Review by Charlie Cooksey
I remember attending the EuroMotors launch of the new Ferrari Roma at the Bahrain International Circuit in late 2019 or early 2020 (pre-Covid days). The theme was La dolce vita (“the sweet life”), the iconic 1960 Italian movie directed by Federico Fellini that came to symbolize Italian style and attitudes for over a generation.
It was a fun evening held outdoors in the Paddock area and we were treated to delicious Italian cooking, music, and there were lots of posters of Italian movie stars from long ago. Of course, the star of the night was the Roma. It was not for driving that evening, just for admiring. I remember looking forward to getting the chance to get behind the wheel, I just didn’t think it would take so long – over a year.
The Roma, though understated compared to other Ferraris, is a beautiful car. I personally loved this particular car’s grey paintwork – the car I and everyone was admiring at EuroMotor’s La Dolce vita launch was this same rare colour so I’m guessing that this is the same car.
So where does the Roma fit into the Ferrari family? I suppose it could be described as being the company’s “compact GT”. It’s aimed to appeal to those looking for a Ferrari that can be a daily drive so are prepared to trade some of the brand’s legendary hyper performance for a bit of extra comfort and practicality. Ferrari say they expect 70% of Roma customers to be new to the brand.
That said, it’s powered by a 3.9-litre twin turbo V8 that knocks out 612bhp enabling zero to 100 kph in 3.4 seconds – so lots and lots of power!
Ferrari describe it as one of the world’s cleverest engines that has zero turbo lag and Variable Boost Management software which adjusts torque delivery to suit whichever gear you’re in. 70% of the components are totally new, and include the latest weight reduction and production techniques.
I found it a highly enjoyable car to drive with pinpoint steering, a solid feel, and superb brakes. The sound of the engine was better than playing music!
I noticed the car seemed to negotiate obstructions such as speed bumps with far more comfort and ease than other Ferrari’s I’ve driven.
Any criticism? I found the instrumentation a little confusing. Ferrari have replaced traditional switchgear with latest technology multi-touch controls. Maybe I’m a traditionalist, but I prefer proper buttons and switches that I can press and click, but that’s just my personal opinion so each to their own.
The photoshoot took place at the American University of Bahrain, and turning up in the Ferrari Roma caused quite a stir among the students, many coming out to get a closer look of the car.
To find out more about the Ferrari Roma, call EuroMotors +973 1775 0750.