June 12, 2012

You're With Me, Leather: The Ferrari FF & Car Seat

ferrari_ff_carseat.jpg

Speaking of Family Ferraris, it's looking like the new Ferrari FF 2+2 does not actually totally suck, which is...good? Ezra Dyer's review for the NY Times is so ridiculously faux-litest, I half expect that when the revolution comes, he'll try to save his own neck by insisting it was damning satire of the $400,000 preschool runner demographic:

One morning, I employed the FF's heroic power plant on a preschool run, my 2-year-old strapped into a car seat in the back. The FF was very likely the only vehicle in the school parking lot that day with a quoted top speed of 208 m.p.h. Does FF stand for "family fun"?
How about WTFF?

My favorite part is when Dyer goes on about how bold Ferrari is for introducing a car that steps "outside the safe confines of supercar orthodoxy":

It's a daring car, and I love the confidence it represents.

Ferrari could have just gone with the crowd and built a low-slung four-door like the Aston Martin Rapide... The world has enough Mercedes CLS clones.

I love that the Rapide and CLS are now run-of-the-mill family trucksters that the bold must counterprogram against.

Oh wait, actually, my favorite part is that you can spend nearly $100,000 on options on top of a $300,000 base price, but you're still expected to put up with a Chrysler parts bin navigation system and a non-matching, non-leather, Ferrari car seat.

Family Travel at the $300,000 Price Point [nyt via dt reader jeremy]

5 Comments

A couple things:

First, I love the FF. I'm not a Ferrari guy. I'm not an exotic guy. I'm often bored by both the looks and performance specs associated with exotics. But from the moment I saw that early footage of the FF blasting through the snow, I was smitten.

It makes me sick too that Ferrari is selling cars to people looking for more exclusivity than the Rapide and CLS but isn't that the nature of the car market? Aren't the Rapide and the CLS marketed to people looking for more exclusivity than a 5 Series? And isn't the 5 Series marketed to people looking for more exclusivity than a Camry. Yes, the statements about the FF, it's competitors, it's price point, etc. are revolting. But when it comes down to it they're tugging on the same emotional strings that more pedestrian luxury makers pull (and probably even non-luxury car makers and used-car salesman as well).

I too was bothered by Dyer's review although I loved the line "buying a Ferrari with no options is like building a Hamptons dream house without the outdoor kitchen."

What's the fuss? Ferrari has never made cars for anyone but racers, rich folks, and rich racing folks. The article is not the most graceful love/hate note to the 1% and their fancy driving machines, but the writer needs something to hang it on. The Times is not a buff book full of 0-60 times and PS, mm, liter, etc., specs.

But I do wonder what Ferrari would charge for a custom child seat made out of carbon fiber and hides- $10,000? $50,000?

It just seemed a little craven, even for a Ferrari review.

But you really hit the nail on the head for me. Even though I was proved wrong about a) a 4-door Porsche hastening the apocalypse and 2) my not wanting one, I still really do not want to see a 4-door Ferrari. So the FF is awesome, in that it has real back seats.

But what I really want is the $50,000 calfskin carseat.

When Ford's SVT developed the Raptor, they could have taken an F150 and made it faster. But they had done that before and other truck manufacturers had too. Instead they created a truck that could do things no other production truck could do. Ferrari did the same thing with the FF. They could have focused on sexy lines or another 0.1 off the 0-60 time. But instead they added 2 real seats in the back. They went with an all new body style (not pretty but definitely distinctive). They developed a groundbreaking AWD system that improves performance, provides incredible grip, and weighs less than existing systems. They ended up with a car that can do things that no other production car can do and that's what grabs my attention.
If I had a chance to drive my family at high speed all over the groomed runs at St. Moritz, the FF would be the car I'd want. Any other ski area and I'd probably be just as happy with a WRX (and I'd have an easier time installing the car seats).

If Ferrari NA offers up an FF junket for DT, I'm deputizing you, Seth.

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