Drive time: Ferrari Roma

The Ferrari Roma’s impressive technical features and elegant design make it an exhilarating yet comfortable drive for a road trip in the UK

Motoring 8 Nov 2021

The Ferrari Roma

If there is one thing that international travel restrictions have made us realise in the past 18 months, it’s that you don’t actually have to get on a plane and go abroad for a reviving change of scenery. Closer to home, the UK abounds with breathtaking nature, magnificent architecture, world-class dining and warm hospitality – whether you want to indulge in all-out luxury at a five-star hotel or take a ‘back to basic’ approach in more rustic lodgings.

And it’s not just about enjoying the destination – the journey can be an exciting part of your holiday too, with a road trip enabling you to see many different places en route. Not only can you be more flexible with your time if you wish to plan stop-offs on the way, those who are passionate about driving can make the most of exploring a new part of the country, while spending quality time behind the wheel.

When it comes to what car to take, a sportier model will give you a much more exhilarating and exciting drive. However, for a long-distance trip, performance and comfort must be considered equally, which is why Ferrari’s latest coupé from Maranello, the Roma, is the ideal choice.

Inspired by the sporty elegance of legendary grand touring Ferraris of the 1960s, the Roma boasts a series of unparalleled features that put it at the top of its segment from a technical point of view and in terms of driving enjoyment. For example, the car’s new 8-speed dual-clutch gearbox is more compact and lighter than its 7-speed predecessor, which means that as well as reducing fuel consumption and emissions, gear shifts are faster and smoother, making the car even more responsive on the open road.

What’s more, the Side Slip Control 6.0 concept, incorporates an algorithm that delivers a precise estimate of sideslip to the on-board control systems, with the 5- position manettino comprising Wet, Comfort, Sport, Race, ESC-Off modes making the Roma’s handling and grip more accessible and entertaining to drive.

But it’s not just the driver that gets to have all the fun, as the dual cockpit design extends displays on the dashboard such as the speedometer to the entire cabin, so passengers can also be part of the action.

One of the most unique and attention-grabbing elements of driving a Ferrari is undoubtably the roaring sound the engine makes, and – without getting too technical  – the sound quality of the Roma has been made even more satisfying by a redesign of the exhaust, in which the two rear silencers have been eliminated and a new oval shape geometry created.

Yet while the Roma is the most powerful and fun mid-front-engined V8 2+ in Ferrari history, it’s also one of the marques’ safest models, featuring autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning with traffic sign recognition, blind spot detection with rear cross traffic alert, and a surround view camera.

When deciding where to drive the Roma, Italy is where this car looks most at home. But you can avoid the hassle of crossing international borders and instead head for the closest thing to Italy in the UK – the picturesque village of Portmeirion in North Wales.

Described as ‘a corner of Italy on the coast of Snowdonia’, Portmeirion was the vision of architect Clugh William-Ellis, who gradually built the quirky yet captivating village from 1925 to 1973. It became famous in the 1960s as the setting of the cult TV series The Prisoner, starring Patrick McGoohan. Very little has changed since then, so it really is like being on a movie set!

Characterised by Mediterranean-style buildings, in addition to its architectural heritage, sub-tropical gardens and stunning surroundings, Portmeirion has two stylish hotels and a cluster of self-catering cottages, plus an open-air swimming pool, shops, a spa, cafes and restaurants and a traditional Italian-style gelateria.

Its flagship hotel, Hotel Portmeirion, was first opened in 1926 and comprises 14 stylish bedrooms, a fine dining restaurant, a bar and terrace, and several relaxing lounges. The other hotel on the grounds of Portmeirion, Castell Deudraeth, is located a short walk from the Village, and has 11 spacious and contemporary rooms and suites.

But to really experience the magic of Portmeirion, staying in one of the charming rooms located within the village is by far the most authentic accommodation option. All rooms have views of the village or the Dwyryd Estuary, and some also have private patios and terraces.

What’s more, all village rooms offer dedicated parking bays, so you can park your Ferrari Roma right outside.;