What is it?
An exhaustive introduction to the Ferrari FF is likely to be superfluous to even the most casual Ferrari fan so we’ll only pause for a brief recap before getting to the nitty gritty of our first UK drive.
Launched around a year ago, the shooting brake-styled four-seater offered buyers a first: a full-size Grand Tourer with a 651bhp V12 engine and, somewhat contentiously, four-wheel drive.
The colossal, naturally aspirated unit is a direct-injection descendant of the V12 that featured in the Enzo, but Ferrari’s first production all-wheel drive system is an altogether more novel solution. When required by the front wheels, power is fed directly from the crank into a second, smaller gearbox located beneath the engine.
This transmission only has two forward gears, and because its ratios cannot replicate the seven speeds of the main gearbox, the resulting wheel speed mismatch is managed by two continually slipping clutches. The main benefit of the system is that it offers all-wheel-drive traction (you’ll doubtless have seen video footage of the FF ploughing through snow) without the normal weight penalty.
Ferrari claims its Power Transfer Unit adds just 45kg to the model’s kerb weight. The innovative packaging is not limited to underneath, either. As well as four perfectly chiseled sports seats the FF provides 450 litres of boot space – enough to put some family hatchbacks to shame.
The only thing it consumes more enthusiastically than people and luggage is fuel and air: up to 80 per cent of the engine’s 504lb ft of torque is available from 1750rpm – use all 8000rpm and it will reach 62mph in 3.7 seconds, splinter 124mph in 11sec, and top out at a claimed 209mph.