The first all-wheel drive Ferrari is also the closest thing to a station wagon (or heaven forbid a SUV) the company has ever mounted the prancing stallion badge upon. The four-seat, four-wheel drive Ferrari (thus the FF moniker) is a whole new type of performance car from the venerable sports car manufacturer. More a grand tourer than a sporting model, the FF is also currently the most powerful model in the Ferrari lineup.
While the most intriguing question for most people when discussing any Ferrari model is the way it goes, this is also Ferrari’s GT car, and the company paid rather significant attention to the “Grand’ aspect of its nature. Standard equipment—aside from an abundance of very plush leather upholstery and full power accesories—include; dual-zone auto climate control, rain sensing wipers, Bluetooth, and a 640-watt audio system with iPod connectivity and satellite radio.
Four exceptionally supportive seats dominate the passenger compartment. Curiously though, full power adjustment for them is an optional extra. However, the rear seatbacks do fold to permit the accommodation of more cargo. The Ferrari FF will consume 15.9 cubic feet of stuff with the rear seats deployed and 28.3 cubic feet of kit if the rear seatbacks are folded away.
The Ferrari FF uses a normally aspirated direct injected 6.3-liter V12 engine capable of generating 651 horsepower and 504 ft-lbs of torque. Power is routed from the engine through a seven-speed F1 dual-clutch gearbox. Ferrari’s spokespeople say the FF is good for a zero to 60 of around 3.5 seconds and a top speed of some 208 miles per hour. Start/stop technology is incorporated to reduce fuel consumption.
The all-wheel drive system is designed specifically to mimic the feel of rear-drive, while providing the added traction on an as-needed basis. Further, the system is designed to be lightweight and compact. It does this through the use of a second gearbox, rather than the typical transfer case most four-wheel drive engineering solutions employ.
The second gearbox is called a power transfer unit (PTU). The PTU houses two forward gears and reverse. These two gears can be summoned to work in concert with the first four forward gears in the rear transaxle through computer controlled clutch packs to provide power to the front wheels. However, they also have an electronic differential capable of transferring power from side to side, depending upon which side has the most tractions. Further, power can also be apportioned to each of the four wheels on an individual basis if required.