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Sublimeeh?

That’s my Italian expression-in-print for yet another metal beast galloping out of the Prancing Horse badge’s stable, a new 2+ coupe that could very well elicit a “mamma mia!” response from aficionados on this side of the globe.

Even the authorities in car design have given this looker the nod. The Ferrari Roma is fresh from copping the Production Cars category of the Car Design Award. So, even before Ferrari’s official Philippine importer and distributor Motostrada Inc gets to proudly display the Roma in Manila (try saying those last three words in Italian in your head—such a nice ring to it, eh?) in the first quarter of 2021, the car is already a podium finisher.

A Motostrada statement sent to Inquirer Motoring reveals that the Roma’s signature Italian styling is a contemporary reinterpretation of the carefree lifestyle of 1950s and ‘60s Rome, from which it takes its evocative name.

The Roma is Maranello’s new 2+ coupé—sublimely refined with the timeless design and the power and agility required to guarantee a uniquely Ferrari driving experience.

“Stylistically, the Ferrari Roma is characterized by clean, symbiotic forms. Its beautifully harmonious proportions and elegantly pure, balanced volumes are very much in line with the Ferrari mid-front-engined grand touring tradition of which the 250 GT Berlinetta lusso is the most iconic example, and from which the car takes its inspiration. It embodies an extremely modern design language, which underlines its authentic, refined styling. Equally, however, its sleek lines retain the sporty vocation shared by all Ferraris,” the statement continued.

It begs the question, though: Would mid-20th century-designed Italian cars withstand the road conditions in an early 21st century typhoon-ravaged country?

“Yes, the Ferrari Roma can be driven on Philippine roads. It is a grand tourer, though, not made to go through severe floods,” quipped Natalia Bryzgalova, Motostrada Inc assistant GM.

She went on about the Roma: “It’s a brand new model in the whole current range. The looks, the way it is designed, both exterior and interior, is something contemporary, unique and different, not seen on any other Ferrari. The target audience for the Roma is very different from Ferrari’s Sport and GT lines. Definitely, there are people who are interested, curious and want to see the actual unit.  We are receiving a significant number of online inquiries about the Roma.”

She confirmed that the Roma will be launched in the Philippines sometime in the first quarter of 2021.

A statement from Ferrari headquarters in Maranello revealed that the Roma’s achievement during the Car Design Award (held remotely on Oct. 28 and broadcast on the award-giving body’s YouTube channel), served as an acknowledgement of the work of the design team.

Launched in 1984 by Auto&Design magazine, the Car Design Award homes in on projects that have contributed to the evolution of car design. Maranello said, “This year’s winners were selected by an expert jury of 12 journalists from the leading international car publications, including Auto&Design itself. In assigning the Production Cars (award) to the Ferrari Roma, the jury stated that ‘The Ferrari design team, led by Flavio Manzoni, did an incredible job with the Roma. This car reinterprets the classical lines of a Gran Turismo car and projects them into the 21st century, thanks to sensual, evocative and cutting-edge design’.”

Other Ferraris that won this award were the Testarossa in 1985 and the Pininfarina Ferrari Mythos as a concept car in 1990.

Last Oct. 12, Motostrada premiered two supercars in the Philippines: The Ferrari F8 Spider and the 812 GTS. These models are expected to arrive in the country in the first quarter of 2021. Now add to that the arrival of the Roma, and we may just get a triple Ferrari bonanza in the first three months of next year.

As for me, I was delighted to learn from Bryzgalova that local buyers would have the option to order their Ferraris in Mycro Prestige faux leather (which are not derived from animals). To that, my emphatic “e magnifico!

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