On the Road with 4,130 of Ferrari’s Finest Stallions
Over the past 70 years, Ferrari has proven itself to be a universal cause of happiness, a reason to be excited no matter how old or young you are. Whether you’re a petrolhead or not, Ferrari will captivate your imagination and dazzle your mind, and it’s a bit difficult to point out the reason; is it the looks? The sounds? Speed and performance? I think it’s a combination of all these reasons, but we should also consider Ferrari’s reputation and history.
When you think of Ferrari, you think of a striking sporty car, red, low and fast, your mind sprints to Formula 1 and motor racing, you will think of Enzo and how passionate he was, driving a Ferrari is a special experience that will make you feel special, it brings a more confident side of you, and in the hands of professionals, it’s an instrument of sheer excitement.
My first Ferrari driving experience was very short, I drove the 458 Speciale for a short distance, but then I had the chance to drive a 488 Spider around Yas Marina Circuit and it was very exciting, but driving a car like that on a race track requires caution, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. My 2nd Ferrari track experience was different, it was much much more exciting.
Last year I drove both the GTB and the Spider edition of the 488, and that was the best thing I’ve ever done, I emerged from that experience with a massive smile on my face that lasted for days, it was very exciting because I had the confidence to push the car to its limits.
Later in the year, I got an invitation to join a trip with Ferrari to Ras Al Khaimah, the meeting point was Zabeel Saray hotel on Palm Jumeirah, I paired with one of the journalists and jumped in a grey GTC4Lusso T, the fleet that day included 2 more GTC4Lusso cars, a 488 GTB, a 488 Spider and the brand new 812 Superfast. We started our journey towards our overnight accommodation, Ritz Carlton Al Wadi, an oasis of luxury and opulence in the middle of the desert.
The trip is what you’d call perfect, I’m driving a Ferrari to a very fancy hotel, it doesn’t get any better, but later that day it did!
The drive to the hotel was excellent, although it’s mainly a long straight, you can still enjoy overtaking others and accelerating every time you had to slow down. The GTC4Lusso T is a 4-seater V8 grand tourer that was built for those seeking a sporty car that is comfortable enough to be driven everyday, I’m a big guy and sporty cars aren’t exactly the best fit for me, and yet I felt very comfortable while behind the wheel the GTC4Lusso T, as well as in the passenger seat.
The GTC4Lusso T is powered by a 3.9-litre V8 turbo engine that produces 610 hp and 760 Nm of torque, which makes it very fast and thrilling to drive, and thanks to its shooting brake design and 4-seat layout, the interior space is very good.
After a 2-hour drive, we arrived to the hotel and proceeded to our rooms, and when I say rooms I mean fancy villas each equipped with its own private pool, and when you combine that with the serenity of the desert and the opulence of every corner, the Ritz Carlton Al Wadi is one of the best resorts in the world, I strongly recommend visiting that hotel.
After chilling for few hours, our 4130-hp convoy was on the move again, this time escorted by the police and heading to the famous Jais Mountain. Being escorted by the police means that you have the green light to go fast, which is great because the mountain hides a very beautiful road between its curves, making it one of the best places to drive in the UAE.
After a nice drive up the mountain we came across the surprise of the day, hotlaps with professional Ferrari drivers, the red 488 Spider was driven by a former race driver while the yellow GTB was driven by Filippo, an ex-rally driver. I elected to jump in the GTB because having an ex-rally driver behind the wheel meant flamboyant driving around the corners. Filippo delivered some magnificent driving despite the proximity to the a series of high cliffs. As the police closed the road, both drivers went all pedal-to-the-metal down the mountain, and then up again.
Adrenaline rush doesn’t give this experience its justice because it was mind-blowing, I emerged from that hotlap saying it’s better than a million dollars, and it is! Yes there are more powerful and striking cars than the 488, but when Ferrari creates a car, you know it will be perfect, and when you have a pro behind the wheel, what else can you ask for.
But going back to my original question about what makes Ferrari special, it’s really hard to point it out, it’s a combination of elements and characteristics that no other car possess.