The car's name drives home the advantages of this practical supercar ? "FF" stands for Ferrari Four (four seats/four-wheel drive).
Underneath, the FF features an efficient four-wheel-drive system that boasts lightweight materials and clever engineering that eliminates the need for a second heavy driveshaft and a transfer case. As a result, Ferrari says the system weighs about half of what a conventional AWD system would. Power comes by way of a new 6.3-liter V12 engine that funnels its considerable might through a seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission that sends the thrust onward to the AWD system. The end result is a supercar that can seat four 6-footers while boasting a sub-4-second 0-60 time and a top speed of over 200 mph.
With a starting price of around $300,000, the 2012 Ferrari FF gives its fortunate owners -- all of the first two years' production run has reportedly been sold out -- a lot more than country club bragging rights on power, acceleration and speed. It gives them a lot more opportunities to actually enjoy driving the car.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The Ferrari FF is a two-door, four-passenger ultra-performance sports car that features a hatchback body style. It comes in one trim level.
Standard feature highlights on the FF include bi-xenon headlights, rear park assist, rain-sensing wipers, adaptive suspension, carbon-ceramic brakes, 20-inch alloy wheels, power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth connectivity, a navigation system and a 640-watt sound system with iPod integration and satellite radio.
In addition to furnishing additional luxury and convenience, the extensive options roster allows one to personalize their FF with a wide variety of interior/exterior color and upholstery choices. Optional highlights include custom paint, "Scuderia" shields on the front fenders, a front/rear suspension lift system, various wheels, sport exhaust, front park assist, front and rearview cameras, auto-dimming mirrors, active headlights, cruise control, carbon-fiber interior accents, full-power front seats, fitted luggage bags and a 1,280-watt premium sound system. Oddly, some high-end features -- such as keyless ignition/entry, adaptive cruise control and blind-spot warning -- are not available.
Powertrains and Performance
The all-wheel-drive 2012 Ferrari FF is powered by a 6.3-liter, direct-injected V12 that cranks out 651 horsepower and 504 pound-feet of torque. All that power is sent to the four wheels via a seven-speed "F1" automated clutch manual. The transmission allows automatic or manual operation, the latter controlled via steering-column-mounted shift paddles.
The FF's AWD setup transparently apportions torque as needed to individual wheels to optimize grip and performance at any given instant. Drivers have a choice of multiple throttle/stability control/suspension settings that include "Snow" and "Wet" in addition to the standard "Comfort," "Sport" and "Track" that are seen on other Ferrari models.
According to Ferrari, the FF can sprint to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds and hit a top speed of 208 mph.
Antilock disc brakes, front side airbags, stability and traction control are standard. Rear park assist is standard while front is optional, as are front- and rearview cameras. A few high-tech safety features, such as lane-departure and blind spot warning systems, are not available.
Interior Design and Special Features
The FF is the most luxurious Ferrari yet, sporting an abundance of leather trim previously reserved for Aston Martins and Bentleys. Day-to-day usability can be frustrating, however. Beyond the antiquated touchscreen electronics interface shared with various Chryslers, the turn signal and windshield wiper control stalks have been removed in favor of buttons on the steering wheel. This was done to free up space for the large paddle shifters, but can be annoying nevertheless.
The four bucket seats are heavily bolstered and very supportive, though full power adjustment will cost you extra. At 193 inches long and 4,147 pounds, the FF is not exactly a petite sports car. But that long (117.7-inch) wheelbase helps to provide impressive room for the rear quarters. Indeed, Ferrari claims a pair of 6-foot-1 passengers can be accommodated back there. That said, they best be in decent shape, as those well-contoured buckets are not for the broad of beam.
Cargo capacity is generous for a sports car, with 15.9 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 28.3 cubes available with them folded down.
The 2012 Ferrari FF is a grand touring car but drives with the moves of a dedicated two-place sports car. The FF thrills on straight roads nearly as much as it does on curvaceous ones, as the V12's wail rises and falls while you rapidly bang through the short-spaced gears of the seven-speed automated-clutch gearbox. Shifts are crisp and eye-blink quick and the transmission never balks -- even when a paddle is flicked for a downshift at high revs.
Of course, the spine-tingling performance and glorious soundtrack are fully expected of a car wearing a prancing horse in its grille. But what aren't -- and what make this car a practical exotic -- are the FF's comfortable ride and amazing poise and capability in slippery weather conditions, with credit going to the car's all-wheel-drive system and many adjustable driving parameters.