Ferrari Roma, a Cavallino between past and future

In a magical year for the Ferrari company, five cars were presented in 2019. The latest novelty for the Maranello house represents, at the same time, both a new impetus towards the future and a splendid tribute to its tradition.

The Ferrari Roma, internal code F169, is an eight-cylinder front-engined Gran Turismo that aims to intercept a new market segment for Ferrari, that of people who require cars that are less loud, less showy and more usable even in daily. Potential customers used to driving traditional SUVs and sedans, missing out on the fun that a prestige car can and must offer.

Rome takes its name, as easily understood, from the capital city of Italy and a symbol of the Dolce Vita. Ferrari, in this way, celebrates the national artistic and cultural heritage, but above all evokes the suggestions and emotions of an era that marked history.

We are talking about the period between the 50s and 60s of the twentieth century, characterized by a light and carefree atmosphere, made immortal by the world of cinema with films, actors and actresses, entered into the collective imagination. Among the iconic objects of the time, Gran Turismo cars have carved out a special place for themselves: beautiful and elite, driven by the favorites of the time, they represented the rebirth and success after World War II.

At the time, the most coveted and dreamed of brand, even by those who were economically wealthy, was Ferrari, which was already becoming a racing legend, and produced legendary cars such as the 250 GT family.

From this historical period, Rome draws formal inspiration, referring to the immense cultural background that Ferrari is able to offer and offer itself. However, the team of designers has not limited itself to a retro-style creation, but re-interprets the proportions and contents that made Gran Turismo immortal during the Dolce Vita, updating these ingredients to the world of 2020.

The new Gran Turismo is elegant and high-performance, and follows the stylistic trend born with the SP Monza, transferring the salient features of the berlinetta to a model destined to lead the way in the Ferrari range.

The detachment with the recent past is clear: if from the 458 Italia onwards the stylistic course of the Rossa was characterized by function and technical constraints, often of an aerodynamic nature, in the new V8 elegance, purity and sobriety predominate, creating a clear division within the Ferrari range, between front-engined cars and mid-engined sports cars.

The Ferrari Roma, of first impact, strikes for the simplicity of its lines, so as to be almost minimalist. The car body looks like a monolithic block worked by subtraction, as was the case with Michelangelo's sculptures, one that left an indelible mark in Rome, and conveys to the observer a sensation of sensuality derived from perfect proportions, and from the smoothness of the surfaces.

These elements give volume and substance to a car that seems drawn by a single stroke of a pencil: linear, elegant, soft but at the same time tonic and vigorous, knowing how to apply the strengths of the Gran Turismo of the past in a contemporary car.

The grille-non-grille stands out: it has always been a historical and distinctive element of Ferrari, this detail loses any formal reference to the past, but metaphorically joins the body panels, becoming a sort of porous surface designed to let in the quantity of air strictly necessary. for cooling and nothing more.

Positioned very low, it accentuates the shark-nose effect, a stylistic and iconic motif of the Ferraris of the 1960s because, despite the aesthetics being completely innovative, the reference to tradition must never be missing on a Red. Looking more carefully, among the evocative suggestions of this element, you can see the features of the rectangular grille, as on the 612 Scaglietti and the less known Ferrari Pinin.

In the Ferrari Roma, the expert connoisseurs of the Prancing Horse will be able to appreciate the infinite quotes of the most prestigious models of the past, particularly in the side view: the surface treatment is inspired by the 250 GTs of the 1950s, the trend of the lateral line, sinuous on the wheel arches, and the cut of the glass are reminiscent of the 365 GTC/4, while the front headlight, seen from the side, recalls the geometry of the legendary 365 GTB/4, the Daytona. The play of similarities, indeed, of the discreet stylistic references does not end here: the shape of the tail and the proportions evoke the 456 GT, while the treatment of the lower part of the side is convex, similar to that of the aforementioned 612 Scaglietti.

Yet, Roma have a very strong and personal character and stage presence, without cadhere to the nostalgia effect. The absence of unnecessary frills and the smoothness of the surfaces enhance the visual impact of the headlights: the front ones, with a futuristic shape, have LED matrix technology, and the LED strip that cuts across the projector gives dynamism and fluidity to the whole, taking up what has already been seen on the SP Monza.

Moving on to the rear lights, we find four gems almost hidden by the bodywork, as if they were drowned, and only four thin LED strips stand out, which seem to rest on the upper line of the central chiaroscuro, a stylistic element that enlivens the low and truncated tail.

The rear is marble, transmits strength and tone with class, and has an interesting component for its dual aesthetic and functional function. At the base of the rear window, a movable aileron is mounted, with three different degrees of opening based on the speeds reached, which rests perfectly on the soft lines of the Roma when it is in rest position, so as to be invisible.

In the lower part there is a large extractor and four exhausts that make it possible to understand how, for Ferrari, the recipe for enticing new customers is not made only of appearance, albeit discreet, but also of substance.

The concept of performance is taken up right from the new interior layout which changes the visual perception of the passenger compartment, but without forgetting the main protagonist: the driver.

If the Ferrari tradition requires that, in order to convey track sensations, all the instruments are turned towards the driver, in Rome it is the cockpit itself, in its architecture, that recalls the world of racing: the seats are drowned in two tanks separated by an eye-catching central tunnel, a clear reinterpretation of the seats on the racing boat.

Homologated as a 2+2, the rear seats are to be considered makeshift, it is no coincidence that Ferrari defines it as a 2+, however, it is well connected to the trunk for better use of the interior spaces.

Great is the development concerning the digital issue and the HMI, Human Machine Interface. Just like on the Ferrari SF90 Stradale, the design ergonomics created the interior according to the principle of hands on the steering wheel and eyes always on the road, with a series of touch controls on the steering wheel and a large 16-inch curved screen, which can show all infos regarding the car.

Even the passenger can be involved in this driving experience through an 8.8-inch screen, while in the center a large touch panel allows you to set the climate control, connect the phone and manage the multimedia part. This tablet, without a doubt, is the only element that could have been better integrated into the surrounding environment, while it is worth noting the excellent integration of both the refined automatic gearbox settings device, inspired by the legendary manual gearbox gate of classic Ferraris. Both the niche where to place the car key, an object that is an excellent example of product design.

Prestigious materials furnish the passenger compartment in such a way as to combine design, technology and style, as befits a Gran Turismo of the Prancing Horse. Not only design but also performance, these are the two ingredients that Ferrari uses in its recipe to attract new customers.

In this case, the concept of performance is not limited to lap times or exaggerated powers, but also extends and includes the pleasure of driving, fun and usability of the car in everyday life.

Returning to the rear wing mentioned above, in addition to appreciating its visual discretion, it is interesting to understand its operating principles, divided into three opening levels based on the aerodynamic load required. In the first, the wing is completely hidden in the rear window, and is designed for low load situations with speeds between 0 and 100 km/h. The automatic intermediate opening takes place at speeds between 100 and 300 km/h, while the maximum inclination is reached in conditions where maximum aerodynamic load is required, and therefore in cornering or braking conditions.

For the first time in the GT world, Ferrari is fitted with a platform capable of generating vortexes.

Remaining under the skin, we move on to the body and chassis, totally revised to improve torsional stiffness without losing ride comfort, with about 70% of the components being new compared to those used in the Portofino from which the Roma is derived.

The 8-cylinder engine, part of the award-winning F154 family, is 3855 cm³ and has 620 HP with a ratio of 2.37 Kg/hp, the best in its category.

Able to exceed 320 km/h, this engine covers the distance from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.4 seconds, as it has been subject to further improvements to reduce the eturbo-lag effect, and thus have a better response on the throttle. Specifically, the changes concerned the new camshaft profiles, and sensors that detect the rotation speed of the turbine.

The Variable Boost Management, a torque management software, allows you to optimize the thrust of the engine based on the ratio inserted, providing extra torque in seventh and eighth gear, as well as allowing a reduction in consumption.

Still from a consumption and emissions point of view, an aspect that even a sports brand like Ferrari must consider in 2020, the GPG, Gasoline Particulate Filter, has the task of capturing the particulate resulting from combustion. This filter has been the subject of in-depth studies, and optimized to not compromise driving pleasure.

With a renewed geometry, the exhaust system enhances the roar of the V8 engine, enhancing the unmistakable sound of the Prancing Horse.

The Ferrari Roma, from the Ferrari SF90 Stradale, inherits the 8-speed dual-clutch gearbox, with the addition of reverse. This is mounted on the rear axle, to ensure a more efficient weight distribution, also obtaining a twenty percent less bulky transmission, and more performing in terms of torque.

Particular attention to usability and the reduction of response times have made it possible to improve not only performance, but above all have increased ease of use, for a total driving experience.

To simplify the driving of the driver, who is behind the wheel of the Roma, there is a low center of gravity and a series of electronic aids. The electronic brain, which manages vehicle information and is activated when needed, is the SSC, Side Slip Control, in version 6.0.

This system intervenes on the traction through the F1-Trax, on the electronic differential with the dedicated third generation software, and thanks to the SCM-E Frs it controls the suspensions in a magnetorheological manner.

Only when the lever is in the Race position is the Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer available, the purpose of which is to control and predict the lateral dynamics of the vehicle during travel and corner exit. This function works in coordination with the stability control: however, unlike the latter, the purpose of this system is to ensure maximum driving enjoyment, with a structure that is easier to manage and greater responsiveness on the accelerator.

In conclusion, with the latest car born in Maranello, Ferrari, while exploring new worlds, manages to transfer and transmit the DNA of the Prancing Horse to a product that skilfully blends past and future, tradition and innovation, style and technology.

Car to enjoy at 360°, is on sale starting from € 200.000.

The only drawback, even if it must be admitted that this is a nostalgic note, is the absence of the 12-cylinder, which would have included Roma among the best Reds in history.


Two-door berlinetta bodywork

Front engine position

Rear-wheel Drive

Size and Weights

Length 4656 mm

Width 1974 mm

Height 1301 mm

Front track 1562 mm

Rear track 1679 mm

Wheelbase 2670 mm

Empty mass 1472 Kg

Weight distribution 50% front 50% rear

65 liters tank


Displacement 3855 cm³

Type F154, V8 65° bi-turbo

Bore and stroke 86.5x82 mm

Compression ratio 9.45:1

Distribution 4 valves per cylinder with double overhead camshaft per cylinder bank

Bosch direct electronic injection power supply


Power 456 kW/620 hp at 750-7500 rpm

Specific Power 161 hp/liter (118 Kw/liter) and 197 nm/liter

Torque 760 Nm at 3000-5750 rpm

Ferrari F1 automatic transmission, 8-speed + RM, plus self-locking differential and double clutch


Car body made of several light alloys

Front suspension magnetorheological control shock absorbers

Rear suspension with magnetorheological control shock absorbers

Front brakes Ø 390 x 34 mm Brembo carbon-ceramic discs, self-ventilated and perforated, with 6-piston calipers

Rear brakes: Ø 360 x 32 mm Brembo carbon-ceramic discs, self-ventilated and perforated, with 4-piston calipers

245/35/8J front tires

Rear tires 285/35/10J

20" wheels made of light alloy

Consumption and emissions

Emissions 404 g/km (low), 246 g/km (mid), 220 g/km (high), 235 g/km (extra high), 255 g/km (combined)

Consumption 17.8 liters/100 km (low), 10.8 liters/100 km (mid), 9.7 liters/100 km (high), 10.3 liters/100 km (extra high) 11.2 liters/100 Km (combined)

Performance declared

Speed ​​over 320 Km/h

Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.4 seconds, and from 0 to 200 km/h in 9.3 seconds

Luca Saitta