The first time you spy on Ferrari’s new 200-mile Roma Grand Tourer, halfway expect a tall, dark, and rather dangerous-looking athletic man in a tuxedo and bow tie to get out and be greeted with, “We have Expecting you, Mr. Bond. ‘
To make no mistake, this Italian luxury sports car maker is really excited about 007’s most popular car of choice, the British Aston Martin.
And while the price is around £ 170,984, given the list of tempting but expensive extras, customers are likely to spend more than £ 200,000.
After driving the sleek and spirited new Roma coupe on fairly subdued British soil, both on the track at the fabled Goodwood circuit and on the highway, I had little doubt that this was Ferrari’s gamble on an ‘Aston Martini’ Cocktail: mixed to stir you, not shaken, but with a very characteristic and spicy Italian note.
In Rome: The £ 171,000 car is Ferrari’s answer to a grown-up and savvy Grand Tourer. But can it compete with the market leader Aston Martin?
The elegantly curvy, but still slightly threatening Grand Tourer is a clear allusion to Aston – regardless of the official recklessness. Even Ferrari’s accompanying marketing video, shot in Rome at night, is reminiscent of the car chase with a custom-made DB10 in the Bond movie Specter, which was also shot in the Eternal City.
The Roma is a beautiful car to look at and a joy to drive. It harks back to a more elegant era of Ferraris which, according to the company, is supposed to evoke the spirit of a new “La Dolce Vita” – good or “sweet” life – in the manner of the famous 1960 Federico Fellini film of the same name that was also in the Italian capital.
Although I started in the summer sunshine of the Italian capital, I drove in the gloomy rain of a British winter – fortunately, however, shortly before the latest measures to isolate the car began.
I first ventured out onto a rain-soaked and slippery Goodwood track. There are five drive settings and I stayed in “Wet” mode, which made a lot of sense when I shot him down at speeds far greater than the law allows on a potentially treacherous, puddle-strewn track. Staying on the tarmac was my priority and the various traction controls helped me achieve this basic goal.
The Roma is a beautiful car to look at and a joy to drive, says Ray Massey, editor of the Daily Mail
The styling harks back to a more elegant era of Ferraris which, according to the company, is supposed to evoke the spirit of a new “La Dolce Vita” – good or “sweet” life – in the style of the famous Federico Fellini film from 1960, which is also was set in the Italian capital
There is no doubt that Ferrari is aiming for Aston Martin’s stronghold in the GT or Grand Tourer market. The closest rival is the V8-DB11 (picture)
On the autobahn, I ventured into comfort and for a short time into the more aggressive sport mode, but in the deluge I opted for the more extreme racing mode – the first time in a Ferrari GT – or taking off the traction control overall, not the smartest move.
It’s a wonderful car to sneak around in with an elegance that doesn’t flaunt. A little more grown up and more mature. But it also mixes potency with practicality.
It is powered by a turbocharged 3855cc, front-wheel drive, 620hp, V8 petrol engine from the same award-winning V8 family last seen in the Ferrari V8 Tributo and before that in the 488 Pista.
In the modern cockpit, drivers can accelerate from rest to 100 km / h in just 3.4 seconds and – on the track or where legally – to 250 km / h in 9.3 seconds up to a top speed of over 200 km / h
Although we started in the summer sunshine of the Italian capital, we drove the latest Fezza in the gloomy rain of a British winter – but luckily shortly before the latest measures to foreclose began
The screen-based high-tech interior with proximity-sensitive haptic touchscreens and operating elements that replace many buttons takes getting used to
It runs on 20-inch wheels and also inherits a fancy new 8-speed automatic transmission that was introduced on the SF90 Stradale, although most of the time I enjoyed walking up and down manually using the paddles on the steering wheel.
In the modern cockpit you can best experience the thrill of accelerating from rest to 100 km / h in just 3.4 seconds and – on the turn or where legally – up to 200 km / h in 9.3 seconds up to one Top speed of over 200 km / h. The acceleration is smooth and refined, not rocket-like.
An adjustable rear spoiler has three settings and is automatically deployed based on speed and conditions to ensure you stay on the road: flush with the body, half out and fully extended.
A gas guzzling fuel consumption of 25.2 mpg with CO2 emissions of 255 g / km should come as no surprise, however.
Ferrari Roma: will it fit in my garage and how does it compare to Aston Martin’s DB11?
New Ferrari Roma
Built: Maranello, Italy
Style: GT Coupé in the Berlinetta style.
Price: from £ 170,984
Seats: 2 plus 2.
Engine: 3855 cc V8 turbo gasoline, front center mounted.
Power: 620 hp
Gears: 8-speed F1 double clutch automatic:
Length: 4656 mm
Width: 1974 mm
Height: 1301 mm
Wheelbase: 2670 mm
Dry weight: 1472 kg
Top speed: 200 km / h (more than 320 km / h)
0 to 62 mph: 3.4 seconds
Tires: 20 inches
Fuel economy: 25.2mpg
CO2 emissions: 255 g / km
Aston DB11 V8
Built: Gaydon, Warwickshire, England.
Style: GT Coupe
Price: £ 150,900
Seats: 2 plus 2.
Engine: Twin turbocharged 4.0 liter V8
Power: 510 PS (PS).
Transmission: 8-speed automatic with manual paddles.
Length: 4750 mm
Width: 1950 mm (2060 including mirror)
Height: 1290 mm
Wheelbase: 2805 mm
Weight: 1705 kg
Top speed: 187mph
0-62mph 4 seconds
Tires: 20 inches
Fuel economy: 28.5mpg
CO2 emissions: 230 g / km
The power unit is a turbocharged 3855cc V8 front-end petrol engine with 620 hp, which comes from the same award-winning V8 engine family that was last seen in the Ferrari V8 Tributo and before that in the 488 Pista
With a performance and dimensions similar to the Aston Martin DB11 V8 and some stylistic elements not dissimilar to the smaller V8 Vantage, the Roma also targets the German Porsche 911
Ray Massey says he would have liked to have been in the car longer … and didn’t have to be quick to say: “Arrivederci, Roma”
The interior, based on high-tech screens, with proximity-sensitive haptic touchscreens and operating elements that replace many buttons, takes getting used to. My best advice is to take the Jedi Knight approach, stop thinking about it or trying too hard, and just follow your instincts. That “feel the force” approach eventually worked for me. But it can be frustrating at first.
The spacious 272 liter trunk can be expanded to 345 liters when the rear seat area is integrated. As a 2-plus-2-GT-Grand-Tourer, however, you get nothing more than a soft bag that sits behind the front sets.
With a performance and dimensions similar to the Aston Martin DB11 V8 and some stylistic elements not dissimilar to the smaller V8 Vantage, the Roma also targets the German Porsche 911.
According to Ferrari, the origins and inspiration of the Roma go back to the company’s great touring tradition, of which the 250 GT Berlinetta lusso and the 250 GT 2 + 2 are the best-known examples.
The bold grille looks like a portcullis or a knight in an armor visor.
Federico Fellini’s groundbreaking film “La Dolce Vita” from 1960 with Marcello Mastroianni awakened the spirit and fun in Rome and is memorable for a scene in which the statuesque actress Anita Ekberg wades into the Trevi Fountain in full evening clothes.
According to Ferrari, the new Roma should bring this spice of the 21st century up to date and remind of “La Nuova Dolce Vita”. We need it.
After wishing for something at the Trevi Fountain and enjoying the good life in Italy, I would certainly have liked to have spent longer with the car … and didn’t have to say “Arrivederci, Roma” so quickly.
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