The Ferrari Roma is 200+ mph with 200+ pounds of downforce
The 2020 Ferrari Roma, Ferrari’s interpretation of the Jaguar F-Type, is a stunning V-8 2+2 made noticeably more driver focused than the drop-top Portofino, of which it shares its 105.1-inch wheelbase. Ferrari claims best in class power-to-weight ratio, which is not surprising given that the 611-horsepower twin-turbo V-8 only needs to carry 3461 pounds from Maranello. To compare, the 2020 F-Type R is a 550-horsepower coupé weighing 3814 pounds, and the Bentley Continental GT is a 626-horsepower luxury cruiser weighing a whopping 4947 pounds.
One of the Roma’s highlights is Ferrari’s new eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox (introduced in the SF90 Stradale), which is 13.2-pounds lighter than the seven-speed it’s replacing. Being Ferrari’s first V-8 hybrid, the SF90 Stradale uses shorter gearing, as well as an electric motor for reverse. In the Roma, this oil-bath DCT gets longer gears, as well as a traditional reverse. Accompanying it is a new clutch module, which is 20-percent smaller but delivers 35-percent more torque. All of which is needed, given the V-8’s output of 560 ft-lb between 3000–5750 rpm in seventh and eighth.
Ferrari says 70 percent of the Roma’s components are new. It seems this coupé will also pretty much drive itself, given the full range of Ferrari’s Side Slip Control 6.0 concept onboard, which integrates the E-Diff, F1-Trac, SCM-E Frs, and Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer, with the latter available in Race mode only. Your other options from the five-position manettino include Wet, Comfort, Sport, and ESC-Off.
For those moments when you don’t want to rev your twin-turbo V-8 all the way up to 7500 rpm, Ferrari offers optional semi-autonomous systems, including adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning with traffic sign recognition, blind spot detection (with rear cross traffic alert), and a surround view camera.
In a car that will do over 200 mph, perhaps it’s more important that the Roma comes with a clever integrated spoiler, as well as vortex generators on the front underbody. With a negligible increase in drag, these give the Roma roughly 200 pounds of downforce at 155 mph, as long as the spoiler is at its highest, 135-degree angle. When you’re chasing 200 mph, it will automatically switch to its medium setting, which translates to around 30 percent of the maximum downforce, with an increase in drag of less than 1 percent. Basically, it’s like a hot knife through butter. Under 60 mph, the spoiler retracts into its low position.
Ferrari believes we should also be excited about the interior, which features an instrument cluster on a single 16-inch, curved screen. Also new is the steering-wheel design, which still has traditional controls like the manettino, headlights, windscreen wipers, and indicators. But there are also haptic controls now, including a touchpad on the right-hand spoke, allowing the driver to navigate the central cluster screens, with voice and cruise control functions on the left.
Ferrari’s 8.4-inch central display remains optional, incorporating all other infotainment, sat-nav, and climate control functions. Finally, the passenger can also get a 8.8-inch touchscreen, which not only displays the car’s performance figures and status but can also be used to select music, view the sat-nav, or change the air conditioning. As Ferrari puts it, “Essentially, the passenger becomes a co-driver.”