To say that Ferrari’s four-wheel-drive FF (Ferrari Four) got a polarized reception when it first rolled out is an understatement. The Negative Nancys
said it was ugly, poorly conceived, and not worthy of the
Ferrari name. Those who loved it, however, continue to
celebrate the FF as the tour de force it is: a truly practical
supercar with all the amenities a family could want, plus an
honest-to-Godfrey V12 under its hood. Owners of the FF
know it can haul to 60 in under four seconds on the way
for gardening supplies - or become a comfortable cocoon
for four on the town, then get the kids to hockey camp.
Yes, good people; thanks to the all-wheel hookup, this is
the first Ferrari one can confidently drive … in ... snow.
Being from the Northeast, we’ll admit to a certain affinity for that last bit, and that made us pleased to see the
Hot Wheels Elite model of the family Ferrari come through
here. The FF’s sleek profile is perfect, and the casting is
one of Hot Wheels Elite’s best ever, with dead-straight,
nearly scale correct shut lines. Our red sample rolls on
deeply detailed wheels, with little “Pininfarina” scripts
on the body sides, and chromed prancing ponies at both
ends. Behind those wheels are crisp calipers emblazoned
with “Ferrari,” and static discs that have been painted to
look like ceramic.
Inside the car, the seats, lower dash, and door panels
are brought out in sharp styrene that’s been painted in a
buff tan; secondary areas are done in matte black with just
Hot WHeels elite
1: 18 | $90 by Joe Kelly, Jr.
Below left to right: Unmistakably
Ferrari, the FF’s dash and cockpit
are exotic - but welcoming for
every day family needs. Great
little screened vents, neat taillights - even an air splitter under
the bumper - are just some of
the details Hot Wheels Elite
has worked in so well here. The
6.2 liter V12 is not detuned or
humbled for duty in the FF - it’s
Ferrari, through and through.
the right amount of sheen. The dash is fully gauged, and
the paddles for the seven-speed auto trans hang right
where they should. Some of the detail in here needed
a little exploration to locate, like the foil “Ferrari” above
the touchscreen infotainment system, and the twin TV
monitors mounted in the front seat headrests – perfect
for keeping the kids occupied while daddy (or mommy)
enjoys the millisecond-quick shifts and spine tingling
sound of the 6.2 liter V12 under power.
At this model’s price, that big twelve’s detail is stunning, with keenly tooled castings, impeccable paint with
faultless separation lines, and wiring and plumbing that
reach deeply back into the shadows. Aluminum chassis elements are at the sides, the twin air intakes have
chromed clamps on them, and the “Ferrari” atop each
intake log is done in pinpoint-correct foil. Close the hood,
and the car’s multi-element headlights contain rows of
faux LEDs; go to the rear of the car, and under an opening
hatch is a creditable boot bracketed by great reps of Ferrari’s now-standard bullet taillights.
Ferraris as family cars? Who would have believed it?
Then again, as of a few years ago, nobody could have
imagined Hot Wheels as one of the truly premium model
makers in the hobby. They are - and that’s no snow job.