The Ferrari Roma, the new GT coupe from the Maranello-based supercar maker, offers a fresh, contemporary take on the carefree, happy lifestyle that came to characterise Rome in the ’50s and ’60s.
Designed to be a relatively compact car that is intended to be more usable than something like its larger sibling, the 812 Superfast, the Roma is definitely more focused on being a daily driver as evidenced by the two small seats tucked away at the rear.
The Roma is very different from every other model in the current Ferrari range. One word is most suitable when admiring the car: purity.
From the front, its nose is slanted forward, and stretches out for that classic GT look. Except for the front splitter, the Roma does without visible aerodynamic features. Sleek headlights and the slimmest of tail lights add to the simplicity of its design. The result is an incredibly clean, flowing silhouette – something that has not been seen for quite some time from Ferrari.
Propelled by a 3.9-litre V8 with two turbochargers, maximum power and torque are rated at 612hp and 760Nm, respectively. Gear changing duties are handled by an eight-speed dual-clutch unit – the same one found in the box you’ll find in the 986hp SF90 Stradale but with an additional reverse gear. At full throttle, the gearbox is at its best – the changes are scintillatingly fast and smooth.
The engine might be Ferrari’s least powerful on offer, but it is absolutely brilliant. The soundtrack is music to my ears, and with peak power achieved close to redline, I revved it as often as the road ahead allows me to. The performance is awesome too – 0 to 100km/h is completed in 3.4 seconds. As for top speed, Ferrari claims that the Roma will max out in excess of 320km/h.
If you are concerned that the Roma’s performance may be a little too much to handle, fret not as Ferrari’s driver aids are some of the best around. There are five modes on the steering wheel-mounted Manettino switch – Wet, Comfort, Sport, Race and ESC-Off. Select any of these and adjustments will be made to the traction and stability controls, depending on your requirements. There is also the latest version of Side Slip Angle Control, which allows you to control how big of a slide you want.
The steering is accurate and incredibly fast, but a tad too light for my liking. The carbon-ceramic brakes are wonderful – powerful yet very easy to modulate. As for the ride, the Roma takes all road imperfections in its stride, thanks to magnetic damping and well-sorted spring rates.
There is a lot of the latest tech in the Roma’s cabin and it is a very pleasant place to be in. The driving position is good and the two rear seats are plus points. They are perfect for a short trip or to send the kids to school.
Aside from the gearbox, the Roma also shares the Human Machine Interface with the SF90 Stradale. Specifically, instead of physical dials in front of the driver, a 16-inch curved, customisable screen does the job of displaying information such as speed, engine revs and tyre pressure info. There is also an 8.4-inch screen in the centre of the dash and slim 8.8-inch display for the passenger too.
Ferrari has ditched many physical controls for touch ones that respond to pokes and swipes, like a smartphone or tablet, which then disappear when the car is switched off. It is clean, clever and intuitive. However, I am sad that the big red start-engine button is gone.
As an experience dynamically as well as to drive and enjoy daily, the Roma ticks all the right boxes. So comprehensively good, it is easy to see why it will appeal to a wider audience of sports car buyers other than traditional Ferrari enthusiasts. In the Roma, Ferrari has created the benchmark, everyday V8 GT.
ENGINE 3,855cc twin turbocharged V8
POWER 612hp @ 5,750-7,500pm TORQUE 760Nm @ 3,000-5,750rpm ACCELERATION 0-100km/h in 3.4 seconds, 0-200km/h in 9.3 seconds
TOP SPEED >320km/h TRANSMISSION Seven-speed dual-clutch
DRIVEN WHEELS Rear
FUEL CONSUMPTION 11.2 litres/ 100km (combined)
CO2 EMISSIONS 255g/km (combined)
KERB WEIGHT 1,570kg
FUEL TANK 80 litres
(All images: Ferrari)
This story first appeared in the July 2021 issue of Prestige Singapore.