Then again, Ferrari's logic makes sense.
Last week, Ferrari made good on its pledge to reveal a fifth new model this year, the Roma. Not only does it continue a new styling language first seen on the SF90 Stradale, but it's a return to the more purist, mid-front-engined V8 hardtop coupe experience. Its corporate cousin, the Ferrari Portofino, features a retractable hardtop that does not appeal to everyone. But, as it turns out, Ferrari has another set of buyers in mind for the Roma aside from GT coupe enthusiasts.
Automotive News Europe spoke to Ferrari chief marketing officer Enrico Galliera at the Roma's unveiling about targeted buyers and Galliera acknowledged that "The largest group (of Roma buyers) among them will be car buyers who drive luxury SUVs or sedans and have never owned a proper sports car." Basically, the Roma's 2+ seating layout will appeal to them. Why '2+'? Because the two rear seats are quite small, perhaps most comfortable for children, but they're there, just like they are in a Porsche 911, for example. They also offer some additional cargo space.
Galliera also confirmed only about 0.05 percent of people who can afford to buy a Ferrari actually buy one, and the Roma is out to change that. "Most of them don't buy a Ferrari because they don't know how fun it is to drive one. We want to lower barriers with a less intimidating car," he said. The Roma is aimed at those who "prize understatement and like to drive their car every day."
Not all Ferrari owners drive their Ferraris every day, but the Roma aims to deliver a different experience. "It's like a Formula One car in evening dress," Chief Designer Flavio Manzoni said. Interestingly, buyers can even opt to not have the Ferrari badge on the side of the coupe. Again, think understatement. "The idea was to make the Roma's shape as simple as possible," Manzoni added.
Ferrari's GT cars, also including the GTC4 Lusso and 812 Superfast, both powered by V12s, are more comfortable on long journeys than mid-engined models like the F8 Tributo. Ferrari aims to increase GT model sales to about 40 percent of its total sales by 2022. Currently, they account for 32 percent. By no later than 2022, Ferrari will launch its first-ever SUV, the Purosangue, and it will likely bring in plenty of first-time Ferrari customers. But the Roma still has a big role to play as part of Ferrari's efforts to expand and lure in new buyers.