2015 Ferrari FF

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The Car Connection Expert Review

Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Senior Editor
March 21, 2015

Buying tip

Ferrari's Tailor Made program still seems like the way to go when ordering any Ferrari. It's no time to scrimp and save.

features & specs

2-Door HB
11 city / 16 hwy

All the practicality in the 2015 Ferrari FF is genuine, but most will buy it for what's unique—its shape, its drive system, and its badge.

The FF isn't just Ferrari's first factory-official shooting brake (that's two-door wagon for those not yet in the know); it's also Ferrari's first four-wheel drive car, and it's a technological powerhouse as well as a sophisticated grand touring machine that also packs the performance potential to rival some supercars—especially when the road surface turns a little slick.

With its two-door wagon (also known as a "shooting brake") form, the FF's look is unusual. While the front of the vehicle screams Ferrari in all the right ways. it’s the shooting-brake packaging that can be a bit surprising on the first up-close walk-around past the side and rear of the car. Yes, there’s enough space for a small back seat, and some quite significant cargo room, as well as a wide-opening hatch. And somehow—and this is the real art—the front end blends beautifully with the roofline and haunches.

Compared to a lot of newer cars, it’s simpler and less cluttered in its sheetmetal; yet there’s a rich complexity in the contours and form as a whole. As we’ve said about other Ferrari models, there’s something organic in all the forms; it’s not just showing off manufacturing prowess with creases and arcs. As with the F12 Berlinetta, the FF's sides show strong character lines following the swells of the fenders.

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The interior of the FF is done up with all the cues of other modern Ferrari models, including a driver-centric cabin layout and control interface, two-tone finishes, and, of course, fine leathers and metal trim. The steering wheel is free of stalks and levers, with turn signals instead operated as buttons from the steering wheel and a small manettino lever, controlling drive modes, on the steering wheel.

Ferrari claims zero-to-62 mph times of 3.7 seconds, thanks to the smooth, sonorous 6.3-liter V-12 engine, which generates 651 horsepower. With the seven-speed, F1-derived gearbox, the 2015 Ferrari FF is surprisingly docile, delivering near-seamless shifts without the brute force and shift shocks of the Nissan GT-R, another high-power four-wheel drive car that some might point to as a rival.

Torque flow is smooth and seamless from the four-wheel-drive system, which like most else in the FF is entirely unique, and engineered especially for the car. Instead of using a transfer case like most all-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive vehicles, Ferrari sends power directly from each end of the engine. A separate two-speed transmission takes power off the nose of the crank to drive the front wheels. The front wheels only drive the car below fourth gear (or around 80 mph, whichever comes first. So at lower speeds you get assistance in tightening your line or getting up slick driveways, then after that it's truly a rear-wheel-drive car.

The FF is awe-inspiring for its civility and its practical side, as it meets that traditional, howling V-12 touring-coupe side of Ferrari heritage while offering faithful hatchback practicality. You get a floor that’s definitely not flat, although the trunk capacity is 15.6 cubic feet, expandable to 28.3 cubes with the folding of the seatbacks.

The package would be called only somewhat practical by mass-market standard, but this sure isn’t the mass market; and next to any other Ferrari—or any other exotic with two doors—it’s far more practical. It’s a real back seat, good for kids, and other smaller passengers, and fine if you promise to drive gingerly.
Overall, the 2015 FF is a car that tracks well, has great seat comfort and decent ride comfort (we cruised in the ‘comfort’ manettino setting and took to the twisties in ‘sport’), and isn’t at all fatiguing to drive near the speed limit—something we really can’t say for a lot of performance cars.
Magneto-rheological dampers help control the FF's body motion for improved grip in a wider range of conditions, while carbon-ceramic brakes increase the fade-resistance and stopping power of the big shooting brake. There's even a 'bumpy road' setting for the suspension that allows a little more travel, and you'll definitely want to get the nose-lift system as ground clearance is surprisingly low (yes, even considering the FF's touted snow ability.
Up until now, our chief complaint of the FF would have been the old, Chrysler-carryover audio-and-navigation unit; but that's been replaced for 2015 by a new Apple CarPlay system that allows access through core functions and apps—like for maps, messages, and calling—through the vehicle’s screen, as a remote extension.

If you've even thought about buying a Ferrari before, you'll know what you're getting into with ordering and pricing. You'll end up with a costly, yet one-of-a-kind car. Want the Ferrari prancing horse embroidered into the headrests? That’s another two grand or so. The Passenger Display, which shows speed and rpm to your passenger, is about $4k; and the panoramic roof alone is about $18k. Yes, you'll also have a $3,700 federal gas-guzzler tax for this model's somewhat optimistic 11 mpg city, 16 highway EPA ratings; but who's counting?

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