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Is the Ferrari FF Practical Enough to Drive Every Day?

The FF accelerated down the lonely road, soaking up the twists and turns, urging me to find more and more speed as it hugged the road.

  • ferrari ff

After long and careful deliberation I have finally answered a question that has been nagging me incessantly for a few years now.

What is my ideal two supercar garage?

Yes, a truly vexing and soul searching question for the ages. Perhaps not, though it is a game that petrol heads around the world are long familiar with. Some have the means to bring the garage to life, while the great majority of us can only make it come true in our dreams. I seem to hover somewhere in the middle of this club as I am fortunate enough to test drive a great many of the supercars I regularly consider for my fantasy supercar garage.

‘Get on with it’ I hear you saying!

ferrari ffOkay my ideal two supercar garage is a Ferrari FF in Rosso Mugello and a Ferrari 488 spider in Blu Corsa. Now my quest to raise the eight hundred thousand dollars necessary to acquire this supercar garage can begin in earnest. I admit the FF is an unusual choice, but after driving one for two days last year I was smitten. When I tested the 488 spider, in California in January of this year the second half of the duo finally clicked into place.

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The Ferrari FF emerged in 2011 and immediately caused a scene because its V12 engine is located in the front; it is also 4WD (which is a first for Ferrari), 2 doors, 4 seats and a hatchback. The FF is not your typical Ferrari. You either love it or hate it. Personally, I loved it from the very beginning and saw the potential of driving a Ferrari for everyday mundane tasks, like grocery shopping, or using it as a supercar on long road trips. Thanks to the generosity of owner Nick Kwan I was finally able to test the Ferrari FF.

Ferrari fantasy garage

Sitting in Nick’s black FF making my way slowly out of his driveway, two thoughts struck me during these 10 meters. One, the moment I sat behind the wheel and adjusted the seat I formed a connection with this car and two, my concern about this being a big car was utterly misplaced.

Driving the FF on the highway is smooth. The power is delivered so effortlessly that you are aghast when you look down at the speedometer and discover you are travelling at a rate of speed that is sure to bring you unwanted attention from law enforcement.

The rest of my first day with Nick’s FF was spent tooling around Vancouver. The FF handled this with ease, marred only by the rather noisy and irritating proximity sensors constantly going off with nearby traffic and pedestrians. My biggest nitpick with the FF and all new Ferraris is that the signal indicators are on the steering wheel and they are not self-cancelling unless the steering angle is very acute. Thanks to test drives in the F12, 488 spider and Ferrari California I am now finally used to Ferrari’s steering wheel mounted indicators.

It was a glorious sunny day, perfect supercar weather. I met my photographer Steve and the plan was to head out of Vancouver and drive up the scenic Sea to Sky highway thus giving us a chance to test the performance of the FF against a stunning background of snow-capped mountains.

However, our first opportunity to exercise the FF was on a deserted road. For this exercise, I put the FF into manual mode, which gave me control of the 7spd dual clutch gearbox, and the manettino (rotary switch on the steering wheel) into sport mode. The FF accelerated down the lonely road, soaking up the twists and turns, urging me to find more and more speed as it hugged the road.

I cannot tell you if the 4WD ever kicked into action as it is only designed to work twenty percent of the time.  What I do know is that I had a stable and controllable supercar to play with on this snake like road. I think the 4WD would be best put to the test in winter or perhaps on the famous Dempster Highway in the Yukon.

Ferrari fantasy garage

Unlike others Ferraris, which are easily identifiable, the FF is understated. Several times at traffic lights I would catch people in other cars looking at the FF trying to figure out what it was.

The one area that does gives the FF away as a supercar is the sound. In sport mode, the 650 horsepower V12 engine growls deeply and sonorously through your entire body, to those outside the car it’s even more of a visceral experience. It is worth remembering the FF has a top speed of 208 miles per hour, which I would love to put to the test someday.

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No adventure is complete without encountering some challenges along the way. For me, this time it was a flying (in this case literally) GoPro camera. I had just bought a new GoPro so naturally it seemed like a perfect opportunity to use it to get some video footage of the FF. For the first few hours all went swimmingly as we captured great footage on the deserted side road next to the Sea to Sky highway.

We pulled over to enjoy the vista of the Britannia mountain range and to change the position of the GoPro. One of my favourite options on this particular Ferrari was the panoramic glass sunroof (a pricey but worthwhile option at $23,000), which stretches nearly over the entire cabin. The sunroof provides an airiness to the interior making the space seem larger. I thought this would be a brilliant location for the GoPro to capture a different vantage point as we accelerated up a nearby hill and enjoyed another demonstration of the phenomenal power of the FF. As it turned out we had enjoyed a little too much power as we completely forgot about air resistance on the camera. We pulled into a parking lot over the crest of the hill to review the footage, but before we could get out, a car drove into the parking lot and pulled up beside us. The occupants asked if we had been using a GoPro as they saw one laying in the road at the beginning of the hill heading out of Britannia beach.

Ferrari fantasy garage

Politely thanking them, while screaming inside, we headed back to find the camera. Here the story takes on a tragic note as we found the camera had been run over by a car before we could retrieve it. We found all the pieces except the SD card which was the only piece we really needed. I was absolutely gutted, all that great footage, gone. Then it occurred to me I had tell my wife I destroyed a brand new GoPro—for the record she forgave me.

Gutted from our GoPro debacle we drove into the town of Squamish to look for a scenic location for a photoshoot with the FF. I remembered an area just outside the main town, which we had come across when filming our First Rides trailer in 2013, next to a river with majestic views of Mount Garibaldi.

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The peace and quiet gave me time to reflect on the Ferrari FF, at a base price of $334,800 the FF is not a cheap supercar, even more when you add options which can take the price up another $100,000. Ferrari’s have come a long way from beautiful but fragile creations used for the occasional Sunday outing. It might be a stretch to call a V12 Ferrari hatchback a practical car, but the FF comes close. The cargo area easily handled all our equipment with room to spare. I could and would use the FF to go visit my wife’s family in Kelowna, in summer and winter. The FF and its updated replacement the GTC4 Lusso have boldly taken Ferrari and supercars in a new direction.

ferrari ff V12

 

The FF was all the car I had hoped it would be and more, and I loved my experience in it. I would most assuredly purchase the Ferrari FF if I had the four hundred thousand dollars to buy one. For me, huge horsepower numbers and zero to sixty times are not the final measure of car, rather it is the very personal interaction between myself and the machine and I experienced a deep and richly rewarding connection with the Ferrari FF. I always feel a touch of sadness when I have to give back a test car, and with the FF I felt more of an emotional wrench than usual.

I wish you luck in filling your two supercar garage.

Ferrari fantasy garage

Ferrari fantasy garage

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