Beautiful would be too feminine a word to describe the all-new Ferrari Roma, which was recently unveiled in Rome. Automotive afficionados are calling it one of the most handsome sports cars ever, and it comes with some charming visual features and rich characteristics. The surface plays are alluring to say the least, and the form of the car is quite timeless. The sharp aggressive lines which are characteristic to all recent Ferraris have been replaced by bold yet elegant surface changes without much drama. It is a one-of-its-kind introduction from the legendary Italian sports car builder, known for their eccentric and extremely fast creations.
The thing with Ferraris is that a significant percentage of the people who can afford to buy them are well above their fifties. Their price tags aren’t as much a problem as their quirkiness and massive amount of horsepower. Most senior millionaires prefer to buy Landrovers and Jaguars because they are easier to be driven around in, when compared to Ferraris and their likes. Some of them even feel that the Italian bred supercars are a little too aggressive and might be difficult to handle.
It is concerns like these, that the Roma is here to take care of. As mentioned, the first interaction of a person with any car is its visual form and structure. When we look at a car like the Ferrari, our brain has already imagined the thrill and exhilaration that it stands for, and that itself is a little too much for most people to handle. The whole idea of a car that looks so amazingly fantastic and is capable of such high speeds, is overwhelming for many fifty plus year olds. The Roma has been crafted to look every bit sporty, and yet the least bit aggressive. The visual itself takes care of half the speculated fears, of an uncontrollable monster crafted only for speed and near death experiences.
The car has no unnecessary frills, scoops, spoilers or any overly dramatic supercar elements that adorn most of its modern rivals. The incredibly clean and mature design is what makes it all the more appealing. The fact that it doesn’t need to be visually loud to state its purpose, is what – in its own original way – reflects the premium exclusivity of the prancing horse.
Despite being one of those rare, front-engined Ferraris, the Roma has the signature design cues of a Granturismo. The Y-axis, or the side-view-outline of the car accentuates the long hood, rises beautifully with the front windshield and rolls over and down the roof at the rear, into a beautifully extruded tail that silently screams GT!
The interiors are a blend of Italian artwork and modern, digital-age features that include a big crystalline LCD instrument cluster and centrally mounted interactive display. Seating is comfortable – to say the least – and there’s a brand new, airplane-inspired metallic transmission toggle. The only thing that would make one frown are the generic, steering-wheel-mounted control buttons which could have been replaced with something as fresh as the appeal of this car.
The Ferrari head of design, Flavio Manzioni was found quoting that the dominating, wrap-around front of the car is designed to give it artistic tension. The compact cabin sits almost completely on the rear axle, and the shape of the Roma appears to be inspired from the iconic GTs of the mid twentieth century. All proportions have visual, as well as technical aspects which are not limited to just aerodynamics. The entire powertrain is situated in the mid-frontal section to keep the weight of the car centred. All cabin elements are designed for maximum comfort, with extra attention to the geometrical aspects of the human body. Everything in the cabin is ergonomically placed for ease and practicality, except for the rear seats, which don’t really have room to accommodate passengers. Although in their defence, Ferrari have clearly indicated seating as 2 plus, and not four. The newest addition to the Pininfarina portfolio brings to light, the artistic-aesthetic proportions of the Italian design heritage.
The Roma’s purpose of conception is not just the introduction of a more comfortable and approachable Ferrari, but to add a distinct category altogether, to the company line-up. The lengths that the design and engineering teams have gone to with the Roma, clearly indicate the distinguished offerings that the company has planned for the new era of supercars.
It is evident that the company is now bifurcating its design portfolio into two distinct genres – pure sports cars, and granturismo sports cars. The pure sports cars would be every bit sharp, aerodynamic and aggressive as the world has known them to be. The Granturismos on the other hand will focus on immaculate driving experiences and passenger comfort while keeping the massive power outputs intact.
With the Roma, Ferrari have officially undergone a stately and more experience – oriented paradigm shift in the way they make their cars, and it perfectly aligns with the future that the world is slowly stepping into.