Mumbai monsoons have magic, which will make every heart crave to book itself to the best available window anywhere in the hills which essentially means Lonavala. If it’s a weekend that comes after three months of lockdown, we are talking 2x tariff, some connections to get anything luxurious with a view. I did the same and had got myself a cottage in Aamby valley a week before and somehow the Ferrari Roma was served to me on a flatbed the same day.
We set the time at 6 a.m, assuming that we will have 5-6 hours to tame the prancing horse. Just that it had rained heavily, there was near-zero visibility, and the colour BLU POZZI on the Ferrari Roma could camouflage with all the greenery around. Now you know why Corsa Red is the most visualised colour in a Ferrari, as this particular colour costs more to top up. What’s in colour, they say? Twenty-five lakhs, to be precise.
The wet winding roads around Aamby valley can be mistaken for a track with little vehicular movement at the early hours on the road and occasional bumps, which we could pinpoint even in sleepwalking. So the stage was set to be a little playful with the 3.9-litre V8 motor, which had a humongous 612 HP and 760 NM of torque at my tap. It never felt so reassuring behind a Ferrari. The long nose and finely tuned suspension and chassis of the Ferrari Roma outwits the physics and make her scream 0-100 in 3.4 seconds rather silently in Ferrari standards.
It is named after the historical city of Rome (of course) and somewhere the Italian engineers wanted to appeal to a segment of buyers who want to buy a Ferrari without that loud exhaust noise, which has a boot, 2+2 seats and is gorgeous to look in motion or parked. In short, an everyday city car. Can’t digest an everyday Ferrari? It still sets you back by Rs 3.76 crores (Ex-showroom) in its naked condition that is even without Apple CarPlay, so it’s a proposition that is confusing. Let’s say that the Ferrari Roma has a dual personality. On one side, it’s that obedient child who will do what you ask, rather silently, and on the other side, it’s that naughty teenager who can make all hue and cry and shoot off like a missile.
I like the rather loud exhaust note of the California or the Portofino as their engine revs can melt ice caps. On the other hand, the Roma exhaust is like that distant desert storm that you can hear but cannot really feel. The steering with the touch function to start the car, the mini display for the passenger, Manettino dial, bright yellow tachometer, an entirely digital cockpit made up of a vertically aligned 8.4-inch touchscreen infotainment unit in the centre keeps the Roma cabin experience immersive. The flat-bottom steering connects with the road beneath and responds to your every move, even to your thoughts. Roma has figured everything, and we can compare the eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission with the Patek Philippe winding mechanism; completely cohesive, and the gear shifts are magic.
The engineers must have been locked themselves in an art museum, and there must be a lockdown outside as the body-coloured grille seamlessly housing the led lights, flush door handles, and a deep chin spoiler makes it look like a handmade painting. The car measures 15.2 feet long, almost 6.5 feet broad and 1,301 mm tall, with a wheelbase of 2,670 mm that is only 50 mm more than the Lamborghini Huracan. It competes with the Huracan at various levels, but they are painted in different strokes on different canvases. Only if the Roma had the exhaust note of the F12, maybe I would have gone missing happily for a long time that is.