A practical Ferrari sounds like a non sequitur, but with four seats, a hatchback coupe body and four-wheel drive – the first Ferrari so equipped – the FF certainly has the on-paper credentials. The question on most enthusiasts’ lips was, could such a vehicle ever be a true Ferrari?
The four-wheel drive system works brilliantly, enabling the FF to deploy its 642bhp without drama – it simply fires out of corners with complete grip and maximum forward momentum. Its V12 engine, a new direct-injection unit different to the one in the 599 GTB, has a proper spine-tingling Maranello bark and is tuned to give its best right at the top of the rev-range. The carbon-ceramic brakes have that typically slightly grainy feel but deliver stupendous stopping power. The steering is as light and incredibly responsive as that of the mid-engined 458 Italia. The net effect is that although the FF feels like a big car when you first climb in – and at just shy of five metres it’s almost exactly the same length as an Audi A6 Avant – when you start really driving it seems to shrink around you.
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In one way, all of this presents something of a conundrum. Because if you expect the FF to have a slightly more laidback persona, in keeping with its practical, GT-car appearance, such overt sportiness can be slightly jarring. But there can be no doubt at all that the FF is a proper Ferrari.
Years made 2011- Engine V12, 6262cc Max power 642bhp @ 8000rpm Torque 504lb ft @ 6000rpm 0-60mph 3.6sec Max speed 208mph Price £227,026 new,£180-200,000 used