We Look At Why The Grand Tourer Ferrari Roma Is A Trusted Consort In The Fine Art of Living

Through the roads of South Korea, the Ferrari Roma showcases its elegant allure, blending powerful performance with the essence of la nuova dolce vita.
by Jamie Nonis
Ferrari Roma

Photo: Ferrari

Save for the Purosangue (the Prancing Horse’s new SUV which it refuses to officially call an SUV), you probably would not want to drive most Ferraris on an extended road trip. But the Roma, oh, the Roma. The Portofino M might come a close second, but it is the Roma that is the epitome of elegance, embodied in its la nuova dolce vita (Italian for “the sweet life”) philosophy. You know the one: That carefree life of pleasure, as only Italians do best — in consummate style, if I might add.

The Roma was built for just this sort of life. A beautifully crafted grand tourer, sensuous in styling, and a trusted consort in the fine art of living. But beneath all that poise lies a 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 powerhouse just waiting to be unleashed.

The Ferrari Roma is a beautifully crafted and sensuously styled grand tourer in a fastback design. (Photo: Ferrari)

And it is in Seoul, South Korea, that we meet with the two-door coupe once more. The Roma, which first arrived in 2021, has, incidentally, just this year welcomed a spider sibling, but it is the former roofed version we’re daytripping in.

To be sure, driving in Seoul is not for the faint of heart. For starters, Seoulites drive on the right side of the road — you might call this the “wrong” side of the road if yours is a Singapore passport. Driving conditions in the capital can also be a tad chaotic, to put it mildly; all the traffic signs are in Korean, and you’ll have to comply with a completely different set of road rules. This makes navigating Korean roads a royal challenge. But if the word impossible does not exist in your vernacular, exploring the countryside in all its natural splendour is certainly worth the jaunt. And thus we slide into the gorgeous chocolate leather and suede-lined interior of this left-hand drive Roma, ready to bask in la nuova dolce vita in the Land of Morning Calm.

South Korea’s majestic mountain peaks and picturesque vistas await the intrepid driver. (Photo: Ferrari)

Inside the cabin, we especially like how inclusive the cockpit is. While most serious sports cars tend to have the instrument panels and controls angled towards the driver, the Roma features an optional 8.8-inch digital display and full touch screen on the passenger side, giving your co-pilot control over music, climate, and other functions on the journey ahead.

Ferrari Roma

The optional 8.8-inch digital display and full touch screen on the passenger side, giving your co-pilot control over music, climate and other functions. (Photo: Ferrari)

Now the Roma may technically be a 2+2 seater, but you’d fare well to leave the kids at home. Particularly if it’s the serenity of the picturesque landscapes you’re after.

Escaping the urban environment, however, takes some wrangling, as metropolitan Seoul is home to almost 10 million people, and it could take hours just getting out of the city (worse if it happens to be a long weekend or national holiday). So, any hope of a day trip is therefore largely ill-advised. But once you’re well on your way and the majestic mountain peaks and peaceful scenery come into view, you quickly begin to understand the immense popularity of K-dramas set in these idyllic environs.

But that tranquility is just as soon punctured behind the wheel of the Roma as the mid-front-engined fastback roars to life — its delicious soundtrack inspiring awe and attention as we travel east towards the Misari Speedboat Park, a former Olympics venue in the Gyeonggi Province. The Roma is exceptionally fun and remarkably easy to drive, even with a blistering 456kw and 750Nm torque at your disposal. It’s not as much of a speed demon as other track-focused Ferraris, though top speed is at 320kmh and you’ll hit the century dash in 3.4 seconds flat.

Ferrari Roma

Speeding is a big no-no in South Korea so watch your speed even in small rural towns. (Photo: Ferrari)

Just as well, as you can hardly speed in South Korea anyway. They’re very serious about this no speeding thing, with speed cameras visibly stationed every few hundred metres or so, like those we encountered even in unhurried little towns on the outskirts on the way back after a traditional Korean barbeque lunch at The Hill House along the banks of the Namhan River. You’ll much rather select cruise control and take in the terrific views at your leisure in the Ferrari Roma instead of tearing up the tarmac anyway. Now that’s la nuova dolce vita.

Ferrari Roma 

Engine: 3,855cc, twin-turbo V8
Transmission: 8-speed dual-clutch automatic
Power: 450kw at 5,750rpm – 7,500rpm
Torque: 760Nm at 3,000rpm – 5,750rpm
0 – 100kmh: 3.4s
Top Speed: 320kmh
Fuel Consumption: 11.2litres/100km combined

This story originally published on The Peak Singapore.

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