How do you make the Ferrari Roma even better? Simple: you saw off the roof. After all, open-top driving is the best. To test whether the work of car designers is really that simple, we will test drive it under the late summer sun of Sardinia.
Ask any car enthusiast about his or her dream car and you will hear a silly answer like the Ferrari F8 Tributo or SF90 Stradale. They don't know that the 2020 Ferrari Roma is the most elegant way to drive Ferrari.
A less flashy design, but just as sporty as its extravagant brothers. The beating heart lies in front of the driver under the long hood: a 3.9-liter V8 with two turbos. The convertible roof consists of five layers of fabric. This combination makes the Roma Spider the first Ferrari with a front engine and a soft top since the legendary 365 GTS4 from 1969, better known as the Daytona Spider.
Quickly back to the here and now: we are in Sardinia and the sun is shining. The bright light makes the paint shine and we notice how slender and slim the Roma Spider is. The integration of the fabric folding roof is beautifully done - we did not spot any unsightly kinks or other compromises that disrupt the lines. The overall picture is one hundred percent correct.
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We make a practical discovery in the trunk: there is enough luggage space for two people to go on holiday. There is room for 255 liters of bags in the back and you can easily lift them in, because the Roma Spider probably has the lowest lifting threshold of all Ferraris. There is even a hatch that allows you to stretch the trunk.
That brings us to the new wind deflector; You fold it out of the backrest of the rear seat at the touch of a button, after which it is clicked into place at an angle of 105 degrees. Such a tray near the rear headrests looks a bit strange, but proves to be very effective while driving. With that flap in position, no one can sit here, but the rear seats are only intended for a bag and a jacket anyway.
You start the engine with a touch button on the steering wheel and that takes some getting used to. To prevent you from rubbing the start button while driving on a nice mountain road and causing the engine to fail, the touch surfaces on the steering wheel are usually disabled. The second most important instrument on the steering wheel, the Manettino, is still nicely analogue. With the simple rotary knob you can sharpen the character of the car in no time.
“The four exhaust pipes emit a voluminous sound carpet that you would like to wrap around your shoulders and wear as a winter coat.”
The double-blown V8 is wonderfully lively on the gas and delivers its full power of 620 hp at 5750 rpm. The performance peak continues up to 7500 rpm. If you take it easy, you will enjoy a pleasant pulling force of 760 Nm between 3000 and 5750 rpm. A fast 8-speed dual-clutch transmission takes care of the shifting and you can shout instructions by flicking the large, fixed shift paddles behind the steering wheel.
The four exhaust pipes of the Roma Spider emit a voluminous sound carpet that you would like to wrap around your shoulders and wear as a winter coat. A true feast for the ears, especially if you drive with the hood open. Annoying wind noise and annoying air swirls in the interior are kept to a minimum by the aforementioned wind screen. Why hasn't anyone else come up with this idea? Skoda usually comes up with such simple solutions, but the Czechs no longer build convertibles...
Ferrari has tuned the chassis for maximum driving pleasure. The Roma Spider is wonderfully balanced and the driving behavior is a bit naughty. The front wheels stubbornly follow the input from the sensitive steering, while the rear axle converts the high power into forward motion in a controlled manner. Suspension and damping work very quickly and are harmoniously coordinated. If the road surface becomes too pockmarked, you just have to turn the Manettino and the shock absorbers immediately allow a little more play.
The Ferrari Roma Spider owes its dynamic character to the advanced driving systems that translate every external input into bits and bytes and then convert it in real time into perfect driving behavior. It's a great feeling when complex electronics work so naturally.
For the sake of completeness, we also drive with the roof closed. Apparently five layers of fabric is the ideal number to protect you from the outside world, because the insulation provided by the fabric roof is perfect. Then the roof quickly opens again, because if you pay over €300,000 for a roofless Ferrari, you shouldn't miss an opportunity to open it.
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Every meter behind the wheel of the Roma Spider is a pleasure. With the open sky above you and the revving V8 at your feet, your body is continuously overloaded with stimuli. You would almost become addicted to it. And why would that be a bad thing? It is practical and comfortable enough to use every day. But it is a pricey addiction.
This post was last modified on December 23, 2023 6:07 am
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