Ferrari’s new 2+ GT, the Roma, evokes the 1950s with its La Nuova Dolce Vita tag line and a gorgeous new design that looks much better in the flesh.
Well, when I say it has landed, I mean that there is one in the country. A left-hand drive Roma in the stunning signature blue will be touring dealerships. The photos – believe it or not – were taken in Sydney despite looking like the other side of the world.
Obviously, things aren’t normal at the moment, so Ferrari Australia took me through the way customers will be introduced to the car. If you’re passing a dealership in the next few weeks, you might see a large black box with Roma branding on it.
Half of the structure is a lounge setup, where customers will watch a couple of videos presented by Ferrari folks who can’t travel due to the pandemic.
Then you’re led through into another room where the Roma is set against a Rome-themed backdrop. It’s pretty cool and set up for safety, allowing the dealer team to clean the environment and car before another customer rolls through.
Look and feel
I’m happy to admit I wasn’t entirely convinced by the car in the launch photos. I liked some of the elements and the usual internet hue and cry afterwards suggested not everyone was happy.
And, no disrespect to the photographer, you don’t really get a sense of the car’s beauty in these photos either. The body work is incredibly smooth, the kind of smooth Rob Melville at McLaren would be proud of. That really changes the feel of the car and it’s a design that I think will age well.
The bonnet’s shapeliness is more obvious in the overhead shot above, but it’s genuinely lovely in the same way the 812 Superfast‘s is, and you get a similar view down the bonnet from the driver’s seat.
Those controversial lights look much better when they’re not darkly lit as in the photos. I think they work well, but less convincing is the grille, which I found a bit flat-looking.
The car in the photos has a carbon front splitter, skirts and diffuser and the retractable wing can also be had in carbon. As can pretty much everything else.
Interior and tech
You’re probably ready to furiously write me an email/tweet/text about the 2+ typo in the intro, but that’s what Ferrari is calling the Roma because the rear seats are fundamentally useless – they’re bottom shaped bucket behind the front seats. A cut-price GTC Lusso it isn’t.
The Roma introduces some new technology bits, though. The 16-inch digital dash is really cool, although I will miss that big central tachometer with the analogue dial. I know, oh the humanity.
Also new is the 8.0-inch portrait-oriented media system sprouting out of the centre console. Ferrari calls it Human Machine Interface and packs in the kind of stuff you find in McLaren’s terrible IRIS system. It seems (and looks) much better in the Ferrari and yes, you can still spec the hideously-priced Apple CarPlay into it.
A new steering wheel frames the digital dash, with a lovely new touch concept. The start-stop button sits at the top of the lower spoke and responds to you brushing your finger over it to activate the electrics (or “turn on the reds”).
And the centre console sports a new shifter for the eight-speed twin-clutch transmission, shaped to resemble the old gated shifter of a classic Ferrari.
The cabin itself is split in two and is rather cosy. The seats felt super comfortable and, naturally, the driving position felt spot on.
It really, truly, is gorgeous.
How much is a Ferrari Roma and when can I get one?
Australia: $409,888 + ORC
New Zealand: $386,888 +ORC
Shots fired, folks. The Roma is about ten grand more than a Portofino and has a whole bunch of new stuff in it. Ferrari says its parts are 70 percent new compared to the drop-top with which it shares a fair bit of stuff. They didn’t say how that 70% was calculated, but it doesn’t look like a Portofino with a fixed roof.
$410,000 buys you a lot of car (relatively-speaking) and takes on the Aston Martin DB11 and AMG’s GT range, from where Ferrari expects to garner 70 percent of the Roma’s sales.
The first cars will arrive here in the first quarter of 2021 while Maranello sorts out the European and US left-hand drive markets.
Peter Anderson is the Editor and founder of the theredline.com.au. He’s been writing about cars for years and finds it difficult to talk about anything else.