November 13, 2019 / 6:52 PM / a month ago

New Roma model joins Ferrari's 'prancing horse' stable

ROME (Reuters) - Ferrari (RACE.MI) on Thursday rolled out the Roma, a record fifth new model announced this year, as the Italian luxury carmaker with the famous “prancing horse” logo looks to sustain profit and share price growth.

Ferrari Roma is unveiled during its first world presentation in Rome, Italy, November 14, 2019. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

The new grand tourer (GT) made its debut in an event inspired by director Federico Fellini’s 1960 film “La Dolce Vita” held at Foro Italico, Rome’s monumental sports center and site of the 1960 Olympic games.

GTs are designed to be more comfortable on long journeys than sports cars and some GTs from the 1960s among the most popular models at auctions of Ferraris.

Ferrari has said that GT models could make up about 40% of its total sales by 2022, up from 32% now.

The Roma is a 2+ coupé, meaning it has two small rear-seats.

It will cost “slightly” above 200,000 euros in Italy with deliveries expected to start just before the summer of 2020, Chief Marketing and Commercial Officer Enrico Galliera said, which puts the Roma at the lower end of the company’s price range.

It features a 620-horsepower, 3.855 liter eight cylinder, mid-front mounted engine.

“The car’s power to weight ratio of 2.37 kilos per horse power, the best in its segment, makes it light and easy to drive,” Galliera said.

Ferrari said the design was meant to be “a contemporary representation of the carefree, pleasurable way of life that characterized Rome in the 1950s and 1960s.”

Chief Design Officer Falvio Manzoni said the Roma would not carry a Ferrari badge on the side of the car.

“The idea was to make the Roma’s shape as simple as possible,” he said.

This year’s other new releases include another GT, the 812 GTS, presented in September, which the company described as a return for a model type that has played a “pivotal role in the marque’s history”, as well as the F90 Stradale, Ferrari’s first hybrid car in series production.

CEO Louis Camilleri said last week the hybrid SF90 Stradale was attracting “huge interest” despite initial scepticism by clients used to roaring combustion engines.

Ferrari said last year that it wanted 60% of its cars sold by 2022 to be hybrids.

It has also promised several special edition hybrid cars and a utility vehicle, the Purosangue, which is expected by late 2022 as it seeks to almost double core earnings and boost margins to above 38%, without sacrificing exclusivity.

A full-electric vehicle is also being considered but is unlikely to arrive before 2023.

Ferrari is set to slow the roll-out of new vehicles in the coming years, as it planned to launch 15 models between 2019 and 2022, while achieving a significant increase in average retail price.

Slideshow (8 Images)

“2020 will be a year of consolidation for us, we want to make sure that our clients understood the market positioning of all the models we launched this year,” Galliera said.

Chairman John Elkann has said that Ferrari, which shipped fewer than 10,000 cars last year, would not try to chase German rival Porsche (PSHG_p.DE) which makes more than 250,000 sports cars and SUVs annually.

To capitalize further on its name, Ferrari plans new apparel and accessory collections, entertainment offers, and luxury products and services for clients.

Reporting by Giulio Piovaccari; editing by Alexander Smith and Jason Neely

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