Ferrari unveils a very grown-up new Roma supercoupe
Ferrari has found yet another home for its four-time International Engine of the Year award winning twin-turbo V8, in the new front-engined Roma coupe. But it debuts some design concepts that feel more Aston Martin than prancing horse.
Unveiled last night in Rome (of course) to an exclusive group of Ferrari owners, the new Roma is what the company calls a "2+ coupe." That means two people can ride in comfort and style, and if it's absolutely unavoidable, you'll be able to shoehorn two more hapless souls into the back with the aid of some Crisco and one of those white-gloved fellows they hire to stuff people into trains in Japan.
You'll be very familiar with this engine; Ferrari knows when it's onto a good thing and has been sticking it anywhere it fits, from the California to the GTC4Lusso, to the Portofino, the 488 series, the F8s, the SF90 Stradale and, we feel confident, each and every one of the lavatories at the Maranello factory, with the flush button plumbed into the ignition circuit.
As installed in the front of the Roma, it's tuned for a very adequate 612 horsepower (450 kW) and 760 Nm (561 lb-ft), fed through an 8-speed dual clutch gearbox. The car's dry weight is 1,472 kg (3245 lb), and the result of all these numbers is that the Roma will sprint to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.4 seconds, or 200 km/h (124 mph) in 9.3 seconds, and if you mash your boot to the carpet long enough you can expect to howl past your freeway exit at more than 320 km/h (199 mph).
That's the extent of the detail Ferrari has elected to bestow us with at this point, so from here we need to go to the photos. The interior seems Ferrari enough, with a broad digital dash, compact central touch screen for infotainment, navigation and climate control, and a smaller strip touchscreen allowing your passenger to muddle about with the radio. As usual, traction control is modulated through a little red "manettino" on the steering wheel.
As to the exterior, well, things might be different if the press shots had been of a red car, but in silver, it's impossible not to notice how little it feels like a Ferrari. Pull those five-star prancing horse wheels off, and the front end would have us thinking Aston Martin DB10, the back end is very DB11, and the sides ... well, they're kind of sleek and ventless and anonymous in a way we're not really used to from this company.
We're not sure what they're up to in Modena, whether this is the start of a refined, grown-up, understated new aesthetic that'll filter through the rest of the catalogue in coming years, or whether the Roma is tweaked to target a particular group of customers. Either way, it's weird to see a Ferrari looking like anything but a Ferrari.