- With a car like this in that light, is it just me who wants to move to Italy immediately?

The most beautiful Ferrari since the 458. But is it really the GT they claim?

Ferrari certainly has a history of building continent crushing GT cars. Can the new Roma really compete with the likes of Aston and Bentley?

Some cars are made to be loved. Some cars are made to be thrashed on a track. Some are simply to get you from one place to another with no fuss, but some cars are just plain pretty. Welcome everyone to the Ferrari Roma and it is a pretty car. It is also a very important car for the company as it is a little bit of come back to Ferrari's origins. As we know the company’s origins are based around the concept of racing and the GT car. A pretty, fast, long-distance cruiser with a proper edge when poked. Enzo Ferrari did not always approve of such things per say, he only truly cared about racing, the true origins of not only himself but many who built the company. He also knew however that he needed money to fund such endeavours, and if he could convince the wealthy to pay for his racing love with the road cars, then let it be so. The company however started to drift from this concept in the 70s. The more hardcore 308 GTB was a good seller and the softer GT inspired 365GT4 simply wasn't getting the love that the company would have liked. Since then, the GT element has been lacking from the Prancing Horses stable. The Roma is hopefully the return of the elegant performance car that allows understated luxury mixed with razor sharp handling and hold on for dear life outright speed.

This is the first car from Ferrari that is seemingly not being billed for the driver but for those who require the badge, but also want to be able to get out of the car without screaming for a physio and holding their backs in agony. Maranello has said that they expect 70% of Roma customers to be new to the brand. This I believe will be attributed almost entirely to its beautiful shape. It is elegant, smooth and graceful. In my books this is the best-looking Ferrari since the wonderful 458 Italia. The way the body wraps around on itself is just beautiful and almost aeronautical in its simplicity. The front and rear lights have been made as small as possible to reduce their impact on the flowing shape. There are vortex generators up front and a deployable rear spoiler with three different modes, low drag, medium downforce and high downforce. Honestly, if I had not seen the photos and done a bit of reading about the car, I would never have known that the rear spoiler was even there, it has been beautifully hidden into the design. The Roma has a true feeling of elegant speed rather than some of its stablemates more sledgehammer like style. When the Roma was announced many people, myself included, just assumed that this was a slightly more hard-line Portafino. Ferrari however it insistent that it is something very new and almost 70% of its parts are completely bespoke. Under the bonnet is Ferrari sensational 3.9 litre twin turbo V8 developing 612 BHP and 561LB ft of torque. It has new cam profiles, a revised catalytic converter and gas particulate filter, a reworked exhaust that uses an oval shaped flap rather than the traditional silencer, more aggressive valve lift profiles on both the intake and exhaust. This is a properly reworked engine to be both far more thermally efficient but also to sound as good as it can. As is the case in all other cars that use this engine, turbo lag has all but being eradicated and Ferrari's incredibly clever Variable Boost Management software has been upgraded to adjust the torque so it suits whatever situation you may find yourself in in any gear. There is also a new 8 speed dual clutch transmission derived from the one in the spectacular SF90 Stradle. It has been reworked, lightened and now shifts 15% faster on upshifts and 21% faster on downshifts.

The Roma also has Ferrari's newest variation of its Slide Slip Control (V6.0) and even has a brand-new system called the Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer which adjusts brake pressure on whichever wheel needs it the most, but rather surprisingly it only works while in race mode. All this combined with the insane pure speed of the thing, 0-62 in 3.4 seconds, 0-124mph in 9.3 seconds and on to a top speed of 199 mph, makes me feel ever so slightly conflicted. Yes, all Ferraris need to be crazy quick and at the top of the game. But this seems like it's a true supercar in a GT body. It seems to me like they have maybe not quite understood their own brief. The interior is also equally confusing. It is beautiful, stunning in fact, with lots of leather and it all looks sensational to touch, but it is way too complicated for a true GT. There are buttons in weird places, Ferrari still insists on the stupid steering wheel buttons, but everything that you actually want to be an easy-to-use button, such as the climate control and volume control, is buried deep in the very unhelpful and not very easy to use touch screen.

I am oh so torn with my feelings for the Roma. I want to love it, and it being a front engined, V8 Ferrari GT that is this pretty, I really should, but I just think the company is churning out too many cars at once and aren't paying enough attention to the briefs they are giving their own cars. If it were me and I wanted a true sports car I'd buy a Mercedes-Benz AMG GT-R, if I wanted a pure GT I would get a Bentley Continental GT and if I wanted a mix of both I’d get an Aston Martin DB11 AMR. A slightly downbeat conclusion I know but, let's hope that the front engined Ferrari GT stays around for many years to come, even if this variant isn't as perfect as we wanted it to be. The Roma is certainly a very pretty car and sometimes when you do finally see it on the road and it brightens your day, that may be all it needs to do to convince you otherwise.

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Comments (2)

  • Unpopular Opinion: The 458 isnt the best looking ferrari

      1 month ago
    • I agree that it isn't the best looking Ferrari of all time. But certainly the best looking of the past 30 years??

        1 month ago