• Home
  • sports-car
  • Drifting snow in the Ferrari FF at the Arctic Circle: on all fours with 660 hp

Drifting snow in the Ferrari FF at the Arctic Circle: on all fours with 660 hp

Drifting snow in the Ferrari FF at the Arctic Circle
Subscriptions & booklets

Markku Alén - the name is commonly associated with Fiat and Lancia in rally circles. And with original, internationally understandable announcements: “Maximum Attack” was one of his battle cries. The tall rally professional used “Maximum Kangaroo” to describe the declining effect of his shock absorbers. The uncompromising driving style impressed even team mate Walter Röhrl back in the eighties. But who brings the now 60-year-old Finn from Helsinki with F errari in connection? Well, Alén has been involved in the development of the Ferrari FF as a representative and test driver for two years.

With the rally professional in the Ferrari FF

Since I was able to experience firsthand what it feels like, next to him in the Ferrari FF to romp on snowy, hilly terrain through the Swedish spruce forests leaves me with two questions go: How can a large four-seater twelve-cylinder coupé weighing just under 1.9 tons jump so gracefully over snow-covered hills? And how do you arrange such an elegant landing approach after the narrow, groomed lane ends in a left-hand curve directly after the confusing crest? From the mouth of the rally original, it sounds very simple: maximum attack and maximum car control. This magical combination of Italian sports car technology and Finnish driving skills can hardly be beaten in terms of dynamism and exclusivity.

But he still has to do that for my special test in the Ferrari FF on the way:' When you want to jump over the hill too, you have to switch the Manettino in the CST off-position and set the dampers to hard-mode. ' The generous tip from Markku Alén to strengthen the propulsion by switching off the electronic control interventions and to tighten the dampers was - admittedly - as exclusive as it was illegal. Because a) the Ferrari officials understandably wanted to minimize the risk and therefore insisted on the 'Ice' mode stored at the Manettino counter and b) because 'jumping over snow-covered domes' was not seriously part of the new tasksFerrari FF may be counted.

Everything is possible - except jumping

Everything is possible - except jumping. Just six months ago, this announcement from Maranello in the vicinity of deep freezing temperatures, icy stretches and high snow drifts would have sounded about as absurd to Ferrari-loving customers as the possibility of installing Dieter Bohlen as the moderator of the daily topics. As if it had never done anything else, the Ferrari FF, powered by all fours for the first time and with four fully-fledged seats, plows casually and artistically through the snow - regardless of whether it is steep uphill or downhill and completely regardless of the fact that there is friction between the tires and the road surface that remind you as soon as you get out that the belief in your own steadfastness is very deceptive.

So that we understand each other correctly: The FF, who was expedited by Ferrari to the Arctic Circle, is not on the road with Swedish spikes, those wondrous ice picks made of steel that turn driving on ice and snow into a demonstration of traction. Pirelli Sottozero Winter 270 is the name of the tire type with which the supercar, which is big in every respect and above all great, can get out of every slippery affair. Good grip on the part of the winter tires approved for speeds of up to 270 km /h is of course not enough.

The all-wheel drive, developed in-house by Ferrari, with the smart transfer case weighing just 25 kilograms on the front of the large V12 engine, does its job in every way with art. The additional power distribution to the front axle is managed quickly, imperceptibly and skillfully when grip decreases. In 'Ice' mode, the control electronics distribute just enough engine power to the branched drive train that - with reduced propulsion - it almost feels as if you were driving on firm ground. It is only when you step on the brake pedal in the Ferrari FF that you clearly see that the grip on a closed snow cover is not all that far away.

Exploring the limits of driving physics in the Ferrari FF

Anyone who - like Alén - dares to push the limits of driving physics with the driving safety systems completely switched off with the then freely available 660 hp array in the Ferrari FF to sound out, you can see how the front passenger's veins literally freeze when staring at the additional digital speedometer above the glove compartment. The all-wheel drive is not only pulled forward on the slippery terrain, but it also makes every effort to obey the commands of the pilot with the utmost care. With active steering work, the four-seater, which has a long wheelbase and absolutely equal weight distribution, can be brought exactly on course before the bend by pulling the rearmoving to a controlled lunge.

Stoic pushing over the front wheels as an expression of stubborn conscientiousness devoted exclusively to traction, is not the main driving program of this Ferrari. The constructive and at the same time good-natured reactions with regard to the driving dynamics are the ones that should prompt contemporaries with an emphasis on reason to look for the kick in unstable driving conditions. The grandiose sounding V12, which can be perfectly managed with the accelerator pedal and the handy shift paddles on the steering wheel, also knows how to put itself in the limelight so that the torn between total enthusiasm and respect for one's own courage never ends.

Ski motorhome for four with luggage

You can also relax and unwind with the Ferrari FF fourth and go on a skiing holiday with luggage. But I had completely ignored this obvious alternative when, next to Markku Alén, with a fixed glance at the original co-driver's speedometer, I had to register that there are narrow, snow-covered forest paths on the Arctic Circle, on which the technical systems of the new Ferrari are most convincing at tempos far beyond the recommended speed that I consider appropriate.


Leave a reply

Name *