Fast and Functional
This time of year usually signals the end of sports car season on the North Shore. Sure, there’s still a little time to cruise down Sheridan Road for the greatest fall foliage drive imaginable, but it’s impossible to forget the fact that snow is on the way. For the first time, with the 2012 Ferrari FF, that doesn’t matter anymore. FF means four seats and four-wheel drive. That’s not a misprint. This car combines the amazing high-performance engineering for which Ferrari is renowned with the space and functionality of a year-round vehicle.
“There’s been a tremendous amount of interest in this car already,” says Dan Carver of Lake Forest Sportscars. “Obviously, they’ve never offered an all-wheel drive system before, so that makes it very enticing. It’s a car that someone can use as a daily driver; the all-wheel drive, the extra storage from its generously sized trunk as well as seating for four passengers, I think that makes the car supremely usable in the Chicago market.”
However, the enhanced accessibility of the car doesn’t detract from the fact that Ferrari makes sports cars—and the FF is still very much a sports car. It has the biggest Ferrari engine ever to sit in a production car with a 6.3-liter V12 engine capable of 651 horsepower and 504 foot pounds of torque. Outstanding stats like that are what make the longest four-seater Ferrari, with the storage space of a hatchback, capable of getting from zero to 60 in 3.7 seconds.
The new all-wheel drive system was specifically designed only to engage when needed as well so that it retains the exquisite Ferrari handling to which devotees of the brand are addicted. The majority of the car’s drive is generated from a transaxle seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox running the rear tires and giving it that ferocious feel. However, on sharp turns or in icy winter conditions, a second two-speed gearbox, that Ferrari calls a power transfer unit, cycles power into the front tires as well and the FF grips the road like no high-end sports car you’ve ever seen.
The interior of the car has every screen, camera, and button that luxury brand customers enjoy, all integrated beautifully by Ferrari’s designers, in addition to all the extra room. The FF comfortably seats four, even if those four are all more than 6 feet tall, and has admirable room for their luggage in the trunk. If there are only two passengers, you can drop the backseats for an unheard of amount of storage space for a car that performs like this. If you want to complete the set, get the Ferrari luggage that was designed to make the most out of the FF’s trunk space, including two styles of golf bag.
“There are very few companies that can do what Ferrari does in terms of technology and engineering,” adds Carver. “To bring that technological process to a wider array of cars allows more people to enjoy the brand. It’s a tremendous performer as well as being usable, and I think that’s something that only a company like Ferrari can do.”
Lake Forest Sportscars is located at 990 N. Shore Drive in Lake Bluff. Call 847-295-6560 to schedule your Ferrari FF test drive, or visit them online at lfsc.com.