The new Gtc4lusso T offers quintessential FERRARI performance, elegance and versatility – with room for four! bruce scott shares his impressions
STANDING BESIDE THE 2018 Ferrari Gtc4lusso T, it’s hard not to be seduced by its clean lines, contoured body, and impeccable design. Of course, one would expect no less from this iconic brand, which has set the gold standard for luxury sports cars since Enzo Ferrari first began production back in 1940.
The “T” in this car’s title refers to the 3.9-litre twin turbocharged V-8 engine, which uses fuel more efficiently than the naturally aspirated V-12 in
the all-wheel-drive Gtc4lusso – managing to get 24.8mpg along the way. But make no mistake, there’s still 610 horsepower simmering under this hood, waiting patiently for a chance to let loose on the open road.
The Lusso T also swaps the Lusso’s all-wheeldrive system for a simpler, lighter, rear-wheel drive, removing considerable weight off the front end. Combine that with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transaxle, and 760Nm of torque, and this lean machine can accelerate from 0-100km/h in 3.5 seconds, and reach a top speed of 320km/h. Like every engine to come out of Ferrari’s Italian HQ in Maranello, the Lusso T’s V-8 combines razor-sharp throttle response, blistering performance, and continuous and powerful acceleration at all speeds.
While engine speed and performance are vital, it’s evident from the moment you ease into the car’s supremely comfortable driver’s seat that just as much attention to craftsmanship and detail goes into the design and feel of these prestige vehicles as well. Overall, there’s a timeless beauty to the sumptuous, buttery smooth stitched leather upholstery that covers almost every surface of the interior that isn’t carbon fibre or brushed metal. However, the hi-tech dashboard, with its 10.25-inch central HD capacitive touchscreen infotainment system, makes it clear this is a 21st century ride, designed to enhance the shared driving experience for both driver and passenger.
On the driver’s side, the carbon fibre Formula 1-style steering wheel is an intricate, multi-function control device. At your fingertips you’ll find everything from push button turn signals and shift paddles, to the famous Ferrari manettino dial – which lets you switch between drive modes labeled comfort, sport, wet, and snow. On the dashboard immediately behind the steering wheel a large tachometer is prominently displayed, flanked in turn by two small configurable screens – the speedometer on the right (which can be set to analog or digital display), and an array of driverselected status information readouts on the left. Above the dashboard, the windshield’s generous glass expanse offers great visibility, while the (optional) panoramic glass roof really brightens things up inside the car.
What’s also immediately striking about the interior is how much space there is for passengers in the back seats. This is definitely a family-friendly automobile, and Ferrari engineers have managed to carve out a bit more rear-seat legroom here than in previous models. With the rear seats up, there’s plenty of room for four adults, but fold the rear seats down and you’ll free up over 28 cubic feet of cargo space – perfect for a set of golf clubs, a surfboard, or whatever else comes to mind. In addition, at the rear of the vehicle the motorised hatchback door lifts to reveal plenty of carpeted trunk space, so no need to pack light for your next road trip.
The Lusso T’s keyless ignition system means that one press of the starter button – located on the steering wheel – is all it takes to make this powerful engine come to life. Easing into traffic, with the manettino dial set to ‘comfort’ mode, it’s immediately apparent how calm a driving experience this is. Gear shifts are seamless, and bumps are handled exceptionally well by the soft suspension.
The steering responds faithfully to the touch, and despite the fact that it’s a somewhat long vehicle it handles corners beautifully, feeling precisely balanced at every moment. With no intrusion of engine noise when the windows are rolled up, you’ll hit 120 km/h but it will still feel like you’re cruising at 60km/h.
Switching to ‘sport’ mode on the open road and you’ll notice that the gear shifts become more apparent. Accelerating towards the 7500rpm red line you can almost feel the engine’s muscles flex as the bursts of power come more quickly. And if the heavens open with a rainy deluge, you’ll be comforted to learn that the Lusso T also features Ferrari’s third-generation ‘Side Slip Control’– a network of electronics controlling front and rear steering and roll rates, dampers, throttle, transmission, traction and stability-control systems.
In short, this may be a luxury sports car capable of effortlessly reaching scenery blurring speeds, but it’s also a practical vehicle designed with city drivers in mind. Carbon-ceramic brakes means stops are brisk, while the responsive steering and grace of handling make it an easy car to drive – for men and women alike – even in heavy traffic. And if you have to be stuck in Bangkok’s notorious gridlock, there’s no better way to do it than behind the wheel of a glorious machine like this.
To try the Gtc4lusso T yourself, a test drive can easily be arranged by Cavallino Motors ( https:// bangkok.ferraridealers.com / [email protected]), the sole distributor of Ferrari in Thailand.