Ferrari Roma debuts in Malaysia – priced fr. RM968,000

Naza Italia has given the Ferrari Roma its official Malaysian debut. The automaker’s new V8 2+2 fastback coupe arrives in the country seven months after its global reveal, although as a left-hand drive preview example. The first local customer deliveries will only take place sometime in Q1 next year.

The Roma opens up a new model segment for the automaker, and its shape is very much styled along the lines of a traditional GT. The elegant – if conservative – form draws plenty of inspiration from the automaker’s illustrious back catalogue, and is rather handsome in the metal. The Type F169 is its own car, despite there being a semblance of familiarity from elsewhere in the flow.

Styling elements include a front end that borrows design prompts from the SF90 Stradale and the absence of Scuderia Ferrari side shields, harking back to the approach taken with the company’s road cars from the 1950s. At the back, there’s a departure from Ferrari tradition, with flat instead of round quad tail lights, neatly integrated into the rear spoiler. A sizeable diffuser with quad round tailpipes completes the look.

It’s not all looks with this one, of course, with plenty of attention having being paid to aerodynamics. New vortex generators on the front underbody and active aerodynamics at the rear provides the Roma with 95 kg more downforce at 250 km/h than the Portofino.

The active rear aero comes courtesy of an electrically-activated rear spoiler integrated into the rear screen. Automatically deployed by an electric motor in relation to speed and longitudinal and lateral acceleration (and linked to the manettino position), the unit offers three service positions – Low Drag, Medium Downforce and High Downforce.

At speeds of up to 100 km/h, when downforce has only a modest impact on the car’s performance, the spoiler automatically goes into its LD position. In this mode, the mobile element is flush with the rear screen, allowing air to flow over it and making it invisible to the flow.

In speed ranges where downforce plays a pivotal role in performance, the spoiler remains in MD mode to offer a more balanced presentation. In high performance handling or braking situations, the mobile element moves to its HD configuration, where the maximum downforce is able to be generated.

The Roma’s cabin moves away from that seen in the company’s sports car offerings, adopting a more integrated, symmetrical approach, with two separate cells for driver and passenger. The flow from the wraparound layout extends from the dashboard all the way back to the rear seats, organically incorporating the dash, doors, rear bench and tunnel, providing each occupant with a distinct cockpit enclosure.

New elements abound, from the portrait-oriented 8.4-inch central touchscreen to the gearbox selector panel. The latter features a metal plate and a layout styled along the lines of a classic gear lever gate, and is a variation of that seen on the SF90 Stradale.

Ferrari Roma debuts in Malaysia – priced fr. RM968,000

Aside from a 16-inch high-definition instrument screen, the Roma gets a host of digital HMI elements. The steering wheel introduces a series of multi-touch controls through haptic touch pads, which allow the driver to control any aspect of the car without ever taking their hands off the wheel. Purists may lament that omitting mechanical switchgear also removes sensory feel, but this is surely the way forward (to wit, mobile devices).

As is the fashion these days, the passenger isn’t left out. There’s an optional 8.8-inch colour HD touchscreen for the passenger section, which aside from displaying the car’s performance figures and status, can also be used to select music programmes, view sat-nav information and manage air conditioning functions.

The Roma is powered by the same F154 3.9 litre twin-turbo V8 as seen on the Portofino, but the BE form of the mill has 620 PS from 5,750 to 7,500 rpm, which is 20 PS more than the BB version on the Portofino. Maximum torque remains identical at 760 Nm, between 3,000 and 5,750 rpm.

With drive routed to the rear wheels via a new eight-speed dual-clutch transmission derived from the SF90 Stradale, the Roma – which tips the scales at 1,472 kg, 200 kg less than the convertible Portofino – accomplishes the 0-100 km/h sprint in 3.4 seconds (0-200 km/h in 9.3 seconds), and manages a top speed above 320 km/h.

Finally, pricing. The Ferrari Roma is available from the base price of RM968,000, excluding customisation options, duties, taxes and insurance. Loaded as such, it should go head-to-head against the likes of other V8 offerings such as the Mercedes-AMG GT C (and GT R) and the Aston Martin V8 Vantage. Included in the purchase price is the automaker’s complimentary seven-year scheduled maintenance programme.

The Roma will be available for private viewing (by appointment) at the Ferrari City showroom in Platinum Park, Kuala Lumpur until June 29, following which it will make its way to Singapore, as the F8 Spider and 812 GTS did previously following their debuts here in May.

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