Fer­rari un­leashes a mean beast to take on Audi R8

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING -

FER­RARI will un­veil a con­tender for the Audi R8 to give own­ers a car that is both a track-eater and a calm com­muter.

The up­com­ing Paris Mo­tor Show pro­vides the venue for the un­veil­ing of the GTC4Lusso T, the first four-seater in Pranc­ing Horse his­tory to sport a turbo-charged V8 en­gine, hail­ing a whole new Fer­rari GT con­cept.

The new GT ef­fort­lessly mar­ries el­e­gance, su­perb oc­cu­pant com­fort and sporti­ness with the thrilling driv­ing dy­nam­ics de­liv­ered by a com­bi­na­tion of rear-wheel-only drive, four-wheel steer­ing, lighter over­all weight and in­creased weight bias to­wards the rear (46:54).

The car’s 3,9-litre V8 turbo is the lat­est evo­lu­tion to emerge from the en­gine fam­ily that was nom­i­nated the 2016 In­ter­na­tional En­gine of the Year. Its max­i­mum power out­put is 610 cv at 7 500 rpm while max­i­mum torque of 760 Nm is avail­able at between 3 000 and 5 250 rpm.

The V8 turbo’s char­ac­ter­is­tics suit day-to-day driv­ing in ur­ban con­texts: a rich pow­er­ful sound­track in ac­cel­er­a­tion that be­comes more muted at lower speeds, rapid pick-up from low revs cour­tesy of ver­sa­tile, mod­u­lar torque de­liv­ery and, last but not least, ex­cel­lent range.

The GTC4Lusso T’s dy­namic con­trol sys­tems have been specif­i­cally cal­i­brated to boost re­spon­sive­ness to com­mands. In par­tic­u­lar, the 4WS (rear-wheel steer­ing), which is in­te­grated with side slip con­trol (SSC3), makes for more rapid re­sponse to steer­ing wheel inputs en­ter­ing and ex­it­ing cor­ners, thanks to the rear wheels steer­ing in the same di­rec­tion as the front ones.

The feel­ing of lon­gi­tu­di­nal per­for­mance in this new model has been en­hanced at low speeds by vari­able boost man­age­ment and un­der­scored by throt­tle re­sponse with zero turbo lag. Thanks to vari­able torque curves (VBM) between third and sev­enth gear, lon­gi­tu­di­nal ac­cel­er­a­tion is con­sis­tent through the ra­tios, in­creas­ing smoothly with en­gine speed, re­sult­ing in a feel­ing of vivid but su­perbly pro­gres­sive ac­cel­er­a­tion.

The GTC4Lusso T’s styling re­mains the same in­no­va­tive take on the shoot­ing brake coupé, rein­ter­pret­ing the con­cept with an ex­tremely stream­lined, ta­pered shape that gives it an al­most fast­back-like sil­hou­ette. The cabin is an ef­fort­less meld­ing of dis­tinc­tive Fer­rari styling and the lux­u­ri­ous el­e­gance ex­pected of a four-seater GT.

The GTC4Lusso T fea­tures the unique dual cock­pit ar­chi­tec­ture, de­signed to en­hance the shared driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for both driver and pas­sen­ger. It also in­cor­po­rates the lat­est it­er­a­tion of the in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem com­plete with an impressive 10,25-inch HD ca­pac­i­tive touch screen. — WR.

PHOTO: QUICKPIC

The Fer­rari GTC4Lusso T is the first car from this Italian sta­ble that can com­pete with the Audi R8 in real-world use­ful­ness.

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