New two-seater, which produces 612bhp from Ferrari's V8 turbo motor, is claimed to offer "unparalleled performance"
James Attwood, digital editor
14 November 2019

Ferrari has revealed a new 612bhp V8 front-engined coupé called the Roma, featuring bold styling to try to capture a new audience.

The new model, unveiled in the Italian capital and set to go on sale next summer with a starting price of around £175,000, shares some underpinnings the Portofino drop-top but has all-new styling – including active aerodynamics – and a revamped and upgraded powertrain.

Described by the Italian firm as an all-new model, Ferrari commercial chief Enrico Galliera said it represents "a new gran turismo". "Nobody can question this is a sports car," he said, "but it's also very elegant." 

Galleria said that the Roma has been designed to appeal to potential customers who would "love to drive a sports car or a Ferrari but might be a bit afraid of one." He added: "This car will attract people who have never driven a sports car, who drive something less aggressive and now want something a bit more extreme."

The fifth new model Ferrari has launched in 2019, the Roma is termed a 2+ coupé, thanks to the option of two small seats or a storage compartment in the rear. 

The Roma has a retro design that Ferrari design chief Flavio Manzoni said was inspired by classic front-engined Ferraris from the 1960s, such as the 250 GT Berlinetta and 2+2. Despite that, Manzoni said the design is intended to look to the future. "We don't like the nostalgic approach," he said. "We like to innovate. The idea was to develop a car that would be perfect to take to the track and then to drive to the opera."

The Aston Martin Vantage and Mercedes-AMG GT rival features a bold, new-look grille - described as a porous surface – at the end of its elongated front bonnet, which Manzonio said was inspired by the simplicity of Formula 1 cars. There are also sharp lines over the wheel arches and a notable bulge in the front bonnet.

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The rear features a sloping window, distinctive, narrow lights and quad exhausts. An active rear spoiler integrated into the rear screen deploys automatically at high speeds for optimal downforce and features three different settings.

The Roma is powered by a revamped version of the turbocharged 3.9-litre V8 engine used in the Portofino and elsewhere in Ferrari's line-up, albeit using the eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox that was introduced on the SF90 Stradale.

In the Roma, the unit delivers 612bhp at 5750-7500rpm and 591lb ft of torque at 3000-5750rpm, up from 592bhp and 561lb ft in the Portofino. The version of this powerplant used in the F8 Tributo produces 710bhp. Ferrari claims a 0-62mph time of 3.4sec for the Roma and a top speed of more than 199mph. 

Ferrari also says it has completely redesigned the exhaust system to incorporate petrol particulate filter technology, ensure that the Roma meets the latest emissions requirements and enhance its sound.

Notably, the Roma has a dry weight of just 1472kg with lightweight options fitted – around 80kg less than the Portofino's dry weight. The gearbox alone weighs 6kg less than the seven-speed unit in the Portofino and is claimed to offer reduced fuel consumption, faster shifts and enhanced comfort in urban driving situations. With the Roma's kerb weight of 1570kg, Ferrari claims a best-in-class power-to-weight ratio. 

As well as the active rear wing, the Roma features the latest version of Ferrari's vehicle dynamic systems, including the first application of its latest Side Slip Control. There are five driving modes and a Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer function that can control the yaw angle of the car by hydraulically adjusting the brake pressure.

The Roma measures 4656mm long and 1974mm wide, making it marginally shorter and narrower than the Portofino, while both models feature a wheelbase of 2670mm.

Inside, the car features two separate 'cells' for driver and passenger, with space for a small rear seat or storage behind each. The driver is separated from the front passenger by a central divider, in what Ferrari calls "an evolution of the dual-cockpit concept that embraces the entire cabin rather than just the dashboard, as was previously the case". The steering wheel is an all-new design that hosts all the main driver settings to ensure constant focus on the road ahead. 

The traditional analogue speed and rev counter dials have been replaced by a 16in curved screen mounted behind the wheel, while a centrally mounted, portrait-orientated 8.4in unit displays infotainment functions. There's also a separate touchscreen for the passenger.

The Roma's boot capacity of 345 litres is roughly equal to that of the AMG GT and Vantage.

According to Ferrari, the Roma was named after the Italian capital – where it was revealed at a launch event – because it “is a contemporary representation of the carefree, pleasurable way of life that characterised Rome in the 1950s and 1960s.” That implies that the machine will focus more on everyday usability and relaxed driving than being intended as a long-distance grand tourer.

The decision to introduce a new nameplate, rather than just producing a hard-top version of the Portofino, has likely been taken to target the car at a new audience. By turning the car into a 2+ coupé, it can likely broaden its offering at the entry level of its range. 

Earlier this year, Ferrari’s marketing chief, Enrico Galliera, told Autocar that the firm would become “less predictable” and said that at least one car it would reveal this year would be “in a new segment”. Ferrari's current focus is on increasing revenues rather than strictly increasing sales.

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Comments
42

13 November 2019

It’s a Jaguar F Type with a Ferrari badge on it (with a few elements stolen from Aston Martin).

I’ve seen plagiarism before but this is ridiculous.  I love Ferraris but this is lazy in the extreme.

13 November 2019

I thought this was an Aston Martin at a first glance... not sure why this needs to exist.

13 November 2019
Reasonable wrote:

I thought this was an Aston Martin at a first glance... not sure why this needs to exist.

 

because shareholders 

13 November 2019

Despite my previous comment I do think this looks really nice, and much more like an everyday sports car than the rest of the range.

its just, if a Jaguar F Type and and Aston Martin Vantage had sex, this is what their child would look like.

13 November 2019
martin_66 wrote:

Despite my previous comment I do think this looks really nice, and much more like an everyday sports car than the rest of the range.

its just, if a Jaguar F Type and and Aston Martin Vantage had sex, this is what their child would look like.

 

Agree. It's the most conservative Ferrari in a long time and doesn't really push the envelope in any way. But it looks really nicely done.

14 November 2019

... that this is based on the Portofino launched in Frankfurt September 2017. The AM Vantage was launched in November 2017. The looks of this Roma beats both AM and Jaguar. I don't think it is lazy design - it follows on from the proportions of the F12, launched in March 2012. A very classic look.

I am an Aston Martin bigot, but never got used to the bloodhound snout of the new Vantage. So this Roma is serious competition especially if that £85K price is not a mistake... If that isn't a mistake, I am going to be ordering one. I have never owned a Ferrari.

14 November 2019

... does look like a mistake. In Europe they are talking about under €200,000. So I suppose the £85,000 is really £185,000.

14 November 2019

... but now I don't understand what new segment this car addresses... The car segment defined as £10,000 more than the Portofino??? Hardly a brand new segment. Or maybe it is the 'more elegant than a Ferrari' car segment.

13 November 2019

but I wish they'd made the Alfieri 

13 November 2019
tomu74 wrote:

but I wish they'd made the Alfieri 

Er......isn’t the Alfieri a Maserati?  A quick hunt on the interweb suggests that it is coming next year, so you won’t have to wait long!

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