Ferrari is counting on the new Roma 2+2 coupe to lure an important new customer to the brand: car buyers who use luxury SUVs or sedans as their everyday vehicle and have never owned a true sports car.
Ferrari aims ‘less intimidating’ Roma at SUV, sedan drivers
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Ferrari expects grand tourers (GTs) such as the Roma to make up about 40 percent of its total sales by 2022, up from 32 percent now.
To achieve that Ferrari has given the Roma a understated design and "less intimidating" performance, Chief Marketing Officer Enrico Galliera said at the car’s unveiling last November.
Ferrari design boss Flavio Manzoni’s goal was to "make the Roma's shape as simple as possible," he said at the same event. But with a 612-hp, 3.9-liter mid-front V-8 engine mated to eight-speed dual-clutch transmission the Roma is not lacking in power. "It's like a Formula One car in an evening dress," Manzoni said.
He added that the Roma’s look was inspired by Ferrari GTs from the 1960s such as the 250 GT Berlinetta Lusso and 250 GT 2+2.
Marco Bai, Ferrari’s marketing product manager for GTs, said that longtime customers of the brand have been “waiting for a product like the Roma," which is named after Italy's capital city.
Driving modes: Ferrari’s Formula One-derived Manettino driving mode selector has five options: wet, comfort, sport, race and ESC (electronic stability control) off. The selector modifies a number of parameters and controls such as ABS, ESC and differential.
Transmission: The new eight-speed dual-clutch transmission comes from the SF90 Stradale – Ferrari’s first series-production hybrid, which was unveiled earlier this year -- but has different gear ratios and a reverse gear (the SF90 uses the electric motors when backing).
Design: The Roma’s shark nose front and wide hood are an homage to the Ferrari 250 GTs built in the 1960s. To preserve the car’s minimalist elegance Ferrari designers removed all vents. A small rear spoiler is integrated into the back windshield and only deploys at speeds of more than 100 kph.
Human machine interface: The instrument cluster features a programmable 16-inch curved screen and an optional 8.4-inch vertical central display incorporating infotainment, navigation and climate controls. The steering wheel features a number of touch controls to help keep the driver’s hands on the wheel.
Ferrari hopes the coupe’s name will associated it "with the carefree, pleasurable way of life that characterized Rome in the 1950s and 1960s,” Bai said at a test drive event in Pollenzo, Italy, last month.
To further capitalize on this theme Ferrari tagline for its marketing of the Roma is “La nuova dolce vita,” Italian for The new sweet life. This aim is to connect the car to Federico Fellini’s 1960 film, “La Dolce Vita,” which continues to appeal to the brand’s international customers, Bai said.
The Roma accelerates from 0 to 100 (62 mph) kph in 3.4 seconds and has a maximum speed of more than 320 kph.
The Roma is a derivative of the Portofino convertible, but 70 percent of its parts are new, Ferrari said. The coupe also shares its transmission with the Portofino, but the Roma’s gearbox is 6 kg lighter than that in its sibling, said Francesco Strati, specialist design engineer for powertrain at Ferrari.
The Roma’s transmission has a new control unit that provides quicker gearshifts and reduces fuel consumption by 6 percent compared with the Portofino.
Launch date: Q4 2020 (Europe); H1 2021 (U.S.)
Base price: 200,936 euros (Italy)
Where built: Maranello, Italy
Lowest CO2 emissions: 255 g/km (WLTP)
Rivals: Aston Martin DB11 V-8 Coupe, Aston Martin Vantage, Porsche 911 Carrera 4S, Mercedes GT Coupe
The coupe’s exhaust gas after treatment has been reworked to add a gasoline particulate filter. The Roma also has a new exhaust flap, which allowed engineers to remove the back-pressure-reducing silencer found in many Ferrari models without affecting the brand’s distinctive sound.