When I was young, FF meant Final Fantasy. While the new Ferrari, just recently
introduced, does seem fantastic, it isn't a video game. The FF stands for Ferrari Four.
Four seats and four wheel drive, all wrapped in a shooting brake.
Some of you love shooting brakes. The rest of you have never seen one. I kid, though.
Shooting brakes, those gorgeous two-door wagons, have always been polarizing. You
love them or hate them. For the 1962 LeMans, Ferrari ran one called the 250 GT SWB.
Fans took to calling it the “Breadvan,” a nod to its full rear end. It looks too crazy to
exist, as if Hot Wheels suddenly got a production car budget. I mean, there's a
transparent bubble in the hood so you can see the engine. One look and you're taken
aback. You don't know what to think, like when you can't decide if Hillary Swank is
beautiful or just a great talent.
The Breadvan was not Ferrari's last shooting brake, as coachbuilders churned out several
others over the decade, but it's my opinion that since the Breadvan, none have looked
nearly as composed and confident as the FF.
And that confidence is not without basis. Under the hood is a 6.3 liter, naturally aspirated
V-12 capable of 651 hp and 501 lb-ft of torque. According to the optimistic Italians, it
will have a 3.7 second 0-60 time and a top speed of 208. That's enough to silence my
landlord, who seemed highly disappointed when I told him it had four seats. Personally, I
like the idea of the fastest family car in the world. Adding a back row means it can still
be a supercar, but doesn't have to compete with the mid-engine monsters, and can still be
styled around a long, graceful hood, like the Daytonas and Testarossas of yore.
Ferrari released a video this week of the FF hooning in the snow. Previously, running a
prancing horse on a frozen lake have been an exercise in patience, like a year-long
engagement, (and would need a very long lake) but the FF is Ferrari's first ever four wheel-drive machine, which probably contributed to its weight of nearly two tons, a half
ton more than the 599 GTO. This may be why they've fitted it with their largest capacity
engine ever, adopting the old American motto of “complicate and add heaviness.”
It isn't quite the race-bred mickey madness of the Breadvan, then. Pininfarina applied
their usual razor cuts to the styling, employing a fresh minimalism that, while beautiful,
is far from the flamboyant and daring features of that first Ferarri shooting brake.
But in my opinion, the FF will be extraordinary, especially if it doesn't change by the time
it hits showroom floors (or, probably, waiting lists). It looks purely gorgeous, and the
4wd system will be brilliant fun. I'll be happy to spend my fantasy fortune on the FF and
all the dinosaur blood it can guzzle.