Friday 24 March 2017
If you called this car an entry-level version of the GTC4Lusso, then there’s a good chance you’ll upset almost all of Ferrari’s engineers. Though it now comes with prancing horse’s turbocharged V8 and £30,000 detracted from the price of the top-end car, there’s a lot more to this car than just being an alternative to the naturally aspirated V12 version.
Ferrari is confident in calling this car “the sixth product” in its line-up having put a lot of time and effort into its development. The engine, which we’ve seen before in the 488 GTB, has been revised with new pistons and a new intercooler design while its exhaust system has been extensively reworked to reduce its overall pressure.
Inside, the 10.25-inch high-definition touchscreen that we first saw in the V12 model features once more, giving a precise way of controlling the car’s media functions. The passenger’s screen also gets additional functions, such as being able to add navigation waypoints.
The GTC4 shares some resemblance to the car it replaces, the FF. However, only the chassis and some of the cabin shape has been carried across from the older car while the rest is entirely all-new.
A lot of changes have been made to the exterior of the car too, giving it better aerodynamic performance while bringing it firmly up-to-date. It also looks far more planted on the road, with its pronounced rear haunches giving it a purposeful stature.
Inside, it’s a mixture of the comfortable and the out-and-out sporty. The seats, for instance, look fantastic and are very supportive, but aren’t as comfortable as you’d want them to be in a long-distance tourer.
Before the FF came along and then the GTC4Lusso after that, Ferrari owners had to buy a second car and send it, with a driver, ahead of them if they wanted to carry any real amount of luggage. However, the GTC4Lusso addresses that issue, giving consumers a Ferrari that can be used every day. As such, there’s plenty of boot space – more than enough for a few shopping bags or holdalls.
However, there are a few niggles. There’s more than enough room for those sat in the front – there’s no doubt about that – but those in the rear are less well-catered for. Six-foot-plus passengers will struggle to get comfortable as legroom isn’t brilliant, while the heavily raked roofline does impede headroom for taller people.
Press the large red steering wheel-mounted starter button, and the engine immediately crackles into life. There’s a small amount of travel in the throttle pedal to press through before anything happens, but once you’re up and running the engine’s performance is nothing short of mesmerising – there’s no turbo lag here.
Though a large car, the GTC4Lusso quickly gives the impression of shrinking around you. This certainly helps on twisty roads, where the car’s four-wheel steering helps you turn in tighter and its quick steering allows it to dart effortlessly from point to point.
In truth, the engine doesn’t quite have the same character as Ferrari units of old, but its deep, raucous tone gives it a purposeful attitude. In the 488 GTB, the engine feels as if it’s on full-attack mode at all times, kicking you back into your seat each and every time you go near the accelerator pedal. In the GTC4Lusso, however, it’s a far more surging nature of acceleration – and this is down to Ferrari managing the car’s boost levels so that they increase as the revs rise.
The GTC4Lusso certainly doesn’t have the same ability to iron out bumps in the road in the same way that a Bentley can, but the ride is certainly good enough for everyday driving. That firmness comes with a by-product of making the Ferrari exceptionally good in the corners, and it’s sure to be a trade-off that many owners will be happy to live with.
The GTC4Lusso T may cost a snip under £200,000, but when you look at its performance figures compared with the V12-powered car – which is £30,000 dearer – then it certainly appears to be relatively good value for money. It makes even greater sense in other European countries where the car’s lower emission figures mean greater tax breaks for its prospective owners.
When compared with rivals like the Mercedes S 65 – priced at £188,550 – and the Bentley Continental GT Supersports – retailing for just over £177,000 – the Ferrari certainly seems like the pricier option. However, neither has the prestige that comes with having a prancing horse on the bonnet, but both do a slightly better job of effortless eating up the miles.
The GTC4 Lusso T has a wide target market. It’s aimed at 30- to 45-year-olds who live in the city but need a more practical vehicle to carry passengers in – hence the increased boot and interior space. Also, because of its lack of four-wheel-drive – this is reserved for the V12 model – it’s better suited for those who live in warmer climates rather than colder ones.
Model: Ferrari GTC4Lusso T
Price as tested: £199,285
Engine: 3.9-litre V8
Max speed: 199mph+
0-60mph: 3.3 seconds
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