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The Ferrari Roma: An Entry Level Italian Bullet

Yes I said entry level, well maybe entry level for Bill Gates, but Ferrari says this is the car to dip one’s toes into Italian exquisite car culture. Ferrari pulled out all the stops for this one, making it an actual practical supercar. Now that’s something we don’t see often, all for the super family friendly price of… $222,620. Oh, did I almost lose you? What’d you expect? It’s a Ferrari, and a damn good one at that. No, it doesn’t have all the Italian fanboys after it. However, underneath that little pretty “entry level” facade, this thing is a monster, packing some serious punch that should be respected.

What’s Inside?

Underneath that gorgeous exterior lies a dark secret, Ferrari’s 612 horsepower turbocharged V8. A turbocharged V8? Are you kidding me? With it’s 3.9 liters of displacement it easily churns out 561 pound-feet torque, a monstrous number for a vehicle of this size. For an entry level engine, this ain’t too shabby. Huge downpipes and a a redline at 7500 RPM make for a loud, boisterous experience when pushing it hard. Although for a gentle cruise around the Italian countryside, it’s quiet and graceful. It loves to upshift, but its manual mode fixes that. Not sure why it’s tuned like that, it’s paired with an 8-speed DCT, so the shifts themselves are instant and smooth. You’d think with a high revving engine and a 8 speed, you’d be set and it’s a blast to drive. The automatic transmission (no manual by the way) wants to save gas for some reason and always put itself in a higher gear, not sure I agree with the decision but I see why this may be the case.

Modernize It They Said

The Roma is supposed to act as Ferrari’s GT, something that is practical and can be taken on long road trips, a Grand Tourer if you will. Thus it’s reluctance to rev high in the automatic mode, and while this can be easily fixed by taking helm of the machine yourself and using paddles, it may be a nuisance to some and still something to bear in mind. Ferrari was tasked with modernizing everything, and so… they did. They took everything about the old Ferrari interior, and simply made it better and more modern. The interior offers plenty of storage- as it should. Storage pockets litter the interior, and a bigger than usual boot suffices in terms of cargo. The interior is also adorned with suede and leather, making for comfortable bucket seats, perfect for track and road use. The driver will be overjoyed to know that a 16 inch digital gauge cluster comes standard with the car, as well as a multitude of assistance features come optional. These include: adaptive cruise control, a rear parking camera, blindspot and parking sensors, and forward collision warning. The steering wheel feels cluttered, meant to be like a race car but it may get overwhelming at first. The turn signals and wiper stocks have been deleted and are now innovative buttons placed strategically around the drivers area. Two additional screens also are standard, now this time one for the passenger. A vertically placed 8.4 inch touchscreen complete with Apple Carplay and Android Auto sits in the middle, making grand touring simple.

It Drives Like a Modern GT

If you miss the old GT, you’re not alone. But, you’ll be pleased to know this is the same, just better. It drives masterfully, ignore the weirdly-tuned shifts, and everything else is exactly how one would want it. Its steering is light, maybe a little bit too light, but still is absolutely amazing. Perfect for spinning it around the track, or driving it through Beverly Hills. You take your pick. It’s active aero abilities are actually pretty cool, it’s got a hidden air brake when you drop the anchors hard, styling looks like it came straight from a car version of Vogue Magazine, and splitters and diffusers came straight from a US Air Force fighter jet it seems like. It drives just like a modern GT should, good on trips, but absolutely shocks you at the track. The brakes are nice and catchy, feels like a bears claw gnawing at you every time you slam the brakes. In addition, the frame feels nice and sturdy, no body roll, no chassis flex at all.

The Verdict

All in all, the Roma makes for a great entry level supercar, because at this price point, you shouldn’t be expecting Ferrari to give you a track monster. The Roma envisions the best of both worlds, and a fully redesigned interior makes it feel like it could actually be a daily driver. The Roma will get 17 and 22 MPG in the city and highway respectively. Those are actually somewhat respectable numbers for a car like this, and could you use it everyday? Maybe, it would just depend on your lifestyle but hey, if you could afford it, the Roma isn’t a bad choice.

OVERALL: 9/10

EXTERIOR: 9/10

INTERIOR: 9/10

PRACTICALITY: 7/10

EFFICIENCY: 4/10

PERFORMANCE: 7/10

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