The Ferrari Four, as you may recall, channels its 660 horsepower to all four wheels through an innovative new all-wheel drive system that ups the traction but ditches much of the weight penalty usually associated with these types of systems systems. Ferrari has taken the occasion of its annual Wrooom event – a pre-season retreat at Italy's Madonna di Campiglio ski resort – to demonstrate the FF's abilities by putting its star Formula One drivers Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa behind the wheel for a downhill slalom.
So who won? Ferrari says it was a dead tie. But while we don't believe that bit any further than we could throw one of their sportscars (light as they may be), there ought to be plenty of time to see which driver is quicker when the F1 season kicks off in a few months. In the meantime, you can check out the video and press release after the jump, along with our high-resolution gallery above.
Madonna di Campiglio, 11 January - The snow-capped mountains of Madonna di Campiglio are more used to hosting alpine skiing champions on their slopes for World Cup downhill races, but today they provided the backdrop to a most unusual parallel slalom race. The two Scuderia Ferrari drivers, Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa went head to head through the gates at the wheel of two FFs, the revolutionary four seater, four wheel drive Prancing Horse car. In their hands, the latest Ferrari proved to be very entertaining on demanding hills both up and down, as well as in endless changes of direction laid out on the downhill slalom course.
Fernando and Felipe were helped out in handling the 660 horsepower V12 in this very low grip environment in total safety thanks to the integral 4WD traction system, that deals with the constantly changing and variable amount of torque on each wheel independently, with fully integrated electronic control systems. The FF upholds the marque's tradition, providing a sporty and dynamic driving experience, aided by its transaxle layout – front-mid mounted engine, rear mounted gearbox – and its weight distribution, with 53% to the rear. One should not forget the skill of the two drivers who enjoyed themselves testing the FF in a scenario far removed from its more usual home on the streets.
The race ended in a perfect dead heat and Alonso could not hide his enthusiasm: "It's incredible how easy it is to drive the FF even on a such a demanding surface and at the same time, how high a performance level you can reach in it." Massa was of a similar opinion: "the most incredible thing about the car is the fact there is no need to compromise maximum performance and useability, whatever the driving environment," reckoned the Brazilian. "And on top of that, it's perfect for everyday use with the whole family in the car."
When the race ended, Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo, with Scuderia Team Principal, Stefano Domenicali and Maurizio Arrivabene of Philip Morris International had lunch with the drivers at the Chalet Fiat.