The Roma is one of Ferrari's new models for 2021; you can think of it as a fixed-roof version of the Portofino hardtop convertible or as the little sibling to the 788-hp 812 Superfast. It is the automaker's first front-engine V-8 coupe. The Roma competes with other exotic GT cars including the Aston Martin Vantage, Mercedes-AMG GT, and Porsche 911 Turbo.
Our First Drive of the new Roma left us thoroughly impressed. It looks wide, low, and dramatic, with a rear end design that nods to legendary Ferraris of old such as the 250 GTO. Ferrari's new eight-speed dual-clutch is smooth in Comfort mode and eager to drop a few gears if you decide to goose the throttle. We were pleasantly surprised with how happy this twin-turbo V-8 was to trundle around town at low rpms. Combined with excellent ride quality, these characteristics make for a superb grand tourer.
But the Roma can feel like a proper supercar when you get on it. The engine is instantly responsive, and that dual-clutch responds immediately to tugs on the handsome paddles. Steering is quick, and the front end is confident and placeable, even as the e-diff and rear tires fight for traction against the Herculean V-8. Its poise is unmatched in the segment, and clever on-track assists like the Side Slip Control 6.0 system will make you feel like a superhero.
There are aspects we'd change, though. The exhaust can be too intrusive at cruising speeds, the dual-clutch can feel clunky in parking lots, and it's too reliant on touchscreen controls. Look past those minor faults, though, and the Roma is a superbly well-rounded super GT.
The Roma is the latest Ferrari to feature a version of the automaker's 3.9-liter twin-turbo V-8, and it's paired with the prancing horse's new eight-speed dual-clutch automatic. Mounted up front just like the Portofino, the engine develops 612 hp and 561 lb-ft of torque, which are sent exclusively to the rear wheels.
Although we haven't had a chance to verify the numbers ourselves, Ferrari claims seriously impressive performance for its front-engine V-8 grand tourer. According to the folks in Maranello, the Roma sprints from 0 to 62 mph in 3.4 seconds on its way to a top speed of more than 199 mph. Likewise, the droptop Portofino completes the same sprint in less than 3.5 seconds and tops out at more than 199 mph.
It does, but barely. The Roma is a 2+2, similar to the Porsche 911, meaning although there are two seats and seat belts behind the driver's and passenger's chairs, space is tight. Any semblance of comfort in the rear requires compact dimensions for the rear passenger and a willingness of those sitting up front to slide forward a bit. So yes, the Roma technically seats four, but don't expect the same comfort you would in a four-door sedan.
In place of the Portofino's 10.3-inch landscape-oriented infotainment display, the Roma features a smaller, more focused 8.4-inch touchscreen mounted on a center flying buttress, reminiscent of those featured in McLaren's mid-engine supercars. A 16-inch instrument panel display is standard. Buyers can also spec an optional secondary passenger-side display so their pals can control media and navigation.