By Andrew Bornhop -- Contributing Editor
Forgive us, but we still like to draw comparisons between the 2016 Ferrari FF and the much beloved BMW Z4 M Coupe. Yes, that wagon-like tail may seem out of place on a Ferrari, but it provides space for an extra pair of seats and a cargo hold. And who can argue with the scintillating performance provided by the 6.3-liter V12 engine, which sends 651 horsepower to all four wheels via an advanced AWD system? At 4,150 lb., the 2016 Ferrari FF is no lightweight, but it masks its weight well. Competitors such as the Porsche Panamera and Bentley Continental GT are significantly less expensive, but they are not Ferraris.
There are no changes to the 2016 Ferrari FF. New last year and still very much appreciated are significantly improved navigation and audio systems, the latter equipped with CarPlay, which uses the navigation screen to display maps, apps and messages from one’s smartphone.
With 651 horsepower on tap, the 2016 Ferrari FF rockets to 62 mph in only 3.8 seconds. More impressive is its surefooted cornering ability, which is enhanced by 4RM all-wheel...
... drive, an advanced system that sends more power to the rear wheels for a sportier feel when the FF is being driven on grippy, dry pavement. On wet or snow-covered roads, though, the FF puts an emphasis on stability, sending power to the wheels with the best traction, enabling it to continue motoring with impressive composure. Fitted with a set of proper snow tires, the 2016 Ferrari FF makes a fine (and stylish!) choice for your next winter trip to Aspen. Just send all your gear ahead in the Range Rover.
MULTI-TASKING MANETTINO STEERING WHEEL
The 2016 Ferrari FF, an exotic 4-seat hatchback, features a multifunction steering wheel that houses buttons for the turn signals and ignition. Via the Manettino switch, the driver can select five suspension settings: Wet, Snow, Sport, Comfort and ESC off.
MAGIC MAGNERIDE SHOCK ABSORBERS
The 2016 Ferrari FF’s magnetorheological shock absorbers offer the best of both worlds: precise bump control for a comfortable ride, and firm damping for better chassis composure in spirited driving.
All four passengers are not treated equally in the 2016 Ferrari FF. The deeply sculpted rear seats are better suited to small children than adults. The front seats are excellent, though, with a multi-position power seat allowing the driver to find a perfect fit. Exquisite leather covers the seats, dash, doors and everything else, and a large 10,000-rpm tachometer is mounted front and center, right where it should be in a Ferrari. The audio and nav systems keep pace with the competition, but are not exceptional.
Hatchbacks are not typically thought of as handsome, but the 2016 Ferrari FF proves otherwise. Pininfarina’s wagon-like shape flows beautifully from the long hood to the hatch, giving this Ferrari added grace while also upping its practicality quotient. Keen attention to detail appears everywhere, in everything from the sensual side vents to the circular taillights. This is coachwork befitting such an expensive car.
Only one powertrain is found in the 2016 Ferrari FF: a 6.3-liter V12 engine that sends 651 horsepower to all four wheels via a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and an advanced AWD system with an electromechanical center differential. Besides a full leather interior, the 2016 Ferrari FF is fitted with a power-adjustable tilt/telescopic steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, automatic headlights with washers, voice-activated navigation and a CD/DVD/USB/satellite audio system with CarPlay. Twenty-inch wheels are standard, as are Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes and MagneRide adaptive suspension. Stability and traction control, plus side-impact airbags in the front, up the safety quotient.
Options abound in everything from the FF’s paint and wheel choices to the size (and shape) of the seats and even the color of the brake calipers. Other options include swiveling headlights, a 1,280-watt sound system, upgraded leather and even matching leather luggage. The options list indeed is lengthy, and Ferrari even takes special requests for the right price. A fuel-saving engine-idle cutoff, sport exhaust pipes and even a carbon-fiber steering wheel also are available. Be prepared to pay.
For 2016, Ferrari’s FF continues to be powered by a hand-built 6.3-liter V12 engine that’s mounted in front of the driver but aft of the front wheels for excellent weight distribution. Power is routed through a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission with manual-shift control and flows to all four wheels via an electromechanical center differential. Ferrari, of note, says its AWD unit is 50 percent lighter than a conventional AWD system.
651 horsepower @ 8,000 rpm
486 lb-ft of torque @ 8,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 11/17 mpg
The base Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of the 2016 Ferrari FF is $295,000, but all buyers must factor in a gas-guzzler tax of $3,700 and a destination and delivery charge of $3,750. But will anybody actually buy a base FF for $302,450? Not likely. Ferrari FF options abound, and as you begin adding on options such as the diamond-finish wheels and the carbon-fiber front splitter (along with the front and rear suspension-lift system that’s now necessary to keep the nose from scraping), you’ll soon be looking at a $400,000 car. Check with Kelley Blue Book to see the Fair Purchase Price. While cars such as the Bentley Continental GT are similar in general description, the FF is in a class of its own and it won’t have any trouble holding its value over time. Be on the lookout for the FF’s replacement, the new Ferrari GTC4Lusso, in 2017.