Ferrari rediscovers beauty with the 612-horsepower, 199-mph Roma

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but it’s safe to say that recent Ferrari supercars have emphasized function over form. With cars like the F8 Tributo and SF90 Stradale, the needs of engineers were given priority over the wants of designers. But the new Roma proves Ferrari still knows how to make a good looking car.

The Roma is a more traditional kind of Ferrari. While the Italian automaker’s mid-engined models get the most attention these days, Ferrari built its reputation on cars with the engine in the front. The Roma shares a platform with the Ferrari Portofino, with the same wheelbase as that model. However, the Roma is a fixed-roof coupe, rather than a convertible like the Portofino. It also has a much cleaner-looking exterior, without the detailing that clutters the Portofino.

The Roma also shares a 3.9-liter twin-turbocharged V8 with the Portofino, but tuned to produce more power. Output is pegged at 612 horsepower and 561 pound-feet of torque, compared to 591 hp and 560 lb-ft for the Portofino. An eight-speed dual-clutch transmission borrowed from the SF90 Stradale is mounted at the back to improve weight distribution.

Ferrari claims the Roma will do zero to 62 mph in 3.4 seconds, with a top speed in excess of 199 mph. The top speed is about the same as the Portofino, but the Roma can complete the zero to 62 mph sprint 0.1 second quicker, based on Ferrari’s estimates. That’s not surprising given the Roma’s extra power, and the weight advantage of being a coupe rather than a convertible.

The interior has a dual-cockpit design, neatly dividing space between the driver and front passenger, that brings to mind old Corvettes. The cabin is thoroughly modern, though, with screens galore. A tablet-like infotainment screen rests on the center console, while the driver gets an all-digital instrument cluster. The front passenger gets a screen as well. Maybe Ferrari didn’t want them to feel left out.

Pricing information isn’t available yet but, for reference, the Portofino starts at around $215,000. This has been a busy year for Ferrari. The automaker also unveiled coupe and convertible versions of the F8, as well as the 812 GTS and plug-in hybrid SF90 Stradale in 2019. Ferrari needs to keep its lineup fresh as it faces increased competition for one-percenter dollars from the likes of McLaren.

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