Does the prancing horse’s most affordable new luxury GT ride the balance of performance and usability?
Before the period of their bombastic and ultra V12/V8 based supercars with the sole aim of shaving off lap times; Ferrari was known for their front-engined GTs or Grand-Tourers. After all, they were the preferred vehicle of choice for the company’s founder ‘Enzo Ferrari’ and with the introduction of the ‘Roma’, has Ferrari managed to replicate the success and draw knowledge from its roots? Let’s find out.
When it comes to design, the ‘Roma’ is as Italian as it gets but not in the way you would imagine a “Ferrari” would look like. The beautiful flowing lines, a shark nose with a bulging bonnet and the voluptuous haunching rear-end design; all lead to a classical and balanced approach rather than a ‘look at me’, ‘in your face’ design featured on their other offerings. Although, the only nitpick would be the body-coloured front-grille, which looks great only in certain colours.
Underneath it’s all aluminium chassis which is shared in many ways with the ‘Portofino’, making them both have the same wheelbase; the ‘Roma’ has a steady stance with a low roof, aiding in lowering the centre of gravity and being a 100 kg lighter than the ‘Portofino’. Now, of course, being a “Ferrari” performance is the name of the game, due to which Roma’s 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 makes 620hp and 760Nm of torque; but because its main goal is to be a GT and not a track-performance supercar, the engine is tuned and paired with an 8-speed dual-clutch gearbox to deliver smooth and ever-increasing performance, making it more liveable and driveable at the same time. Ferrari’s famous ‘manettino’ switch is also present, which lets the driver choose between 4 distinct drive modes including race, which allows for exploring its handling capabilities, RWD balance and most of all getting a launch from 0-100 kmph in just 3.3 seconds.
If starting from a clean sheet of paper was to be put into practice, look no further than the Roma’s overall cabin design and implementation. If you are a fan of physical buttons, then sadly the ‘Roma’ has almost none of it since the majority of the functions have been relegated to being capacitive touch-based. Although, some of the most interesting highlights in the cabin include the steering mounted controls for the turn-indicators, wipers & headlights, a vertically aligned center touchscreen that houses a variety of other commands and features & a digital driver’s display, along with a mini-digital display for the passenger to keep track of ongoing information. Apart from these aspects, the materials used are no less than exquisite, as there’s ample use of leather everywhere and storage spaces sprinkled in. The rear seats are too small for regular-sized adults and relegated mainly for storage, which will be typically found in the 272-litre boot.
Price & Verdict
Launched at Rs 3.76 crore, the Ferrari Roma is an engaging, fun to drive offering which aims to provide the driver with the best of luxury and performance thanks to being an ideal GT car. Thanks to its ground clearance and the ability to improve the ride quality via changing the suspension setting to ‘bumpy road’ mode; the ‘Roma’ can tackle our Indian roads with relative ease. Couple that with a beautiful design and top-notch “Ferrari” performance; the ‘Roma’ brings the fight straight towards its fiercest GT competitors such as the ‘Bentley Continental GT’, ‘Aston Martin DB11’, ‘Porsche 911’ and the ‘Mclaren GT’.