Spending a long weekend with a supercar, instead of the family, could be considered quite a self-centred act; and a car reviewer is no exception. In fact, it’s worse for the reviewer; because this is usually among the numbered occasions he gets to distract the world from noticing the wicked glint that flashes on his imaginary braces, as he beams behind the wheel, like a teen on a borrowed bike.
Well, for occasions such as these, there is the Ferrari GTC4Lusso.
THE DIMENSIONS: L x W x H 4922 x 1980 x 1383 mm Wheelbase: 2990 m Kerb Weight: 1920 kg Front: Rear 47:53 Boot: 450L/800L
THE SPECS: 6.25L V12 engine, 7-speed F1 dual clutch transmission, 680 hp, 697 Nm, 20” wheels
THE PERFORMANCE: Top speed: 335 kmph, 0-100 in 3.4 sec, 100-0 kmph in 34 m, Test fuel economy 4.0km/L, 350g CO2 /km
THE PRICE: AED 1,171,000 onwards with 3-year warranty and 7-year maintenance
UPSIDE: Rare V12 fun, modern telematics, excellent drivetrain, early torque
FLIPSIDE: Fuel consumption, tyre consumes much of boot space, console monitor glare on sunny day
At first glance, the GTC4Lusso is exactly the same as the Ferrari FF, the car I dubbed the ‘family Ferrari’! The shooting brake styling with a nose that is as long as the bloodhound (the supercar more than the dog) is largely to blame. However, the headlamps are now like the 488 GTB’s and the circular tail lamps have doubled – there are two on either side – and even the fins near the A-pillar are different on closer look. The GTC4Lusso is 15 mm (about two-thirds of an inch) longer, 27 mm (just over an inch) and just 4 mm taller while the wheelbase remains constant at 2990 mm.
This is a 12 cylinder Ferrari – one of the two on sale right now, the other one being the rather exotic 812 Superfast. This gains significance with the news that a downsized engine has recently been added to the GTC4Lusso drivetrain –none other than the well-accepted turbo-charged V8 that drives the 488 GTB! So, my smile gets even smugger, and more wicked, at the unmistakable roar of 12 full-blown cylinders. They announce 29 additional horses and 14 N-m of torque for the GTC4Lusso, when compared with the FF. Now, that’s a scorching 680 hp and 697 Nm that melt away .3 seconds from the 0-100 kmph time en route to 335 kmph. Getting to 100 in 3.4 seconds is no mean task for a car that almost weighs 2 tonnes!
The spec sheet tells me that the steering is slightly more compact than the FF – it looks pretty much the same with the paddle shifters standing erect and independent of the turning wheel. This is a rear wheel steering, four wheel drive Ferrari (that is what 4 in the name stands for, even though the number of passengers is an equally logical explanation). It can even drop or gain an inch in height to adjust ground clearance.
Ferrari has clever ways to please the driver. The last three gears are pretty ‘normal’ by fast car standards. The spirit of the GTC4Lusso is locked up in the first four gears. And the best part is, while the V12 enjoys being taken for lofty rides up to 8750 rpm as it keeps dispensing power generously, no mandate stops you from enjoying a massive 80% of the enormous torque right from the start-up cycles of 1750!
The first few minutes into the drive, I pay attention to the sensitivity of the steering response. Once that is noted, corners are quicker and better wielded. Happily for me, the downshifts are similar – quicker than the upshifts. The manettino – Ferrari’s drive mode selector on the steering has wet, sport and ESC off, along with a Comfort mode. If it’s a family car, it better behave like one!
I decided to go manual just to make sure that the braking was absolutely racing class with downshifts helping me to slow down at high speeds. Once the paddle shifts took over, the GTC4Lusso offered the addictive driving pleasure reserved for a manual.
The 4RM-S – the four wheel drive system of Ferrari weighs half as expected – comes with the Magnaride SCM-E damper control for superior grip and comfort all through the ride. The second generation SSC4 side slip control system can adapt the car to suit various driving conditions.
Now, if a car with 12 firing cylinders, four wheel drive and heavier metal than Jaguar’s SUV had 4.0 km per L to show at the end of all my rocketing around, should I be surprised? Anyway, a 91L tank will keep ugly surprises from a long drive.
Cabin and controls
Interestingly, the Ferrari GTC4Lusso has moved backseat driving to the front, where an 8.8 inch wide LED strip sits facing the front passenger – as in the FF. Enthusiasts may track the speed, rpm and current gear on the screen – the weak-hearted are advised to keep their eyes closed or look elsewhere. Remember, in this Ferrari, sitting elsewhere is also an option!
Talking about screens, this is perhaps the most advanced Ferrari cabin – it has a 10.25 inch touch screen with pinch and swipe controls as well as Apple car play. The vehicle settings, multimedia and navigation are accessed on this dark, game console style screen. The navigation graphics in red and yellow reminded me that a Ferrari is about the pure fun of driving as much as about serious racing! For once, I am forced to eat my words about cameras in million dirham cars. The Ferrari GTC4Lusso features a clear-view super-wide angle camera that switches between the front and the rear. Compared with the classic leather texture and stitching, the console tunnel lid and some material look out of place.
The Ferrari with a comfort mode also takes the family theme ahead with a surprisingly quiet cabin and a button to smooth over bumpy roads. The access to the rear is one-step with the tilting and sliding rear seats. The rear is rather spacious by supercar standards, and the extra space might let you stretch your toe as well! Fans in the rear can treat themselves to the open skies thanks to the full and square glass roof.
The central console offers decent storage facility and in its garb of a two-seater, the GTC4Lusso does add enough space for a weekend staycation at the Golf resort. However, with all seats up, the spare tyre eats up quite a bit of the 450 L boot.
Watch the video on the Video Window on the home page, or on top of this page. Or on the Drivemeonline YouTube channel.
The essential Ferrari GTC4Lusso
This is a car that brings the family together in the love for the prancing horse. Yes, in the way it thrusts forward, screams happily and yet keeps you enwrapped in expensive leather, it is a Ferrari that justifies its name. Oh, by the way, that’s what Lusso means in Maranello parlance – luxury!