BY: TAREK HAWCHAR
When the Ferrari Roma was first unveiled in late 2019, it brought new levels of luxury, elegance, and innovative style to the modern, front-engined Ferrari GTs. As the Prancing Horse brand puts it: The Ferrari Roma is built for buyers who don’t want to show off!
Billed as the most beautifully crafted Ferrari ever made and adopting the Italian concept of “Nuova Dolce Vita” (Pleasurable Way of Life), the 2021 Ferrari Roma is an icon of Italian design; a 2+2 grand tourer that tries to embrace the “carefree, pleasurable way of life that characterized Rome in the 1950s and ‘60s.”
Billed as the most beautifully crafted Ferrari ever made, the 2021 Ferrari Roma is an icon of Italian design
Based on the front-engined Portofino convertible, the shark-nosed Roma doesn’t share much with the former, thanks to its flowing lines that exude modernity and elegance, refined interior with cutting-edge technology, and its more powerful, high-revving 612-hp V8 engine—producing 21 more horses than the Portofino’s!
We had the chance to climb behind the wheel of this irresistible coupe to fully explore its potential on Dubai’s high roads. Dubai’s modern architecture, high-rise buildings, and beautiful natural landscapes could not entirely distract our attention from the fact that the 2021 Ferrari Roma is one of the best front-engined, rear-wheel-drive hardtop coupes available on the market— the new Ferrari Roma was certainly fun to drive, along with being a feast for the eyes!
Maranello’s latest creation features a retro grille flanked by distinctive full-LED headlights with “floating” daytime running lights
The exterior design of the 2021 Ferrari Roma is inspired by iconic grand tourers of the 1960s, such as the 250 GT and 250 GT Lusso, and is aimed at representing a renaissance for the Prancing Horse brand that embodies understated elegance rather than aggressiveness.
That being said, the latest Maranello creation features a retro grille flanked by distinctive full-LED headlights with “floating” daytime running lights. The meshed grille is also finished in the same color as the body—a feature that is different from that of Ferrari’s other offerings.
As far as profile goes, the front-engined Ferrari GT doesn’t feature openings to the sides and the side skirts, making it the only Ferrari that lacks these gills. The new Ferrari Roma also sports flush-mounted door handles, a steeply sloping hood, and bulging fenders.
At the rear, the design becomes more aggressive, thanks to the twin integrated LED taillights and quad exhaust pipes. In terms of dimensions, the new 2+2 hardtop coupe has an overall length of 4656 mm and measures 1974 mm and 1301 mm in width and height, respectively, with a 2670 mm long wheelbase.
The 2021 Ferrari Roma has unique, distinct areas for both the driver and front passenger as they are separated by a massive center section
Moving to the Ferrari Roma’s interior, the mix of modern and retro elements continues inside the full-fledged supercar’s cabin. The 2021 Ferrari Roma has unique, distinct areas for both the driver and front passenger as they are separated by a massive center section.
The wrap-around dashboard layout features a two-tone trim with a lighter lower element and a darker upper section. The center console stretches all the way to the back, and there is a new infotainment touchscreen display located vertically along the top, as well as a “floating” center stack and a uniquely designed gear selector. Customers can also opt for a third screen mounted on the passenger-side dash that shows important data and figures related to the performance, navigation, climate, and media.
Elsewhere, there is a wide selection of high-quality materials, including premium leather and Alcantara upholstery, and metallic and gloss black finishes. The flat-bottomed steering wheel includes the turn signals, in addition to a small manettino dial.
Being a 2+2 grand tourer, the new Ferrari Roma can accommodate up to four people, and while the front seats are amazingly comfortable and offer excellent lateral support, the rear ones aren’t that comfortable, especially for adults.
The new coupe is equipped with a twin-turbo, 3.9-liter V8 engine that produces 620 hp and 760 Nm of torque
Engine and Performance
Under the fresh sheet metal, the 2021 Ferrari Roma is equipped with a twin-turbo, 3.9-liter V8 engine that produces 620 hp and 760 Nm of torque— a 20 hp increase over the Portofino and with the same technical tweaks as the Portofino M. Coupled with an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission sending power to the rear wheels, the eight-cylinder engine is powerful enough to push the Roma from zero to 100 km/h in 3.4 seconds, and to 200 km/h in 9.2 seconds, before hitting a top speed over 320 km/h. The Roma’s eight-speed dual-clutch transmission was first introduced on the SF90 Stradale.
Replacing Ferrari’s old seven-speed transmission, the new eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox shifts exceptionally quickly and smoothly. On the technology front, the new entry-level GT boasts a number of innovative gadgets, including the latest version of the Side Slip Control (SSC 6.0) that is integrated with the E-Diff3, F1-Trac, and the Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer (FDE). The FDE adjusts the brake pressure and calipers, along with controlling the lateral dynamics in the more track-focused Race mode!
Aside from its deafening roar and revving to the moon (up to 7500 rpm), the eight-cylinder engine fared well beyond expectations down Dubai’s highways and through the corners. The wonderfully linear steering was also very precise and direct, and provided excellent connection to the road.
The 2021 Ferrari Roma is undoubtedly a symbol of luxury, innovative style, and timeless beauty. Not only is the new Roma more affordable than other offerings from Maranello, but it also provides a thrilling driving experience that just can't be found in another grand turismo or sports coupe available on the market, making it a true competitor to Aston Martin DB11, Bentley Continental GT, and even the Porsche 911 Turbo.