Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
Enzo Ferrari once said: “The fact is, I don’t just drive from A to B. I enjoy feeling the car’s reactions, becoming part of it.” That’s something Ferrari seems to have taken to heart when designing and building the Roma – it truly is a wonderful car to drive.
For starters, you have the 3.9-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine that sits at the sweeping front end. The Roma’s beating heart puts around 612bhp at the mercy of your right foot. It responds so immediately to your inputs, even at low revs, that you’d be forgiven for forgetting that it has two turbos strapped to it.
In automatic mode, the gear change feels a little slower but gains even more smoothness. It makes sedate driving remarkably easy, allowing you to sit in traffic or retain some semblance of efficiency, running in eighth gear at as low as 1000rpm. If you need a sudden burst of power, it’ll happily oblige and drop you down a gear.
When you aim the Roma at a corner, it grabs its chance to prove that it's more sports car than GT coupé. The steering is deliciously direct and sharp, seeming to turn into corners as the thought enters your head, rather than waiting until you actually turn the wheel. It can take a moment to get used to the lightning fast steering, but it’s one of the best in its class once you do.
Compared with the Bentley Continental GT, the Roma’s ride and suspension are leagues harder. That can make it a little busy on normal roads and it doesn’t deal with potholes and imperfections in the same effortless manner as the Continental GT. However, the stiffness is ultra-purposeful, and means there’s almost no body lean and plenty of grip, giving you loads of confidence to place the car exactly where you want it.
For extra confidence, even in bad weather conditions, the Roma comes with all the usual Ferrari driving modes: Ice, Rain, Comfort, Sport and – if you're an experienced performance car driver – ESC Off, which deactivates electronic stability control. Alongside those modes, there’s a plethora of other systems designed to keep you safe, including Ferrari’s latest V6.0 side-slip control (to help you manage oversteer).