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Ferrari Family to make India debut

Team Smartbuy | Updated on August 17, 2011 Published on March 16, 2011

SBTB16_COVER   -  BUSINESS LINE

Ferrari FF   -  BUSINESS LINE

One…oh, make that two…of the most exciting news announcements were made during the last few weeks for Ferrari fans at home. First was the unveiling of the Ferrari FF and the official introduction at the Geneva Motor Show 2011. And then came, the announcement, that Ferrari has finally appointed an Indian franchisee and dealership.

First, a bit about the FF. Ferrari says that its new FF will be a revolution, though many purist fans of the brand will be very upset. What will they be sore about, you ask? The FF will be first Ferrari to offer four-wheel drive!

While the purists fret about brand attributes dilution and about how this Ferrari can’t possibly offer them the edgy joy of the two rear-wheel drive standard from the brand, the rest of us can rejoice that the FF is finally one of the most practical, yet, surely, will be one of the most fun to drive cars that has ever rolled out of the gates of the famous House of Maranello.

It would seem that this new model from Ferrari is also targeted at buyers in the emerging Asian markets, where its practicality and easier drivability maybe appreciated more.

The FF is an acronym for Ferrari Four and refers to the four seats and four-wheel drive. This all-new grand tourer, which also sports Ferrari’s first shooting-brake design, is meant to be a replacement for the 612 Scaglietti. The FF’s front draws a lot of obvious inspiration from the 458 Italia.

Ferrari says that the FF offers a completely new take on the sporting Grand Tourer theme. It is a model that hails a major break with the past for Ferrari, effortlessly melding extreme sports car performance with the versatility and usability of a genuine GT.

The FF brims with innovation, not least in its engine, the first GDI V12 to be coupled with the seven-speed F1 dual-clutch gearbox. The V12 unleashes a massive 660 CV at 8,000 rpm, and maximum torque of 683 Nm at 6,000 rpm with 500 Nm already available at just 1,000 rpm. This ensures the performance figures of an extreme sports car, with the 0-100 kmph sprint being covered in 3.7 seconds and a top speed of 335 kmph. Efficiency has been significantly boosted too, with fuel consumption now standing at just 15.4 litres per 100 kms, and CO2 emissions at 360 g / km, a 25 per cent reduction compared to the previous V12s, thanks in part to the HELE (High Emotions- Low Emissions) System which incorporates Stop&Start technology.

The FF also guarantees this exceptional performance on terrain with very low grip coefficients, thanks to Ferrari’s own patented 4RM four-wheel drive system. Torque is still delivered by the rear wheels, but the PTU (Power Transfer Unit) ensures that as much as is required is also transferred to the front wheels when necessary on low grip surfaces. The FF intelligently distributes torque to each of the four wheels individually, thanks to the fact that all of the dynamic vehicle controls (E-Diff, F1-Trac and PTU) have been integrated into a single CPU.

Despite seeming like a four-seater hatchback or estate with a large luggage area (450 litres of it with the rear seats up), exceptional sporty driving is also guaranteed by the FF’s transaxle architecture (mid-front engine with gearbox over the rear axle) and the positioning of 53 per cent of weight to the rear of the car. Meticulous attention has been taken in lightening the engine (new castings), bodyshell (new aluminium alloys and production processes) and a host of other components. The interior has also been optimised through the use of high-tech materials such as magnesium for the seats. Third generation Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes are now lighter and longer-lasting, with virtually negligible wear during normal use on the road. All of these innovations have combined to produce an absolutely exceptional weight-power ratio of 2.7 kg/CV, a new benchmark for this kind of car.

Styled by Pininfarina, the FF’s lines effortlessly reflect its signature uncompromising balance of sportiness and versatility. It can comfortably accommodate four in its bodyhugging seats and spacious cabin, says Ferrari.

For Ferrari fans in India, the wait wont be for very long to lay their hands on the 458 Italia or the Ferrari California, though we do hear that the FF’s first production run might have already been sold out. Ferrari has appointed the Shreyans Group as the official importer for Ferrari in India.

The first Ferrari dealership will open its doors in New Delhi soon, and a second one is scheduled to open in Mumbai in the second half of 2011. The Shreyans Group will also setup an independent Ferrari India office with Ferrari experienced professionals to manage the upcoming dealer network

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Published on March 16, 2011
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