Car of the Year 2013: Ferrari FF

  • Photo by Cordero Studios (www.corderostudios.com)
    Ferrari FF Photo by Cordero Studios (www.corderostudios.com)
  • Photo by Cordero Studios (www.corderostudios.com)
    Ferrari FF Photo by Cordero Studios (www.corderostudios.com)
  • Photo by Cordero Studios (www.corderostudios.com)
    Ferrari FF Photo by Cordero Studios (www.corderostudios.com)
  • Photo by Cordero Studios (www.corderostudios.com)
    Ferrari FF Photo by Cordero Studios (www.corderostudios.com)
  • Photo by Cordero Studios (www.corderostudios.com)
  • Photo by Cordero Studios (www.corderostudios.com)
  • Photo by Cordero Studios (www.corderostudios.com)
  • Photo by Cordero Studios (www.corderostudios.com)
<< Back to Robb Report, March 2013
  • Paul Meyers, Robert Ross, and Paul Dean

Wagon to a Star
The FF is an anomaly in Ferrari’s lineup: It is the only all-wheel-drive model and the only shooting brake (two-door wagon). Many of the judges were aghast at the car’s anime-style grille and bulbous backside. However, once inside the FF’s impeccable cocoa-colored leather interior and behind its F/1-style wheel, the judges appreciated the car’s comfort and conveniences. A press of the throttle and a quick jaunt up the Napa Valley’s Howell Mountain Road firmly established the Ferrari FF as a contender for Car of the Year honors, changing its status from black sheep to dark horse. —Paul Meyers

Brake from Tradition
No car in the competition was more reviled for its looks than the FF. That reaction mystified this driver, who appreciates that Ferrari went out on a limb with the FF by breaking a few of the brand’s rules and incorporating four real seats, actual luggage space, and genuine luxury befitting a GT. Though these amenities had to come at a price, the FF is quite elegant in profile. When viewed from behind, the car displays a splitter and exhausts that leave no question that it is a serious performance car. And the face is pure, angry Ferrari.

The FF also has all-wheel drive, which means it is just as suited to the ski lodge as the track. While few owners will actually race the long, weighty car, it is the world’s quickest and fastest true four-seater. The engine and gearbox are a dream, and, heretical as it may sound, the car is better all around than the outgoing 599 GTB. —Robert Ross

Deceiving Looks
Is the FF a station wagon, a hatchback, a sedan, or an all-wheel-drive Italian sport-utility vehicle? Or is it, as some judges initially said, just a big mistake, a huge gamble on an automotive amalgam that will never make it as a sports car because of its sawed-off stern? Yet when the judges had finished the second-guessing and premature decision making, the majority agreed that the FF (for four seats and four-wheel drive) excelled on all Ferrari’s traditional fronts. The car’s power, road holding, acceleration, and secure response, most judges agreed, were the equal of—maybe even fractionally better than—any previous Ferrari’s. And it certainly earned its title as the fastest, quickest, most powerful station wagon in history.

The FF might have a frumpy rump, but from the B-pillars forward, its Pininfarina design shows a purity of proportion that projects the panache and status always associated with Ferrari. And if that back end is a trade-off for the convenience of four seats and the safety of all-wheel drive, well then, such a compromise seems acceptable. —Paul Dean

SPECIFICATIONS
Configuration Front-engine, all-wheel-drive two-door wagon Engine 6.3-liter V-12 Transmission 7-speed dual-clutch automated manual Power 651 hp at 8,000 rpm Torque 504 ft lbs at 6,000 rpm Curb weight 4,145 pounds Zero to 60 mph 3.5 seconds Top speed 208 mph Base price $302,000 Ferrari, www.ferrari.com

From Around the Web...
Once owned by one of Hollywood’s leading legends, this cycle is sure to sell for six figures…
Available for the Wraith or Ghost, the package provides more aggressive styling and performance…
We tag along during final testing of the sports car prototype in Las Vegas…
The marque’s five 450 hp models include cabriolets and coupes with plenty of extras as standard…
Many of the most significant debuts coming out of the Motor City were in the crossover and SUV...
The sedan surges from zero to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds on its way to 209 mph…
With a two-month turnaround time, you can have your new weekend driver in time for spring…
Automakers from around the world gathered in Las Vegas to show off their most exciting new tech…
The results won’t be revealed until the April 2017 issue, but you can vote for your favorite car...
As automobile auctioneers prepare a dazzling display in the desert, here are our premier picks…