First Drive: 2012 Ferrari FF

Handling is, in short, unbelievable. We were lucky enough to drive an FF on dry roads equipped with summer tires (Michelin Pilot Super Sports, which made their debut on the 458 Italia and the 599GTO) rather than the winter tires that we heard our peers complaining about. On the Super Sports, the FF flat-out refuses to understeer, clinging to the road at vomit-inducing cornering loads. Power oversteer is beckoned with a twitch of the right foot and then managed easily with the throttle. The computers are, of course, working overtime to apportion power between the wheels, but from behind the wheel, you’d never know it. You just feel like a hero.

We’re still not in love with Ferrari’s new steering wheel, which places almost all primary and secondary controls on the wheel -- including turn signals, headlight controls, the horn, manettino, wiper controls, suspension adjustment, and engine start button. Frankly, it’s just too much -- especially when driving at night in the rain on the highway, trying to operate the turn signals, wipers, and headlight controls.

The front seats are firm and supportive, and though they’re not cushy-comfy, they’re easily nice enough for an all-day drive. We’d consider the rear seats couple-hours good -- which frankly is astonishing for a vehicle that can perform like the FF can.

Astonishing, too, is how well the FF performs in the snow. Ferrari set up a small snow course at the top of a ski slope. And added to the list of firsts -- Ferrari makes a shooting brake, Ferrari makes a four-wheel-drive car -- is, of course, the first time Ferrari has ever handed over the keys to a new $300,000 car to a journalist, in the snow, and not been concerned in the least.

This is Ferrari’s coolest car in a long, long time.

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Ferrari wagon, Porsche 4 door... What next? A Lamborghini minivan or maybe a Lotus Hummer? It *is* nice to see high end and exotic car manufacturers taking care of our rich friends and their needs. For example, it's hard to get those mega-packs of toilet paper from Costo home in a classy sports car. Wait, did I just say the FF and Panamera aren't classy? Shame on me!

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