Ferrari is best known for its fast and focused mid – engined cars – we’re big fans of the ferociously rapid F8 Tributo – but the prancing horse of Maranello is also highly adept at turning out fleet – footed grand tourers.
PARIS, France – The latest edition to the genre is the sublime Roma, which slots into the Italian marque’s line – up just above the Portofino. The newcomer is purported to be both a GT and a sports car, as well as the first of a new breed of more usable, everyday Ferrari.
Although the Roma shares some of its architecture with the Portofino, Ferrari claims 70 per cent of the body and structure is new or substantially modified. The Roma also comes in about 100kg lighter than the Portofino, as well as having a lower centre of gravity, thanks to the deletion of the Portofino’s bulky folding roof mechanism.
The Roma’s 3.9 – litre twin – turbo V8 is also related to the Portofino’s engine, but various mechanical mods boost power to 620 hp (versus 600 hp for the latter) and torque to a towering 760Nm. Drive is sent to the rear wheels via a new eight – speed dual – clutch gearbox, pinched from the SF90, which is 6kg lighter, as well as being faster – shifting and more efficient than the Portofino’s transmission.
Inside, the Roma gets an all – new cockpit big on classy curves and a welcome sense of minimalism. There’s Ferrari’s new – generation infotainment, too, which debuted in the SF90. You grasp a new steering wheel, including a touchpad on the right spoke with which to navigate menus on the driver’s display and gaze upon a 16 – inch multi – function curved display.
It only takes a few minutes behind the wheel to take in the Roma’s razor – sharp steering response and the eagerness of the twin – turbo V8 to spin to 7,5000 rmp. Despite its overtly sporting setup, the Roma’s ride is surprisingly compliant for such a focused and responsive car.
Its breadth of capability is what makes the Roma so enticing. You can attack mountain roads with great vigour, flicking up and down the lightning – quick gearbox and breaking ever deeper into corners. Or you can just lope along in a higher gear and enjoy the Ferrari’s relaxed touring capability. Both are enjoyable ways to arrive at your destination.
The boot is decently spacious, but the rear seats are best suited to small children, which means the Roma is an ideal weekend getaway car for two. You’ll certainly turn heads along elegance that’s perhaps been missing from the brand’s front – engine cars of late.
Be assured the Roma is every inch a true Ferrari. Just as the SF90 was created to forge into the future, the Roma reprises the glorious grand – touring tradition that’s etched in the Maranello marque’s annals.