Oman motoring: Driving the dream car
November 5, 2017 | 7:20 PM
by Salem Afifi
This is a ride for the racer-at-heart and a treat for adrenaline junkies who get a fix out of high speed.

It was always my dream to drive a Ferrari and has been in my bucket list ever since I started understanding the finer nuances of cars. I’ve been fascinated by its roaring engine, its sleek design, and its signature red colour. As you’d guess, most of my fascination came in the form of visuals, until my foot was attached to the pedals of the Italian monster. I was stunned.

The official importer of Ferrari, Al Fardan Motors, hosted an exclusive day full of adrenaline-rush and fire-red Ferraris called “Ferrari Esperienza”, which was held at Muscat Bay. The event offered test drive session for the brand’s loyal and prospect customers, as well as media representatives. During the event, three cars were up for test drive. There was the monstrous 812 Superfast, the family-friendly GTC4Lusso, and my absolute favourite – the 488 GTB.

This was my first time stepping in a Ferrari, and we swerved along the hilly road of Qantab, all the way past Shangri-La. With killer, mountainous views of the route and powerful roars of the rides, it was an experience to remember.

The day started with a detailed briefing on the car’s performance, handling, and innovation, which was conducted by professionals Ferrari instructors who came all the way from Maranello in Italy. Guests were invited to be part of the driving experience amid the mountains of Qantab, with guidance from the instructors who were quite inspiring.

The first vehicle to test was the fastest Ferrari ever produced, the 812 Superfast. As I got into the car, the instructor offered his guidance as he thumped the pedals, the swift torque took me to another level of adrenaline-rush kicks. It was smooth yet bullet-quick. I’m clearly not an engine nerd, but this ride is the business. I sat next to the instructor as he goes full throttle on the hills.

He gave me a bit of history of the ride and all the bits that make up the 812. The car is the successor of the famous F12, and this time its packed with a stunning 6.5-litre V12 engine, unleashing a massive 800 CV that sprints from 0-100km/h in 2.9 seconds only – fastest ride on the road. After a lap, I got to try the ride. As you’d guess, I was having a ball. The second Ferrari had a vibe of its own, it was the GTC4Lusso. This is dubbed as the family-friendly of the brand. For a big-sized man like me, this is the perfect option.

The interior aesthetics gave me less racing car vibe, which is great for those with families.

The aggressive look accompanied with sleek design makes this car a beauteous vehicle from the Prancing Horse factory. And when it comes to performance, no compromises are allowed.

The ride is packed with a V8 twin turbo engine, which is a monstrous invention by the engine family that was named the 2016 International Engine of the Year.

For the final test drive, the Ferrari 488 GTB packs a V8 turbo. It is at the top of its class when it comes to torque, output, and response time.

The instructor gave me a five-minute show of a lifetime with the car, showcasing its powerful response. Then I got to try it. As I thumped on the pedals, my jaw dropped immediately. The swiftness of it is not to be missed. This is a ride for the racer-at-heart and a treat for adrenaline junkies who get a fix out of high speed and for that count me in.

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