Ferrari's aim in designing the FF was to build a successor to its previous four-seater, the 612 Scaglietti fastback coupé. In fact, four-seater vehicles are nothing new for Ferrari, but it's clear that the FF's designers wanted to create something more comfortable and spacious than previous models, something that a family of four can use on long cross-country trips. The 15 cubic feet (.42 cubic meters) of luggage space (double that if the rear seats are folded) make a much better option for weekend outings than anything else in the Ferrari line.
Externally, the design is what's sometimes called a "shooting brake" -- it's too sporty to call a hatchback -- with two doors on the sides plus a third that opens on the rear. The rooflines are designed to channel air in a way that prevents a vacuum from forming behind the chopped-off hatchback rear and producing drag. Similarly, the side grilles lets air escape from the front wheel wells so that the car won't liftoff like an airplane at high speeds.
The part of the FF's exterior that Ferrari fans either love or hate is the large, sliced-off rear end, which is built large to allow a fair amount of space in the trunk. It clearly says hatchback when the car is viewed in profile, but vacationing Ferrari owners probably won't mind when they discover how much luggage the rear holds.
Inside, the FF's upholstery is aniline leather. Six different colors of interior are available. Two electronic displays on the dashboard provide real-time information about the car's status while as many controls as possible are located on the steering column. Legroom is vast and conducive to comfortable seating, with space for 6-foot (1.8- meter) tall passengers to stretch out without feeling cramped.
All this spaciousness suggests that the FF must be too large and too heavy to handle well, yet Ferrari insists, rather convincingly, that this is not so. How did Ferrari's engineers give the FF this much interior space, plus all-wheel drive, yet maintain the sporty handling that was expected of them? We'll get to that on the next page.