During our extended test of the Ferrari FF, we decided to get a few friends involved to make our time with the car a bit more interesting and see how the FF stacks up against some purpose built hard core sports cars. The FF provided by Ferrari San Diego/Ferrari NA was the unique Ferrari silver Argento Nurburgring. A stunning color and one not normally associated with current Ferrari models. So what better time than to get together with a few friends that just so happen to have two of the most relevant sports cars on the market today in of all colors... silver.
This is Silver Bullets!
Our first order of business was to hook up with Alex Andonian - long time Targa Trophy rally veteran and owner of Tag Motorsports in Vista California. TAG Motorsports has been around for quite some time and over the past few years has really developed a reputation for being one of the premiere Audi tuners in the US. Recently though, TAG decided to change things up a bit as they acquired one of the hottest and fastest cars on the market today - the 2014 Porsche 991 Turbo S.
Immediately TAG Motorsports went to work on this car to give it a look that would turn heads in the ever competitive So Cal aftermarket landscape. First up was setting up the aesthetic and stance. For this TAG linked up with TechArt to make this the first fully integrated TechArt 991 Turbo S in the US. The full package included the first TechArt 991 Turbo S body kit, suspension upgrades including nose lift kit and special edition steering wheel. The look is completed with HRE P101's shod in super sticky Pirelli rubber. Performance wise there is not really much more that needs to be done to a factory sub 3 second 0-60 car. But to make things interesting, a GIAC ECU flash and GMG World Challenge exhaust were installed to round out the package.
As you can see the end result really is stunning and a fan favorite where ever it goes. This Turbo S is a great example of Southern California car culture at it's finest - as this car demonstrates a tasteful build that just looks so good in photos, in person and in motion.
Once we finished giving the TAG Turbo S a visual check, we set off on a mini road trip to do some performance driving in the backroads of San Diego. Making our way to our first destination, the FF and Turbo S lined up for a bit of a #### measuring contest to see who had the acceleration advantage. With the FF coming in at 651hp and the Turbo S after exhaust and tune probably pushing 600hp+, this seemed to be a fair test.
Once the light hit green, I reacted quicker getting a jump on the Turbo S off the line. As the FF approached 8,000rpm in 2nd gear, the Turbo S had caught up and passed the FF with 0-60 acceleration that rivals 1000+hp cars. Needless to say, it was a fun test and an eye opener to see how fast the Turbo S really is.
As we started getting further into our trip, the fun factor went through the roof. Not only does the FF and Turbo S look amazing together, these particular examples sounded the part too. The V12 exhaust note matched up against the motorsport rasp of the GMG exhaust making for the type of music you can only find with the finest sports cars on the planet.
As we made our way through some of the best roads in San Diego, the FF held it's own running with the very nimble Turbo S. For such a big GT car, the performance of the FF is staggering as the balance between power and road handling is exceptional. Ripping through sweepers and switch-backs with the 991 was no problem and so much fun as the FF demonstrates performance that really goes beyond anything in the luxury touring car segment.
Hitting the highway to the next set of roads, the FF and the Turbo S just have so much presence while cruising. Both these examples in their respective silver hues, really make a statement on the road and turn heads like no other coming up on unsuspecting traffic.
The Turbo S has a bit of a dual personality. Mash the throttle and prepare for spaceship levels of acceleration, or take it easy and enjoy the most refined 911 Porsche has ever produced.
On the highway at speed, the acceleration levels out between the FF and Turbo S as the FF has extremely quick response in the upper regions of it's gearing and power. As we said in the "Future Perfect" review on the FF, no other luxury GT we have tested even comes close when it comes to comfort combined with performance. I mean, if the opportunity presented itself - this is the car you would want to do a cross country journey in!
As usual, Targa Trophy staff photographer Mo Satarzadeh was on hand to capture the images you see in this editoral and this pic of the Turbo S rolling is just another example of why we have been working with him since 2010 and why he is widely regarded as one of the best automotive photogs in the game today.
An inside cockpit view of the Turbo S with Alex from TAG Motorsports behind the wheel. A very nice driving environment to say the least.
Getting into the good stuff of our adventure, the back roads of East County San Diego, we started to stretch the legs of the FF.
The route we picked had so many variations of twisty roads, it really made for one of those epic drives that was made even more enjoyable in the FF.
The back roads of East County San Diego offer some snake runs that are true drivers roads. The FF holds it's own with the Turbo S in this terrain and made for some exciting driving during our trip.
At one point we noticed what seemed to be people falling out of the sky. As we approached the objects closer, we noticed we were right, as there was a skydiving center along our route.
In all reality, if you could afford it. A 991 Turbo S and Ferrari FF in the garage would be stellar combo. They both compliment each other quite nicely and offer a true "best of both worlds" driving option.
At the end of the day, the road trip with the FF and Turbo S proved to be one of the most fun driving excursions we've had in a while. From the stunning looks of each car to the mind bending performance, this was a unique road trip match up that proved to be an extremely solid combination.
As we parted ways, we snapped one last pic of the TAG Motorsports 991 Turbo S. We'll let the picture do the rest of the talking from here. Now on to the next...
Anytime we go to San Diego, we try and link up with everyones favorite fighter pilot, Taj Sareen. Those of you in Targa Trophy road rally event circles certainly know who he is, but for those of you that are not, here is his bio.
Taj basically is Maverick from Top Gun. F-18 fighter pilot by day... all round cool guy by night, with a pension for all things fast. His current stable of cars speaks volumes on the type of guy he is. Currently, his garage consists of a brand new BMW M6 Gran Coupe, a heavily tricked out Jeep Rubicon (murdered-out no less) and the car you see before you here: a 2013 Ferrari 458 Spyder.
Since we were piloting the FF for the weekend, we thought what better time than to link up with our buddy and bring these two cars together for a little sunset cruising - Targa Trophy style. Taj's 458 Spyder is very tastefully modded. It sits on custom spec DPE wheels and sports an IPE titanium tip - dual pipe exhaust. Aside from nice factory features such as yellow brake calipers and belts, this car needs nothing more as it's pretty safe to say the Ferrari 458 may be the best looking car on the market today.
If you are a Ferrari fan, bringing these two cars together is quite a treat. This could be considered the modern Ferrari owners ultimate garage, as all of your transportation needs could be met by these two cars. Needless to say, parked curbside - these two cars snapped necks to on lookers passing by.
After catching up with Taj for a bit, we decided to take the cars out for a spin around Downtown SD and into beautiful Coronado to do a little sunset coastal cruising. As you can imaging the sight of 2 Argento Nurburgring Ferrari's whipping around town is not something you see everyday, but when it happens it fills the streets with sounds of high revving V8 and V12 music, so nobody can complain.
Taj's 458 is fitted with the very popular IPE Exhaust currently available for most 458 owners. IPE has been making waves as of late with their Ferrari and Lamborghini applications as they arguably have one of the best sounding exhausts currently for these cars. We can honestly say, it transforms the 458 experience from typical Ferrari synthetic exhaust note to a true exotic motorsport inspired sound that is intoxicating. Pair this exhaust with the 458 Spyder like Taj's car and you have a sound system that is pretty hard to beat.
After making our way through Downtown SD we hit the highway to make our way to the quaint peninsula of Coronado. As we pulled onto the Coronado Bridge, the golden hour of light was approaching so we hit the afterburners to make our way to the world famous "Coronado Strand" for some beachside cruising.
As we hit the "Strand," we had plenty of open road ahead to wind out the V8 and V12 engines of the 458 and FF. Together in this color, these cars make such a classic statement and bring to mind a historic Ferrari motorsport vibe when this color was used for competition cars in the 60's such as the 250 SWB and 250 GTO.
One thing is for sure when it comes to the 458. If you have a choice, the Spyder seems the way to go. With it's mechanical hard top and sexy top down looks, it definitely is a best of both worlds scenario and really magnifies all the amazing music the V8 engine makes.
What else can we say about the FF. This truly is a futuristic piece of machinery. With controversial looks, insane performance and the rare dose of practicality thrown in, there really is no other car like it. For those truly looking to make a statement and are true Ferrari enthusiasts/fans - this is the model you would buy hands down. The FF is the biggest statement Ferrari currently has on the showroom floor.
After getting some good runs in on the "Strand," we started to make our way back to Downtown SD to unwind, grab a cocktail and talk shop.
Even as the darkness looms, two Ferrari's in Argento Nurburgring give the passers by a little entertainment and something to dream about at night.
As we reached our final destination for food and libations, we can't help but admire the metallic beauty of these two beasts. There is a reason Ferrari is regarded as the "Holy Grail" of automotive brands. At the end of the day all cars are different and all cars have their own unique qualities that make them their own.
But when it comes to Ferrari - there truly is no other car like it - and that's all that needs to be said.
Photos by Mo Satarzadeh - www.mophotodesign.com
Ferrari FF courtesy of Ferrari San Diego & Ferrari North America - www.ferrariofsandiego.com
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