Can the New Ferrari Roma Dethrone the Porsche 911 Turbo S?

The all-new Ferrari Roma is pitched right into the heart of the high-end sports car market, meant to go head-to-head with everything from Porsche’s do-it-all 911 Turbo S to Bentley’s cruise-missile Continental and more. Its wide seats were obviously made with the comfort of the average — or larger-than-average — driver in mind. There’s no clambering over bolsters that leave bruises. This is a friendly Ferrari, an approachable, welcoming entry point into the brand. Remember that the terms like these are all meant in relatives, as the Roma’s list price starts at a little over $250k ($251,665, to be precise).

Ferrari Roma - Dept of Exotica Nov in post

When you nudge the gear selector — which apes Ferrari’s classic metal-gated shifters — into drive and squeeze the throttle, this Italian stallion doesn’t rear up and take off so much as it gallops away. There’s a deep rumble from the twin-turbo V8, but it’s polite. Bumpy Road mode takes the edge off potholes and makes the car cushy enough that it need not be relegated to Sunday blasts and track-day duty only.

Ferrari’s recent entry-level cars have often done this daily-driving stuff quite well — but turn the manettino dial on the steering wheel to Race mode (a first for Ferrari’s GT cars) and the supposedly friendly Roma shows it has some new tricks. The V8 engine’s deep note becomes thunderous. Between 3,500 and 4,500 rpm, it resonates through your skull. The front wheels bite into corners with a ferocious urgency not seen before in an entry-level Ferrari, and its 612 horsepower pushes the car out of corners with the rear wheels smudging sideways ever so slightly. Pull the slender carbon paddle-shifter and, before you can even think, the eight-speed box bangs up a gear.

Ferrari Roma - Dept of Exotica Nov in post

The Roma is grippier and wider, and is blessed with a lower centre of gravity than Ferrari’s Portofino convertible. That means it’s more nimble and altogether more fun to drive quickly. Much like the city it’s named for, the Roma can be all business by day, then party in the streets all night. There’s no doubt this is the best entry-level Ferrari yet.

Learn More about the Ferrari Roma here