Ferraris are most at home on long stretches of shiny tarmac, but we could soon see one or two cropping up on snowy mountain roads if the new FF concept is anything to go by.
The FF raises eyebrows for several reasons. Firstly, its 'shooting brake'-style body makes it look like an estate -- a stretched version of the Alfa-Romeo MiTo perhaps, or, if you knock back a double brandy and squint, the BMW Z4.
Secondly, the FF is a four-seater. We can't tell how roomy it is inside, but Ferrari says it can comfortably accommodate four people and their luggage. The boot has a capacious 450-litre capacity, which can be extended to 800 litres, presumably with the seats folded down.
What's more unusual about this car, however, is the fact it's Ferrari's first four-wheel-drive vehicle -- ever. The company's fitted its own, patented 4RM system, which it says is 50 per cent lighter than conventional four-wheel-drive systems. It also helps maintain near-perfect weight distribution of 53 per cent at the rear and 47 per cent at the front.
As we'd expect, the 4RM system is integrated into all the car's fancy electronic dynamic-control systems, helping to deliver what Ferrari describes as 'record levels of performance' on all terrains and in all conditions. Ferrari claims the FF can be 'enjoyed' in the city, on a track, and on low-grip or snow-covered surfaces.
We can't vouch for its performance yet, but it should go quickly in a straight line. The FF uses the company's new 6.2-litre V12 direct-injection engine, which produces 651bhp at 8,000rpm and 683Nm of torque through the company's dual-clutch F1 gearbox. Together, the system allows for a 0-60mph time of 3.7 seconds and a top speed of 208mph.
Ferrari's yet to confirm a release date for the FF, but the car will be on show at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, where we'll be on hand to bring you a full tongues on.
Have a gander at the photos in our gallery and let us know what you think in the comments section below.