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Ferrari on top of the world

Airborne: A military CH-47 Chinook helicopter unloads a Ferrari FF at the top of Plan De Corones.

New Ferrari FF arrives for media drive program by Chinook helicopter

14 Mar 2011

FERRARI has gone to extraordinary heights – literally – to launch its first all-wheel drive supercar to the world’s motoring press, aided by a squadron of transport helicopters.

A Chinook CH-47 transport helicopter lobbed a red FF onto the top of the Plan De Corones mountain in the Dolomites at 2350 metres, where a special ice and snow track has been prepared to test the cars in severe winter conditions.

The Chinook, from the Italian army’s aviation base at Viterbo just north of Rome, was accompanied to the vast ski area in the Sudtirol region near the Swiss border by three of the army’s Agusta 205 helicopters that were based at Bolzano, near the event’s headquarters at Brunico.

Two new V12 front-engined Ferraris were loaded into the transport helicopters and flown around the Dolomites before being carefully unloaded at the ice track, which can normally only be reached by ski-lift.

34 center imageStarting this week and progressing over a period of four weeks, Ferrari said it will host almost 200 journalists “from the world’s most important publications”, who will “test the cars under fierce conditions”.

Designed to show Ferrari’s patented new 4RM all-wheel drive system at work, the press launch follows the FF’s motor show debut at the Geneva motor show on March 1.

As GoAuto has reported, the first Australian-delivered FFs are expected to arrive either late this year or early next year, when it will replace Ferrari’s current flagship, the $698,000 612 Scaglietti.

Ferrari claims its exclusive 4RM hardware weighs 50 per cent less than a conventional four-wheel drive system, allowing the FF to maintain “perfect” weight distribution, with 53 per cent over the rear axle.

Power is delivered to all four wheels via a California-style rear-mounted dual-clutch automated manual transmission, pushing the 1790kg FF to 100km/h in a claimed 3.7 seconds – though perhaps not on ice.

The FF is powered by an all-new 6.3-litre direct-injection 65-degree 12-cylinder engine that produces 485kW of power at 8000rpm and 683Nm of torque at 6000rpm – 98kW and 95Nm more than the 612’s 5.8-litre V12.

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