The mere existence of a 208mph Ferrari wagon confounds expectations. But the $300,000 Ferrari FF also upends the conventional approach to all-wheel drive. And when we tested it in Italy’s Dolomites, we learned what cost-no-object engineering can build: the world’s fastest four-seater and the first foul-weather Ferrari.
The FF’s weather-conquering skills come from its patented “4RM” AWD system. Its clever configuration eliminates several weighty components, making it 50 percent lighter than a typical AWD system, a boon for performance driving. Unlike previous AWD units, the front- and rear-wheel-drive units are separate and controlled electronically, and there’s no long secondary driveshaft to propel a second set of wheels. By ditching those parts and moving the car’s seven-speed, dual-clutch Formula One transmission to the rear, the FF avoids the front-heavy handling imbalance of conventional AWD cars.
Based on those settings, the computerized traction-control system and electronic rear differential send as much power to the pavement from the 6.3-liter V12 as physical limits will allow--but no more, even if you clumsily pound the gas. And when the rear wheels finally threaten to slip, the FF’s Power Transfer Unit diverts torque to either front wheel to keep you on the road.
The result? An ice-breaking supercar, and a new AWD approach that we expect to trickle down to more-affordable performance cars.
V12 Engine: 6.3 Liter
Top Speed: 208 mph
Price Tag: $300k
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