DRIV­ING PLEA­SURE

The new Gtc4lusso T of­fers quin­tes­sen­tial FER­RARI per­for­mance, el­e­gance and ver­sa­til­ity – with room for four! bruce scott shares his im­pres­sions

Prestige (Thailand) - - RADAR -

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

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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.

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