“At my signal unleash hell.”
The opening words to Ridley’s Scott epic blockbuster Gladiator echo in my mind as I prepare myself for what is about to happen.
As noise explodes around me I focus on what is ahead, surging forward I leave everyone else in my wake as the desert flashes past.
My battleground is the Sheikh Zayed highway in the UAE, my warhorse is the Ferrari FF, and what a ride it is.
Just one look and you know this is no normal Ferrari, if indeed you can apply the term normal to this iconic brand.
The FF is Ferrari’s 612 replacement, the first Ferrari to get four-wheel drive, and while it might bear the logo of the Prancing Horse, this is no nervous, flighty racehorse.
Instead, this is a battle-hardened steed that knights rode into combat.
Returning to Gladiator think rugged Russell Crowe rather than the pretty-boy pin-up looks that come out of Hollywood.
In fact, the FF is Ferrari’s Roman gladiator, striking to look at, fast on its feet, street smart and tough, with real presence on the roads.
In some ways it feels less like a sports car and more like a muscle car, just with explosive acceleration added.
That speed is born inside the V12 engine with the FF turning out 0 to 100kph in just 3.7 seconds.
Driving along the beauty pageant of expensive SUVs and ten-a-penny supercars that is the Sheikh Zayed highway, behind the wheel of the FF you feel a sense of pride that you are different from the pack (even such an elite pack).
The FF is a choice for discerning drivers who love football’s Messi and who think Ronaldo is an over-preened poser. Yes the latter has pace and talent, like many supercars and superstars, but when the going gets tough the FF doesn’t fall to the ground with all the drama of a ballet dancer performing Swan Lake.
*The stunning Ferrari FF is available in Oman from Alfardan Motors, the official importer of Ferrari and Maserati in the Sultanate, and at its showroom is located in Meydan Al Azaibah.