The Ferrari Roma Is a Callback to the Past and a Look Into the Future
This is the fifth all-new Ferrari that has been unveiled this yearby Kirby Garlitos, on LISTEN 00:35
Ferrari’s run of new model releases in 2019 now includes the Roma, a two-seater supercar that pays tribute to the Italian automaker’s roots while also showcasing a new interior layout that could lay the foundation on what future Ferraris could look like — at least as far as interiors go — in the future.
The Roma joins the F8 Tributo, F8 Tributo Spider, 812 GTS, and SF90 Stradale as all-new Ferraris that the Italian automaker unveiled this year. It is fitting that what could be the last of this new model assault is the one that bridges the past with the future. Ferrari hasn’t revealed the price and availability of its new supercar, but expect more details to arrive soon.
The 2019 Ferrari Roma’s Exterior Design Is Familiar But Different
It’s important to establish the striking elements that make the Roma’s design stand out relative to all the other models Ferrari released this year.
The Roma doesn’t have the same aesthetic dynamism as the SF90 Stradale or the excessive sharp cuts and edges as the 812 GTS.
The Roma, on the contrary, looks clean and smooth. Some bulges emphasize its supercar identity, but you’re just as likely to notice its modern design cues as you will the minimalist look that ties all of its physical attributes together.
There’s a reason for that, too, at least according to Ferrari.
The Italian automaker’s designers developed and created the Roma’s aesthetics intending to celebrate the vibrant life of the city the supercar is named after.
Look closely and you’ll also notice a few stylistic nods to Ferraris of that era, including the 250 GT Berlinetta Lusso. Notice the Roma’s front mesh grille? None of the automaker’s current models sport that kind of design. But you can harken back to the 250 GT Berlinetta Lusso and the 250 GT 2+2 Series II and see that both models wore the same mesh-like grille that Ferrari modernized on the Roma.
There are, of course, modern touches to the car, too. The front headlights, for example, feature a horizontal LED strip that isn’t too different from the ones McLaren has on some of its current models, including the 720S. Smooth surfaces aren’t normal among Ferraris these days, but the Roma wears them proudly and naturally.
The design of the Roma’s rear section also jogs our memories back to another Ferrari from yesteryear.
The Roma's rounded rear end, twin taillights, and quad exhausts are set up in a way that reminds us of the 1990s 456.
The shape of the taillights are different, but there are similarities to the overall layout that are hard to ignore. It’s been a while since we last saw Ferrari ditch the dual round taillight design that has become a staple of the brand. In fact, all the other four new models that Ferrari released sported dual round taillights. The Roma is the only one that wears dual taillights with a flatter design and horizontal-strip brake lights. Could this new taillight design be a sign of things to come for Ferrari? The taillights, in a nutshell, serve as the perfect microcosm of the Roma’s uniqueness. It is a model whose design was created from two separate eras and combined seamlessly to create a stunning supercar.
The 2019 Ferrari Roma’s Interior Comes Directly From the Future
Whereas most Ferrari interiors will drown you in a sea of luxury, refinement, and detail-oriented craftsmanship, the Roma’s interior looks like something that you’re more likely to see inside the USS Enterprise.
Make no mistake, it’s still littered with all the premium materials you can get, but the main draw in the cabin is the towering center console that extends all the way to the base of the center armrest, effectively separating the driver from the passenger and turning both seats into individual cockpit-style spaces. It’s nothing new in the supercar scene, but the way Ferrari designed the center console is different from what we’ve seen in all the new Ferraris released this year.
The center console predictably houses most of the gadgetry that you’re going to need when driving the Roma. A digital infotainment display sits vertically at the top of the console and it’s joined by a too-polished-for-its-own-good gear selector. Over on the driver’s side sits Ferrari’s typically button-heavy steering wheel. In front of that is a digital instrument cluster and on the opposing side over in front of the passenger seat is another digital screen that’s exclusive to whoever’s riding shotgun with you when you’re on the road with the Roma. We don’t get to see the rest of the interior, which is curious given that
Ferrari describes the interior layout as a 2+ coupé instead of the traditional 2+2 layout.
Is it possible that the rear seats are, well, optional?
2019 Ferrari Roma Drivetrain and Performance
The long front hood and the hunched rear end of the Roma give away the fact that the supercar comes with a front-engine layout, just like the Portofino, the car it’s based on. Also like the Portofino, the Ferrari Roma is powered by a 3.9-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 engine. Unlike the Portofino, the Roma’s twin-turbo V-8 produces 612 horsepower. Torque stays the same at 561 pound-feet, but Ferrari gave the Roma’s V-8 engine a bump in power amounting to 19 horses. It’s not much, but it’s still enough to propel the Roma to 62 mph from a standstill position in just 3.4 seconds and from 0 to 124 mph in 9.3 seconds. By comparison, it takes the Ferrari Portofino 3.5 seconds to go from 0 to 62 mph and 10.8 seconds to go from 0 to 124 mph. The discrepancy in the latter acceleration test is jarring.
The Roma is quicker to 124 mph than the Portofino by a staggering 1.5 seconds!
As impressive as that is, the performance times inevitably even out as both the Roma and the Portofino top out at 199 mph.
|Engine||90° turbo V8|
|Total displacement||3855 cc|
|Bore & stroke||86.5 mm x 82 mm|
|Maximum power||612 HP @ 5750 – 7500 rpm|
|Maximum torque||561 LB-FT @t 3000 – 5750 rpm|
|Top speed||>320 km/h (199 mph)|
|0-100 km/h||3.4 s|
|0-200 km/h||9.3 s|
The Right Ferrari at the Right Time
The Ferrari Roma isn’t the most extreme model that Ferrari has come out with this year. That belongs to the demented Ferrari SF90 Stradale. It’s probably not the most rounded new Ferrari from 2019, either. The 812 GTS can stake claim to that title. Still, there’s an understated quality to the Roma that’s hard to dismiss. If Ferrari’s goal was to successfully marry its past design cues with its current (and future) aesthetics, it accomplished that and a lot more with the Roma. We still don’t know how much it’s going to cost or how many Ferrari plans to build, but at this point, we can wait for those finer details to arrive later on.
We’re more than happy staring at the Roma and wondering why it took so long for Ferrari to design a car that looks like it came from two different eras.