Honestly, the Ferrari Roma is the best looking Ferrari since the 458 Italia
What?! You don't know what is the Ferrari Roma yet? Then go check the link below to see a brief information about Ferrari's new grand tourer, the Roma!
Honestly... Ferrari's top level hypercar design is getting worse as it goes... Image from Ferrari
To be honest, Ferrari’s latest models were way below my expectations. The F8 Tributo was not really different from the 488 GTB, and the SF90 Stradale is yet to come but does not come with a V12. Furthermore, Ferrari’s platform has been showing its age; the interior follows the basic layout from the 458 Italia, while the whole infotainment system was getting quite old. This might not be a problem when looking at Ferrari itself. However, when compared to its rivals like Porsche or Lamborghini from the VW AG family, the interior lacks appeal.
Honestly, updated headlights and aggressive bumpers... Is that it? Image from Motor1.com
The exterior design was not getting any better, either. The 458 Italia struck gold with a timeless and refined design that still looked like a Ferrari. However, as the 458 evolved into the 488 and the F8, the 458’s original lines had not improved but instead had become more shouty and aggressive. Although I am not the one to ‘grade’ Ferraris, I do have to say that post 458 Ferraris did not really give me the spine-tingling feeling anymore.
Then, this beauty came to me. The Ferrari Roma. For the first three seconds, I was thunderstruck. The Roma did not look like any other current Ferraris. Instead of bold lines and intimidating air vents, the Roma featured fluid, curvy lines that reminded me of the old ‘60s Ferraris. I honestly thought it was a concept vehicle as the design language it bore was utterly different from the existing lineup. Only the headlight reminded the viewer that this was from the same company that makes the F8 and the SF90.
Ferrari 250 GT Lusso. Image from RM Sotheby's
The overall lines with the quad exhaust and twin taillights remind the viewer about the Ferrari 456, while the front grille obviously is an homage to the legendary 250 GT Lusso. The car’s long-nose short-deck layout makes it somehow longer than an 812 Superfast giving the classic grand tourer feeling that the designers at Maranello were trying to convey. Although the Roma is only equipped with a V8, not a V12, it makes the aura of a flagship grand tourer of other marques.
Hmm... The interior looks familiar with a car from 2009... Image from Ferrari
Ferrari had a major interior update from the 458 Italia, which was used for more than 9 years in the California, Portofino, 488, F8, F12, 812, and even the LaFerrari. Although the design was superb when it first came out, by the mid-2010’s it became outdated compared to its competitors and was in desperate need of an update. Especially the infotainment system looked okay in the pictures but was not good as Porsche and Lamborghini when it was really used.
Thankfully, the new interior is one of Ferrari’s best works without any doubt. The dashboard that was getting messier as more components were added were incorporated into one huge digital cluster, and the towering center console filled the area that felt rather empty in the previous design. The interior is plush with leather, while the new infotainment system does not feel like a 2000s Nintendo anymore. Interesting features like the passenger infotainment system was revamped while the gear selector that looks like an open-gate manual relives purists’ nostalgia.
Overall, the new Roma presented the world with a whole new design language and an interior that Ferrari desperately needed. If the Ferrari 458 Italia brought the second Renaissance for Ferrari, the new design language featured in the Roma will start the third wave for Ferrari. The Ferrari 458 Italia was an out-of-the-world design that came out from the void. But the Roma here is a perfect harmony between the tribute to the glory days and the new-generation Ferrari and that is what makes it deserve the title of the best modern Ferrari since the 458 Italia.
Image from Ferrari
At the end of the day...
Quite a lot of people told me that the Ferrari Roma was too plain for a Ferrari. However, I would take that as a compliment. You can always bombard someone with extravagance and extremity. However, it is never easy to move one’s mind with something so simple and minimalistic. When you see an Apollo IE or a limited edition Pagani, you would go “Oof… That’s just jawdropping!” However, a classic 911, the BMW M1, the 250 GTO can give you the same punch without the excessive bodywork and ‘craziness’. The Ferrari Roma is surprisingly simple in design, but the aura it makes is uncomparable to flashy modern supercars. And that is what makes it a masterpiece.