Ferrari FF (2011-2016): Review, Problems, Specs
Ferrari ownership and driving is a deeply individualistic experience, as these cars are meant to be enjoyed by the driver and usually no more than one lucky passenger. The FF is not the first Ferrari to offer comfy seating for four, but it is the first to not only provide that but also all-wheel drive grip no matter the surface it’s being driven on.
It’s actually the first production all-wheel drive Ferrari (they did have prototypes in the '80s, but none reached production), and it’s also far more practical than you’d think at first, as aside from all of the above it also offers sufficient space to carry luggage in its bulbous shooting brake-like rear end.
- t’s a Ferrari in which you can cross continents accompanied by three of your closest amigos or family
- Its all-wheel drive system makes it practical and safe to use all year round
- It still delivers a proper Ferrari fix even if it’s lost the purity of rear-wheel drive
- It’s a unique proposition with no direct rivals; the closest alternative is Bentley’s very different Continental GT
- A bit too stifly sprung to be called a proper grand tourer
- Not as sexy-looking from the outside as other Ferraris
- Limited rear legroom
Stay Away From
Known Problems & Recalls
- Some examples were recalled in July 2015 to fix improperly assembled side airbags
The FF is powered by a symphonic 6.2-liter V12 engine that makes 660 hp. Power peak is achieved at 8,000 rpm, while its maximum torque of 683 Nm is hit 2,000 rpm lower.
Strangely for a Ferrari, power is sent to all four wheels, although the system used is by no means run-of-the-mill. Where else have you heard o all wheel drive that uses two gearboxes, one dual-clutch seven-speed used to turn the rear wheels, and one three-speed single-clutch that takes care of the front wheels.
Ferrari says this solution helps keep the weight manageable and also limits the negative effect of having powered front wheels (i.e. understeer and corruption of steering feel).
In spite of being quite hefty at 1,880 kg / 4,145 lbs, the FF is a pleasure to thread around a twisty road. It has communicative steering, good body control and the ever-present warble of the mighty V12.
The FF has four standard airbags that protect the front occupants, yet there are none whatsoever for those sitting in the rear. It does have a super stiff safety cell, so the body crumpling in an impact is less of a problem than in regular cars, but the lack of deployable air-filled cushions should be taken into consideration.
This is especially true if you plan to use the FF as a daily driver to carry your kids in the back.
The FF is no limousine when it comes to the way it rides, but then again it’s not meant to be one. The comfort levels are very high by Ferrari standards, but that really just means it offers a firm yet very well damped feeling.
Gearshifts can also sometimes turn into jolts felt throughout the entire body of the car; these may not be a problem for the driver who is expecting it, but passengers may find it unpleasant.
The level of fit and finish is superb, with excellent materials used throughout. Seats are comfortable yet very supportive up front, as you’d expect, and the rear ones feature a deep bucket-like design too.
The FF’s boot can take up to 800 liters with the rear seats folded, making it rather excellent at carrying stuff; you could fit skis, golf clubs and even a small ladder in the back if you so desired.
Passengers get a total of around 20 liters of volume split among the cubbies dotted about the cabin; the biggest is the front central armrest.
Being pegged as a luxurious long-distance cruiser, the FF not only has the front touchscreen interface, but can also gain optional entertainment screens for rear occupants; it also comes as standard with voice control and a multifunction steering wheel that does away with traditional indicator, lights or wiper stalks.
Another neat option is the small LCD screen that can be placed in front of the passenger. It shows speed, revolutions per minute and selected gear, and it will probably mostly be used to scare people, if the performance of the car is not deemed sufficient.
You don’t buy the FF because it’s frugal - it is the exact opposite of that. Sure, having switched to direct injection and through the use of more advanced variable valve timing makes it a claimed 30 percent more efficient than its predecessor (the 612 Scaglietti), yet even so it can only manage an official 15.4 l/100km... so probably much less if you drive it in a vigorous fashion.
Aside from the aforementioned passenger scaring screen, the equipment list for the FF is not extraordinary. Being a Ferrari, you can customize minute interior details like the color of the stitching, and if you have a bottomless pit for a bank account you’ll gain an understanding of the term “bespoke interior.”
Starting at just under $300,000 with no extras, the FF is not a purchase dictated by logic. Options may add as much as 20 percent on top of that, so you need to really like the car to take the leap.
It can definitely be used as a daily driver, if you can take the fuel bills, and as it’s practical enough to justify itself. You could probably even take it to IKEA, fold the rear seats and carry flat-pack furniture, or on a trip to the gardening apparel store.
It will obviously make you a star wherever you go and (especially) park, especially if it’s a Swiss mountain resort during a sever snow storm while carrying a roof rack.