by Jay Traugott
Ferrari knows its supercars are in high demand, hence its decision to increase production figures and add new models. However, its annual production count is still far lower than any other mainstream automaker. This is very much done on purpose to keep Ferraris exclusive and their values high, but new product is still essential. Meet the first-ever Ferrari Roma, a new GT hardtop coupe powered by an award-winning V8 that pumps out over 600 horsepower.
Although it shares a platform and engine with the Ferrari Portofino, the Roma features an all-new interior and exterior styling that continues Ferrari's new styling language, begun by the SF90 Stradale. Although not as powerful as the firm's V12 offerings, the Roma is anything but entry-level. This is a coupe intended for driving purists not interested in the Portofino's retractable hardtop. As the fifth new Ferrari model this year, the Roma is a stunning Italian stallion aimed squarely at the likes of the Aston Martin DB11.
3.9-liter Twin-Turbo V8 Gas
8-Speed Dual-clutch Automatic
The Roma ditches the Portofino's retractable hardtop in favor of a fixed-roof design, a feature many Ferrari purists will greatly appreciate. A fixed roof not only saves considerable weight but also improves overall structural rigidity. The Roma is also a clear departure from the styling language used on most Ferraris, save for the SF90 Stradale. The wedge-like front headlight design is gone, replaced with a sleeker, more understated look. The lower front fascia is also something we haven't seen from the carmaker before.
Ferrari says the Roma's name is derived from its distinctive flair and style, a throwback to the carefree days of the 1950s and '60s Rome lifestyle and attitude. Along with its wide stance, distinctive taillights, and smooth body panels, the Roma is definitely a standout. The muscular rear shoulders flow perfectly into those rear lights.
Although many details remain unknown at this time, the Ferrari Roma's interior looks completely different from anything else in the lineup. For starters, the front passenger will have a completely different experience thanks to a new secondary infotainment screen specifically for them thanks to the vertical layout. It may be a little hard to tell from the single image Ferrari released, but there's also a new gauge cluster with larger digital screens at both sides of the central tachometer. There's also an updated steering wheel design and wraparound styling for both front-seat passengers.
Ferrari says the Roma has a "2+" seating, meaning the driver and front-seat passenger plus a couple of rear seats big enough only for children. A fully grown adult will not be comfortable back there for even short trips. Unfortunately, no official photos of an opened rear liftgate have been released, but it's fair to assume there's enough space for at least a couple of golf bags and/or luggage for a weekend road trip.
Under the hood lies the same award-winning 3.9-liter twin-turbocharged V8 found in the F8 Tributo and Portofino. Here, it's been tuned to produce a total of around 612 horsepower from 5,750 to 7,000 rpm and about 560 lb-ft of torque from 3,000 to 5,750 rpm. Power is directed to the rear wheels through a brand new eight-speed dual-clutch transmission – the very same gearbox from the SF90 Stradale.
Ferrari claims a 0-62 mph of 3.4 seconds (which is slightly faster than the Portofino) and a 0-124 mph time of 9.3 seconds. Top speed is nearly 199 mph. Total dry weight comes to 3,245 pounds.
Ferrari has yet to announce pricing but don't expect anything less than around $230,000. The Portofino, pictured below, starts off at around $215,000 without any options. The Roma, like the Portofino, is not intended to be an entry-level Ferrari, but rather an alternative to the mid-engined F8 Tributo. A mid-engined supercar is not for everyone for a number of reasons, while the Roma's mid-front-engined layout is a bit more conventional.
Generally speaking, the Ferrari Roma's main competitors will be the Aston Martin DB11, McLaren GT, and Porsche 911 Turbo. Even the Jaguar F-Type, specifically the SVR, is another target. An on-sale date can't be confirmed at this time, but don't expect the Roma to be a limited edition model. Instead, it's a V8, RWD, GT coupe Ferrari for those who can afford one.