With enormous engines, high-performance tires and very expensive bodywork, Ferraris are hardly cars built with winter driving in mind. But with the introduction of the FF - the automaker's first-ever all-wheel drive car - Ferrari is suddenly touting its all-weather poise with a snow and ice driving school in Aspen, Colorado.
Based on the "Pilota on Ice" programs Ferrari currently offers in Italy, the 2012 Winter Driving Experience features a fleet of eight new Ferrari FFs prepared specifically for Aspen's high altitude, low traction and cold weather.
For a total cost of $11,300 - plus $950 for a guest - the three-day program includes a two-night stay at Aspen's exclusive Little Nell Resort, a champagne reception, two group dinners and a hot lap of the automaker's snow and ice race track with a professional driver behind the wheel. Of course, the program also includes two full track days where Ferrari owners will get to test the FF's limits on a closed course under difficult weather and traction conditions.
We say "Ferrari owners" because the automaker says only current owners of its vehicles are invited to participate in the program. That's likely to keep out those interested in the Winter Driving Experience for its sheer novelty, instead limiting participants to hot prospects who are likely to purchase the FF. It also gives Ferrari a chance to "give back" to its notoriously loyal owners who would never dream of taking their high-dollar, high-performance sports car for a joyride in the snow.
While several other automakers offer snow and ice driving schools, Ferrari was forced to watch from the sidelines until the advent of the FF. Designed to replace the aging 612 Scaglietti, the FF features a lightweight, on-demand all-wheel drive system dubbed 4RM and a unique "shooting brake" hatchback body style.
Billed as the world's fastest four-seater, the FF is expected to cost more than $300,000. While Ferrari has yet to announce dates for its Winter Driving Experience, we expect them to closely align with the FF's arrival at US dealerships, which is scheduled for this winter.