Ferrari Roma: Maranello's Rival To The Vantage & AMG GT R
The front engined sports coupé market has been a busy one and occupied by numerous entrants, all with their own star features. We now get the most stylish one of all - the Ferrari Roma.
The Roma is all about retro Italian flair mixed with the latest performance that Maranello has to offer. It is powered by the same 3.9-litre turbocharged V8 from the Ferrari Portofino convertible 2-seater sports car. The performance has been bumped up to 611bhp(21bhp more) while the torque output remains unchanged at 760Nm. Ferrari paired its prized engine with its new 8-speed dual-clutch gearbox that debuted on the SF90 Stradale. The Roma is actually the fifth new model from Ferrari in 2019, the others being the F8 Tributo, F8 Spider and the 812 GTS.
Ferrari has been vague about the Roma's configuration, calling it a 2+ and not a 2+2, suggesting that the "rear seats" are optional. It's based on the same chassis as the Portofino but there are some key changes for improved performance. It's lighter by 73kg, 1472kg dry weight instead of the convertible's 1545kg. That helps it accelerate quicker too, reaching 100kph in just 3.4 seconds onto 200kph in 9.3 seconds, 0.1s and 1.5s quicker respectively than the Portofino. The Roma is wider, longer and slightly lower than its drop-top sibling.
In terms of looks, the Roma represents what Ferrari's tagline states - "la Nuova Dolce Vita" aka the new sweet life. Its design seems to have a blend of its rivals and some Pininfarina vibes thrown in for good measure. A bit of Aston Martin DB10 upfront and some of the Jaguar F-Type at the rear and far more stunning, especially compared to the Mercedes-Benz AMG GT and Porsche 911.
The cabin of the Ferrari Roma is a nice place to be with a new dashboard layout and a distinct central console tunnel that separates the driver from the passenger. It doesn't have a manual shifter of course, but it does pay tribute to the gated manual transmission layouts of old for the drive selector. Both occupants share the cabin but enjoy very different experiences in the Ferrari Roma. It does get the same busy steering wheel, as usual, littered with controls such that the driver need not take his/her hand off it. An interesting mix of modern technology and 60s styling with the digital instrument cluster and portrait-oriented central screen.
Ferrari is yet to unveil the Roma in the metal and its prices but expect it to be priced around the £200,000 mark with a few options. Sure, it's more expensive than the likes of the Jaguar F-Type SVR, Aston Martin Vantage, Mercedes-Benz AMG GT R but also has more performance and significantly better looks. Would you pick it over the others? Share your thoughts in the comments below and don't forget to subscribe to The Auto Loons for more cool updates from the car world.