Modern Ferrari harks back to the past

IT IS a very modern Ferrari full of verve, style and pizazz. But it also harks back to heroic models of the 1960s.

By Steve Teale
Saturday, 23rd November 2019, 7:00 am
Ferrari Roma
Ferrari Roma

The best-looking car from the Italian brand in years? That’s what critics say of the new Roma, due on sale in the new year.

It has echoes of past models such as 250 GT and is designed to be a less ostentatious and a more practical sports coupe than recent Ferraris.

Prices have yet to be announced, but predictions say it will be around the £180,000 mark.

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Ferrari Roma

Ferrari call it a “contemporary reinterpretation of the carefree lifestyle of 1950s and 1960s Rome”, from which it takes its evocative name.

It is a V8 620bhp model, which claims to be the most powerful car in its class, and has a pop-up rear spoiler which deploys at speed, while not detracting from its sleek lines when stationary.

The car’s new eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox is more compact and 6kg lighter than its seven-speed predecessor. As well as reducing fuel consumption and emissions, shifts are faster and smoother, which makes the car even more responsive on the open road, but also especially comfortable in town and during stop-start driving situations.

A company spokesman said: “The approach taken by the Ferrari Styling Centre for the Roma’s exterior centres around clean design and absolute symbiosis between its various elements with harmonious proportions and pure, elegant volumes. The car is clothed in long, ultra-sleek lines that sweep back from the front bonnet, highlighting the spare silhouette of the flanks and the compact, set-back fastback cabin volume.”

For the cabin, the designers developed a new formal approach that involved the creation of two separate cells, one each for driver and passenger, in an evolution of the dual-cockpit concept that embraces the entire cabin rather than just the dashboard. It is a 200mph model capable of 60mph in 3.4 seconds, thanks to its award-winning superlative 3.8 litre engine.

Enough to turn heads, but Ferrari prefer this model not to have the brand’s trademark yellow horse on the flanks. This is a modest Ferrari. Or modest by Ferrari standards, at least.