Ferrari FF on ice – off piste with Markku Alen

Published: 19 March 2012


In the new April 2012 issue of CAR Magazine, Chris Chilton spent a couple of days with Group B rally hero Markku Alen in Arjeplog, northern Sweden, blatting around icy roads in a Ferrari FF super-coupe.

In temperatures plummeting to –12deg C, Chilton and Alen spent their time mostly sideways as they drove the first four-wheel drive Ferrari at 80mph through forest tracks, our man hanging on for dear life next to the man Ferrari used as a consultant during the FF's development.

Read the full eight-page feature in the new April 2012 issue of CAR out on 21 March but to whet your appetite you can watch Ferrari's video charting the Ferrari FF's development in snow and sun, heat and ice in our player above. And here's a brief extract from Chilton's magazine feature:

'I've just got a little over-confident and have emptied my bladder into my salopettes. That's the thing about driving on snow. It's always fine right up until the moment it goes wrong. Like this moment, for instance. There corner's a downhill left-hander and, with too much speed overwhelming the front tyres, the thing steers straight on, defying all orders to turn as if, after 40 years of marriage, pinion has ditched rack for a younger, electric model.

'I freeze for a split second then, snapping out of my trance, I do what seems natural: I back out of the throttle and unwind a little lock, trying to regain the grip, desperate to avoid a shunt. Alen has other ideas, which can be roughly summed up thus: MAXIMUM ATTACK! He doesn't quite bark those exact words, but when he yells at me to flatten the throttle and actually reaches over to apply a half turn of extra lock from the passenger seat, I know that's what he means. Turns out he'd had an "off" on the same course the week prior, landing the FF waist deep in snow, and had been wedged inside for an eternity while he waited for Ferrari's crew to come and dig him out.'

Read the rest of our story in the new April 2012 issue of CAR Magazine.