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Car Tech Video: Ferrari FF
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Car Tech Video: Ferrari FF

9:24 /

Ferrari's solid argument that good things come in fours.

Okay, it looks good. Heading down the hill. Well here we are, in Ferrari's first all wheel drive car, a four seater that looks a bit like a wagon. What's going on here? Let's drive the Ferrari FF [INAUDIBLE] Now economically what is an FF? It's a car with four seats, the back two of which you'll noticed are actually pretty incredible. Two doors of course, Ferrari swears up and down they will never, never, ever make a four door. They're looking a Porsche when they say that. A [UNKNOWN] of course cuz this is a very premium car for a Ferrari and a GT and for a long legged athletic touring not so much track use. And of course the thing you either love or hate about is this shooting break design as they call it, kinda a hatchback meets a wagon with a [UNKNOWN]. It gives you fairly good cargo space in the back. And flying over all of this, is an optional panoramic glass roof, perhaps the biggest I've ever seen. I could actually sleep on that. It doesn't have any movement. Not tilt, not slide, nothing. But it does let in a ton of light. And supposedly only modest heat because of a special high-tech film. Now the inside of the FF is a beautiful cabin. Very kind of low-slung and sporting that matches what you'd expect the inside of a Ferrari would be like. The first thing that draws my attention though is an unfortunate thing. This ancient Chrysler parts band head unit. I think the last time I saw one of these, it was literally in a town and country about four or five years ago. It's not a non-functional unit. I mean it gets the basics done. But it does not befit the quality of this car. The map display is crunchy. It's also very small. On the good side, though, its touch screen is exceptionally responsive, things move quickly. And its voice command is actually very quick as well. It doesn't lead to any connected services, there's no app support. You've got real basic, sort of built-in media here. And a crunchy-looking map. Now let's go on to some things that this car has that are unique. First of all, over there on the passenger's side, that's optional for thousands of dollars. I wouldn't spend the money, but it gives your passenger a look at your rpms, trip odometers, mile per hour, gear position and all kinds of stuff that I guess keeps them from being bored. It's one of the oddest displays I've seen in a production car. I would say something otherwise for what's in front of the driver. This is a great driver's office. In the center, a great big mechanical tack, on the sides, all video-based gauges. Either a digital or analogue speedo on the right and on the left you've got various settings, but primarily you're going to look at your VDA, your vehicle dynamic set up, which will change depending which drive mode you're in. Speaking of those drive modes that brings us to the manitina, the little handle here on the steering wheel going all the way from snow, to wet. Comfort is your standard mode. Then there's sport. Or hold it over on the stability off position. And it warns you, it's all your problem now. Start buttons are common these days. On the wheel not so much so. That's very Formula 1 stuff. This shock button doesn't change through all of your different suspension modes. The manatino does that, but this does put you in what they call bumpy road mode, which actually does soften things up. You would look at these [UNKNOWN] shift paddles, in fact the paddles are these nice big magnesium guides behind here on the column, these are your turn signals, it's a Ferrari thing, there's left and right, it's actually very intuitive. Not so much so the horn. You can press here all day and all you're gonna get is and angry airbag. The horn's up here on these little delicate buttons onto the leather. And behind the wings of the wheel, to go with that Chrysler head unit are the classic Chrysler fingertip buttons, the ones you operate by feel and not sight. They change track, adjust volume, things of that nature. Over here on the lower consoles, more of your drive controls R for reverse, AUTO is putting you in automatic mode, the car doesn't necessarily default to it as much as most cars do, and PS is some Italian for launch control. We've got a rearview camera in this car standard. Thank you. This little button here changes it from normal mode to weird mode. I'm not quite sure what the value is. And we have a front camera on this car as well, but that's optional. [MUSIC] Now let's talk about these back seats here in the second row. It's a big part of this car's claim to fame. Are they the real deal? Well first of all, these are full size seats. They aren't little dinky 911 seats or something. The only downside is, of course, the car's got a certain limited wheel base, and if I sit behind my own adjusted driver's seat, as you can see, I gotta you know, spread my knees apart to let this thing sit there. It's a little cramped. The head room is great though and like I said the seat is full width and quite comfortable. Oh, you may have noticed this also. Behind each of our headrests we have optional integrated iPad minis. They're quasi integrated. They're sitting in nice leather holders in a strap on the head rest and they connect to power so they don't run out juice. Beyond that they're on their own connection, they don't talk to the front head unit or do anything more electronically magical than just this. Now up here's the big part of the reason you buy an FF because its got one of these beautiful Ferrari V12s. I could just look at this thing all day and not even care how it runs. But it does run. The numbers, 651 horsepower, 504 foot pounds of torque, all that accomplished without any turbos or super chargers. It is a direct-injected V12 with an extraordinary piece of balance and engineering art to it. You're gonna hear it later and love it. Now it's a front-mid engine, they call it, because basically the entire engine rests behind the front axle line. It helps to put the weight where you want it, and not hung out here where it makes the car nose-heavy and wanna plow through corners. Now the power coming out of this guy, you'd normally expect goes to a transmission right about there. Instead the transmission is way out in the stern. When you put it back there it's called a transaxle. And it's a 7 speed, dual clutch, automated manual, as you might expect. But because this guys is all wheel drive, which is one of it's headlines, there's another little mini-transmission up here on the front of the engine called a power takeoff unit. It's basically a little two speed gearbox that runs just the front wheels from time to time. We'll talk more about that when we get on the road. You're gonna get this 41 hundred up to 60 in a very quick 3.7 seconds. So far, nothing here under the hood is disappointing, except for one thing, the MPG, if you care in a car like this. It's 11 16, if you'll get 10 or 11 average. The first thing you notice on the road is that incredible exhaust sound. Even before you pick up on the performance, this sounds like it's gonna go fast, and then it does. Its comfort mode, it's the most athletic thing you've ever driven. In sport mode, it's even more so. What might surprise you if you drive this car is there's not this massive kick of low end torque the minute you tip in on the throttle. But, the power comes on smoothly and evenly for so long. There's that lofty red line is not a false promise. Dual clutch transmissions are not always the most refined. This one absolutely is. When you want it to behave like an automatic, you hit the Auto button, put it in Comfort mode. And this is a very refined boulevard cruiser. And then of course, when you get it into sport mode, drop it into manual shift mode. Bang, bang, bang! It's like a Ginsu knife cutting between the gears. It's sharp, and it's quick, and it just takes a flash. Now a note about the all wheel drive in this car. It's kind of a all wheel drive light or a helper all wheel drive. At most it can send 20% of torque to the front wheels. That's it. It is often letting the rear end do all the pushing and it just sits out until its needed for traction. Or cornering or torque vectoring, it only works in the first four gears of the main transmission and using its own two gears and I never stop being surprised at how well this car takes the set and dives into a corner, without a lot of weight being thrown around or effort on my part. Other cars may accomplish that by doing some inside wheel breaking or reducing torque to certain wheels, but. This is just more alive and active. Impressive for a biggish car that has a biggish engine in front of the driver. Okay, just for fun let's price our FF, not exactly in my price range, maybe it's in yours. That would be $298,000 or so, delivered with a hefty destination charge. Then you start to add the good stuff, which really makes it C Net style. Gotta love that panoramic roof, hope you like it $18,000 worth. A front nose lifter is about $5,800 bucks. I'm not sure if that costs more or less than just getting the front touched up once in awhile. Adaptive front lights are a trivial 2000. That interesting passenger display is a little over four grand. Carbon fiber steering wheel with those ship lights almost five grand. Add a front camera to the rear for 3,200 upgrade the audio to QuantumLogic for almost 6 grand. And integrate those two iPad minis on the backs of the front seats for $5,300 a pair. And you thought Apple charged a lot for those things. All in, we're at nearly $350, and I haven't even begun to pick up all the different sort of exterior, and interior, customization options. The FF's not just unique for Ferrari. It's a unique car with it's all wheel drive, it's sort of gentlemen's expressed layout, it's purebred V12, and it's exquisite handle. [MUSIC]

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