Exotic Italian brand continues to be plagued by cases of spontaneous combustion, this time with its new FF four-seater.
Ferrari is, once again, the hottest brand around.
An almost-new Ferrari FF reportedly spontaneously burst into flames on a motorway in Shanghai, China over the weekend.
Photos of the V12-powered four-wheel-drive four-seat coupe surfaced online at Chinese website auto.163.com, including an image of the car burning and several of the aftermath.
According to Chinese news site Wenzhou City News, witnesses saw the Italian supercar driving along when smoke started billowing from under the bonnet. The driver then reportedly stopped and jumped out before the car burst into flames.
"They call the police, but the fire spread very rapidly, and when fire fighters arrived, the vehicle has been surrounded by fire almost totally destroyed," a witness was quoted as saying.
In China, the FF costs close to $850,000 as it attracts import duties and high taxes. In Australia, the recently-released version costs nearly as much, at $625,000 plus on-road costs.
Over the past 18 months Ferrari has experienced a spate of fiery incidents, in particular with its 458 Italia. The brand issued a recall in September 2010 for that car, blaming an adhesive in the wheel arches that could ignite in some circumstance. This is apparently the first fire involving an FF.
Edward Rowe, a spokesman for Ferrari’s Australian importer European Automotive Importers, says there’s no information available yet as to what happened in this particular circumstance.
“We can’t make any comment because we don’t have any details yet,” Rowe says.
This latest fire could not have come at a worse time for the brand, which is planning to pull the covers off an all-new model that will replace the 599 at the Geneva motor show in March.
Despite the recent spate of embarrassing fires, Ferrari buyers have not been deterred. Sales were up by 9.5 per cent to 7195 units in 2011, while the company's revenue was up by a record 17.3 per cent.