This is the Ferrari Roma, the newest entry-level model in the brand’s line-up and it is the most un-Ferrari looking Ferrari of all time. Prices start at 942,900 Dirhams in the UAE and since we’ve managed to get the keys to one, let us jump right in and see what you get for that kind of money.
Now first things first, what is the Ferrari Roma? It is the latest coupe to come out of Maranello and let me be clear; it isn’t your weekend track weapon. The Roma replaces cars like California, California T, and Portofino before it as the brand’s entry-level model, and so it is more of a cruiser.
What that means is that it is the most sophisticated and dignified of modern Ferraris. It’s quiet, it’s comfortable, it’s has a lot of cool technology, and it cares about things like fuel economy! Words you probably didn’t expect to hear in a Ferrari review.
In terms of power, the Roma put out 610 horsepower and 760 Nm of torque from a 3.9-liter twin-turbocharged V8. All of that power is pushed through an 8-speed dual-clutch gearbox and that means the Roma can hit 100km/h in 3.4-secs, 200km/h in 9.3-secs, and a top speed of 320 km/h.
So, it definitely isn’t slow, but what does the Roma feel like to drive? Well for starters, the steering is insanely precise; the smallest of adjustments send it darting into another direction. The suspension is tuned fabulously, making the Roma feel extremely agile and nimble, and it is undoubtedly the most comfortable Ferrari I have ever driven.
On the whole, the Roma is a car that will change your perception of Ferrari. It is a car that pushes the brand into a new era with technologies like adaptive cruise control and plenty of screens, and although the Roma might not be as brutal as other Ferraris, it is definitely just as special to drive.
On the inside, the Roma is very, very different from any other Ferrari on sale and that is because the cabin has been divided into two separate cells, one for the driver and one for the passenger. In front of the driver sits a new steering wheel with haptic feedback buttons, a new 16-inch digital instrument cluster display, and what divides both cells is an all-new 8.4-inch infotainment screen and an extremely unique gear selector.
As you would expect, there are very few physical buttons or switches around the cabin and that is because everything has been made into a screen. Mirror adjustment controls? That’s a screen. Headlight controls? That’s a screen. Engine starter? That’s also a screen. And speaking of screens, it is worth highlighting that the passenger gets their own little screen too.
Although the Roma is claimed to be a 4-seater, I’m not sure you’d find anyone willing to ride in the backseats. They are extremely tight and that says a lot when it comes from someone as short as me. However, what is truly puzzling is why Ferrari has built a 4-seater with just one cup holder. Perhaps it is to keep those in the back distracted over a game of rock, paper, and scissors to decide who gets to keep their drink in the cupholder.
When it comes to the design, you’re either going to love it or hate it. There really is no middle ground and that is completely understandable since the Roma doesn’t look like any other Ferrari out there. In fact, from some angles, it does bear resemblance to an Aston Martin. From other angles, it bears resemblance to a Jaguar F-Type, but other Ferraris? No, that it doesn’t bear any resemblance to.
The strange styling continues in the back with the brand’s signature round tail lamps being replaced with horizontal strips. There is a spoiler that is integrated into the rear glass, four beautiful exhaust pipes, and what is worth noting is that although the Roma gets 20-inch alloys all around, it does have a staggered tire set-up, meaning the tires in the back are wider than those in the front for a more pronounced and aggressive stance.
Since this is a GT, a car that Ferrari wants you to cover long distances in, I shall show you the boot, which at just 272-liters is small by all means, but what I don’t quite understand is why the boot hasn’t got any lip to it. Meaning, if you were to park on a slope, there is a very high chance that anything and everything you have stored in your boot could and probably will come rolling out. Bellisimo!
Ferrari’s entry-level models have never been very well received. They’ve always had a negative connotation attached to them and that is something the Roma is out to change. At 942,900 Dirhams, the Roma is the most technologically advanced Ferrari to date, and although its styling may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it’s still a true Ferrari in every other way.