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Replacing the Ferrari's incumbent four-seater GT car, the 612 Scaglietti, is the FF (Fast Four) which represents a long line of firsts for the Prancing Horse as one can guess from its name. The Four stands for four-seat, four-wheel drive, with the latter an absolute first for any Ferrari car.
The revolutionary 4RM four-wheel drive system is 50 per cent lighter than most conventional four-wheel drive systems and maintains a near-perfect weight distribution with 53 per cent over the rear axle. The system is also completely integrated with the car's electronic dynamic control systems and is designed to deliver high levels of performance on all terrains, in all conditions via continuous predictive torque distribution to all four wheels. To top it off, the car also features Ferrari's latest generation suspension damping system, which makes use of magnetic particles in the damping fluid to automatically control exactly how stiff or soft the suspension needs to be for a given corner or road surface. The high-tech feature is expected to take the FF's handling prowess to a whole new level.
Another first for Ferrari is the 'hatchbackcoupe', better known as the shooting brake-like body styling for the FF which was done by none other than the renowned Italian design house, Pininfarina. Enthusiasts would be quick to point out that this unique body style was used by Ferrari in 1962 with the Ferrari 250 GT SWB 'Breadvan', but it was aerodynamic concerns that sprouted this one-of-a-kind racing car, while the FF's body seeks to combine the beautiful flowing lines of a coupe with the practicality of a hatchback. The design, which also mimics Ferrari's latest design language from the 458 Italia at the front end, might be considered by most as rather quirky, but scores high marks on the sensibility scale thanks to the huge cabin space and boot space - a whopping 450 litres, which can be expanded to a cavernous 800 litres with the rear seats dropped. And just as a reference, this figure actually even beats most standard 4-door saloons.
But of course, no Ferrari is worthy enough to carry the Prancing Horse badge unless it packs a real fire-breather of an engine.
And the FF doesn't disappoint in this department, thanks to its new 6. 3-litre V12 motor under the hood which puts out a mind-numbing 660 PS of power - a figure only beaten amongst its siblings by the racing special 599 GTO. In tandem with its transaxle dual-clutch gearbox and a body weight that tips the scales at less than 1800 kg, the FF can make the run from naught to 100 kmph in a mere 3. 7 seconds, on to a top speed of about 335 kmph. And of course, the latest cutting-edge carbon-ceramic Brembo brakes mean that the FF can shed off all speed in the blink of an eye if one needs to. And for all those eco-mentalists out there, this high-performance grand tourer also features Ferrari's patented HELE start-stop system to keep the emission low and the fuel mileage high.
Ferrari's latest creation certainly is an interesting car. As the Maranello-based company's flagship model, it represents what future Ferraris would be like - super fast cars that reward the driver with ultimate automotive pleasure for every little input, while at the same time soothing him or her with the ultimate luxurious experience and doing as little damage to the environment as possible to boot. Now, let's wait for the price of the FF to be announced.
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