2021 Ferrari Roma First Drive: Sheer Pace, Unflappable Poise

2021 Ferrari Roma First Drive: Sheer Pace, Unflappable Poise

The 2021 Ferrari Roma is an emphatic celebration of the Italian gran turismo, a style that within the 1950s and ’60s resulted in a few of the most lovely and fascinating automobiles ever inbuilt Maranello. But the Roma just isn’t a rigorously crafted homage to the previous, a contrived pastiche of retro-whimsy wrapped round 21st century {hardware}. No, this Ferrari GT is in each approach a totally fashionable interpretation of a traditional automotive idea, cleverly engineered and beautifully executed.

First issues first: The Roma just isn’t a substitute for the Portofino, Ferrari’s different V-8-powered front-engine GT. It is an addition to the lineup, and with a price ticket of $222,620 it’s by a fraction the least costly new Ferrari you should purchase. In the rarified world of Ferrari-nomics, it’s a stone-cold discount.

The Roma is an amalgam of present Ferrari {hardware} and software program, refined, repurposed, and renewed. The Roma’s platform is predicated on that of the Portofino, however it’s 70 % new. Variants of the three.9-liter twin-turbo V-Eight underneath the Roma’s hood might be present in 5 different Ferrari fashions. The Roma’s eight-speed dual-clutch transmission is fundamentally the same as the one that made its debut in the SF90. It is the primary Ferrari GT automobile to get Side Slip Control 6.0, which debuted on the race-face 488 Pista in 2018, and the primary whose manettino dial means that you can choose Race mode.

Inside, the Roma shares the Human Machine Interface (HMI) idea first seen within the SF90, with a curved 16-inch high-def instrument panel display screen and steering wheel with capacitive contact management switches within the horizontal spokes. Additional contact management switches for lights and exterior mirror adjustment are situated in a pod to the fitting of the steering wheel, and just like the SF90, the transmission is managed by switches organized in a housing on the middle console that remembers the enduring Ferrari metallic shiftgate. Unlike the SF90, nonetheless, the Roma provides an 8.4-inch, portrait-format touchscreen mounted excessive between the central flying buttresses that stretch from the ground to the sprint. And, as in automobiles just like the GTC4Lusso, an 8.8-inch display screen situated on the passenger facet of the sprint is offered as an possibility.

The Ferrari Roma’s Clean, Classic Shape Nods to the Future

Photographs don’t do the Ferrari Roma justice. In the metallic, Ferrari’s new GT—designed in-house underneath the path of Flavio Manzoni—appears wider and decrease and far more dramatic, the standard cab-rearward proportions and sensual surfaces of the higher physique taking part in off edgily fashionable entrance and rear graphics. Slim headlights and a considerable splitter give the Roma’s snout a sharklike menace. What you possibly can’t see are the race-car-style vortex mills on the underfloor on the entrance of the automobile that assist the Roma generate extra downforce on the entrance axle than the Portofino.

The body-colored grille, insouciantly described by Ferrari as holes drilled right into a sculpture, is probably the most controversial a part of the outside, and intentionally so, says Ferrari’s head of GT automobiles exterior design, Andrea Militello. “The idea was the car has such a clean and classic shape, it needed design elements to show the future and modern technology,” he mentioned. “A conventional grille with chrome wouldn’t have been right.” The sharply undercut rear panel is a contemporary riff on the chopped Kamm tail seen on ’60s Ferraris just like the legendary 250 GTO, and the Roma is the primary Ferrari for the reason that cantankerous 348 to not have spherical taillights.

Design chief Manzoni’s want to maintain the Roma’s tail low required the event of an lively spoiler that sits just under the rear window. The spoiler has three settings: Low Drag, Medium Downforce, and High Downforce. In the Low Drag setting, the spoiler sits flush with the rear window. In High Downforce mode, it’s deployed at a 135-degree angle to the rear window, producing 209 kilos of downforce on the rear axle at 155 mph, with only a Four % enhance in drag. In the mid setting, the spoiler develops about 30 % of most downforce with a mere 1 % enhance in drag. The spoiler’s activation thresholds are decided by car pace and the manettino setting.

The Ferrari Roma Has a 612-hp, 3.9-Liter Twin-Turbo V-8

There is not any begin button within the Ferrari Roma—you merely contact the emblem on the steering wheel boss as when you have been opening an app in your smartphone, and the automobile wakes up. Touch it as soon as extra, and the engine snarls into life. Touch switches on the steering wheel toggle between instrument panel configurations. The normal show has, as is conventional with Ferraris, a big tachometer entrance and middle, flanked on the left and proper by navigation and audio screens and detailed car data. Touch the View Max brand, and you’ll have a full-screen map as a substitute, or a large race-car-style tach arching throughout the middle of the display screen, with a g-meter on the right-hand facet.

In Roma spec, the three.9-liter twin-turbo V-Eight makes 612 hp—21 extra horses than within the Portofino. The additional energy comes from revised cam profiles and new sensors within the turbocharger housings that extra precisely monitor the generators’ revs and permit them to spin 5,000 rpm greater than earlier than. The energy enhance comes regardless of the fitment of power-sapping gasoline particulate filters within the redesigned exhaust system. Maximum torque of 561 lb-ft is identical as within the Portofino and can also be out there from simply 3,000 rpm, however due to the engine tweaks the torque peak hangs on 500 rpm longer, to five,750 rpm.

The new eight-speed dual-clutch transmission is extra compact and 13.2 kilos lighter than the seven-speed unit within the Portofino. The clutch module is 20 % smaller however can deal with 35 % extra torque. The ratios are totally different from these used within the SF90 model, and it has a reverse gear (the hybrid SF90 makes use of its e-motors to reverse the automobile). A extra highly effective digital management unit means considerably faster shift instances.

Left to its personal gadgets the brand new transmission is alert but easy. In Comfort mode the transmission upshifts early, slipping into eighth gear as little as 45 mph on half throttle to assist cut back gasoline consumption. But squeeze your proper foot, and it rapidly drops again just a few gears if you want a burst of acceleration. And though it boasts a selected output of 157 hp-per-liter, the twin-turbo V-Eight is something however extremely strung, comfortable to trickle about city turning little greater than 1,200 rpm.

Although it shares its 105.1-inch wheelbase with the Portofino, the Roma is 2.Eight inches longer, 1.Four inches wider, 0.7 inch decrease, and—crucially—weighs a claimed 227 kilos much less. The Roma’s rear spring charges are thus 10 % softer, and its wider monitor and decrease middle of gravity imply the roll fee is 10 % decrease. Although the Roma initially feels extra buttoned down than, say, an Aston Martin DB11 V8, after just a few miles you’ll discover a delicate fluency to the trip you don’t get within the Portofino. The trip high quality and the tall gearing give the Roma the relaxed, long-legged gait that defines all nice GT automobiles; it is a Ferrari through which you’d fortunately put away 1,000 miles in a single day.

But right here’s what makes the Roma really particular: It’s a correct GT, however it’s additionally supercar fast within the twisty bits.

So How Does the Ferrari Roma Drive?

There’s no Jekyll-and-Hyde transformation from cruiser to crusher if you twist the manettino to Sport and even Race mode: The Roma’s again street tempo and poise is basically baked into the {hardware}. That V-Eight underneath the hood is perhaps turbocharged, however it responds to throttle inputs with the precision of a naturally aspirated engine, zinging effortlessly to its 7,500-rpm redline. It’s splendidly easy and tractable under 2,000 rpm and explosively epic from 5,000 rpm up, however the transition between the 2 states is beautifully linear.

The dual-clutch transmission responds immediately to instructions from the paddles, and the brakes to the pedal, which has shorter journey and the next modulation fee than the Portofino setup. The steering is fast, response constructing quickly the second you pull the wheel off-center, however the implacable authority of the entrance axle means the Roma goes precisely the place you level it, and the nostril stays precisely the place you need it whilst you get into the ability and the e-diff and traction management techniques funnel most torque via the rear tires. The Ferrari Roma is perhaps designed to cross continents, tender baggage within the trunk and jackets tossed within the rear seats. But its sheer tempo and unflappable poise on a demanding street will thrill and amaze you. No different GT—Aston Martin DB11, Bentley Continental—comes near having the calm precision of this Ferrari.

The wizard backstage is Ferrari’s good Side Slip Control 6.Zero system, which brings all of the Roma’s onboard dynamic management techniques underneath the watchful eye of an algorithm designed to maximise driver enjoyment. The fantastic thing about the system is that it really works with you as a driver, serving to you obtain what you wish to obtain moderately than digitally rapping you over the knuckles if you do one thing improper. It’s totally seamless and unintrusive and might be tailor-made to go well with street circumstances and your expertise degree.

As talked about, the Roma is the primary Ferrari GT with Race mode. Among different issues, Race mode allows the Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer, a lateral dynamic management system that lightly adjusts the brake strain on particular person wheels to steadiness the automobile as the bounds of adhesion are breached. It’s not a stability management system per se, Ferrari dynamics guru Stefano Varisco insists, however it’s designed to “flank” conventional stability management parameters to make the Roma really feel extra predictable as soon as the rear tires run out of grip. In different phrases, it’ll aid you drift the Roma like a boss.

Of course, when you’re gifted sufficient—and have the room to play—you possibly can change all the pieces off.

A Fast, Glamorous GT within the Italian Tradition

The Roma just isn’t good. The exhaust observe is probably a contact too intrusive in a steady-state cruise. The plastic design characteristic that wraps across the instrument panel binnacle causes notable reflections within the windshield if the solar is within the improper place. You can often hear the eight-speed transmission thunk between ratios if you carry off at low speeds on a lightweight throttle. And the reliance on touchscreens means you must hunt and peck across the menus to arrange issues just like the local weather management till you get used to it. But by way of niggles, that’s about it.

The 2021 Ferrari Roma is a quick and glamorous GT, totally participating to drive, whether or not it’s mooching all the way down to the espresso store or charging up a mountain go. But it’s additionally a Ferrari you possibly can genuinely use each day, with all of the consolation and connectivity you want and a manufacturing unit seven-year upkeep program included within the value. And whereas we’re speaking value, bear in mind additionally that the Roma coupe prices fractionally lower than the Portofino convertible and is a much better automobile throughout. Sure, the Roma is, for many of us, an eye-wateringly costly trip. But as a Ferrari, it’s a discount.

2021 Ferrari Roma
PRICE $222,620
LAYOUT Front-engine, RWD, 2-pass, 2-door hatchback
ENGINE 3.9L/612-hp/561-lb-ft turbo DOHC 24-valve V-8
TRANSMISSION 8-speed twin-clutch auto
CURB WEIGHT 3,450 lb (mfr)
WHEELBASE 105.1 in
L x W x H 183.Three x 77.7 x 51.2 in
0-62 MPH 3.4sec (mfr est)
EPA FUEL ECON Not but examined
ON SALE Late 2020


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