Paul Horrell23 March 2011

Ferrari FF: first drive

TopGear magazine gets to grips with the astonishing 660bhp four-seat, four-wheel-drive Ferrari FF

Ferrari FF

Just as Ferrari promised (and not many people actually believed), the new FF really does do it all.

It can climb snow-covered slopes - especially when it's wearing its special 180mph winter tyres. It's a majestically secure car in the rain. In difficult slipppery corners the electronics that back up the four-wheel drive are near-supernatural. Whichever tyre can use some power, it gets exactly the power it can use.

See new pics of the Ferrari FF 

Supercars aren't supposed to be like that. They're supposed to be divas, hard to use, throwing frankly scary hissy fits whenever conditions are less than ideal. So is the FF a real supercar? Not in the rain or the snow: it's far too good to be a supercar.

So here's the thing. If it's so clever so clever on slippy roads, surely there's a payoff? It's going to be boring on good roads, isn't it?

Nope. The FF really does do it all. When the fair winds are behind it, it's a true V12 supercar. The 660bhp engine howls like some magical, crazed hyena-pack. Its thrust is truly epic. The seven-speed transmission shifts faster than you can think.

But however good the engine is, the chassis has no trouble keeping it man-marked.

You don't turn this thing into a corner. You just swivel your eyeballs towards the curve, and the car seems to follow. Did you actually move your wrists? Hard to tell, the car's reactions are so fast and true.

So you lean on the throttle and you can feel the very treads of the tyres tensing themselves, digging into the road and finding the force to catapult you onwards. It's not just fast, it's full of sensations and communication.

It's the most selfish kind of car. Except it isn't. It can carry four people, the front two with loads of comfort and the rear two, well, at least snugly. It rides well and it's easy to see out of. It's got loads of luxury equipment. And the boot is about the same size as a Focus's.

It does so much, and we've barely scratched the surface here. For the full beans, and some epic photography of our high-mountain grand touring in the FF, see the new issue of TopGear magazine, on sale today.

Paul Horrell

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