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The Ferrari GTC4Lusso – A 4x4x4 Shooting Brake

Published November 11, 2016

For Ferrari, an exotic Italian sports car brand, to present a car like the GTC4Lusso that is practical for all the family might seem like a compromise. This is not the first time, however, that they’ve pulled it off. Four seater Ferraris are no new thing – they’ve been making them as far back as the 2+2 Ferrari 250 GT/E, which made its debut in 1960, and was followed by the 330 GT, the 365 GT, and the 365 GTC/4, to name some of the earlier models.

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The GTC4Lusso’s predecessor, the FF, is where first Ferrari four-seater ‘shooting brake’ came along. Previous examples were coach built one-offs, not production models. The shooting brake design made practical motoring for four passengers and their luggage a reality. And it was still very much a Ferrari, with the company’s superb V12 engine and four-wheel-drive transmission making it a Ferrari experience. It did have its problems though, such as a slightly loose front end under sharp turn-in, seats that began to make themselves felt on your back after a couple of hours of driving, and a slightly-dated looking interior – all things that you didn’t want on a GT. The GTC4Lusso’s challenge was to address all these issues.

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While the name ‘GTC4Lusso’ might be a bit of a mouthful, it does have its origins very much in Ferrari history. We’ve already mentioned the 365 GTC/4, which stood for Grand Touring Coupe/Four seats. ‘Lusso’ means ‘luxury’, and was first seen on the gorgeous Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Lusso, a larger and more luxurious version of the standard 250 GT Berlinetta.

So, with the history and the concept established, how is the new Ferrari shooting brake? Well, as mentioned, the outgoing FF did have its issues, which we’re glad to say the GTC4Lusso has done away with completely. Interestingly, the designers at Ferrari were given a tough directive with the new model, as they had to keep the same shape and exterior dimensions as the outgoing FF, and yet make it more spacious and comfortable inside. Somehow, they worked their magic and succeeded.

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Despite being the same shape, they’ve managed to make the GTC4Lusso look much more modern, with sharper lines and angles, and yet still retain that classic Ferrari styling, with that long sweeping line from the front wheel arch right over the rear haunches, and the quad rear lights with the overhanging lip reminiscent of the 365 GTB or the 456 (take a look at the very rare 456 wagon built for the Prince of Brunei for an interesting comparison).

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The GTC4Lusso’s interior also offers that classic Italian style with a more modern feel with sharper lines and bolder styling really updating the visual aesthetics. Thankfully, the seats are also far more comfortable, with a figure-hugging shape that still manages to be yielding.

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Technology has also come into play in this bold new look, with a ‘dual cockpit’ design that features a passenger-side display on the dashboard with controls for things like the stereo and sat-nav, making the front passenger a ‘co-pilot’ for long journeys.

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There’s also an additional 16mm of legroom in the rear, which already had a comfortable amount in the FF, making it a place where you can happily spend hours on the road. This is helped by the panoramic sunroof, creating a ‘glass dome’ effect that makes the whole passenger cabin feel much more light and spacious.

This brings us to the most important aspect of all in a Ferrari – the driving experience. The GTC4Lusso features a revamped edition of Ferrari’s glorious 6.3L V12 (the turbocharged V8 version has just been launched), which puts out 690hp and 697Nm of torque in a naturally-aspirated package that just never stops giving. It boasts a 0-100km/h time of just 3.4 seconds, and a top speed of 200mph, despite the new engine being more efficient and economical than the old one.

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Like the FF, the new GTC4Lusso also boasts a highly sophisticated all-wheel drive system that makes for incredible grip and performance. However, the GTC4Lusso improves on this significantly with the addition of all-wheel steering.

At low speeds, the rear wheels turn against the front wheels to improve the turning circle by shortening the wheelbase. At high speeds, they actually turn with the front wheels to extend the wheelbase, spread out the weight distribution, and make sure the weight of both ends of the car is travelling in the right direction. The results are incredible.

The GTC4Lusso is a very long car – just shy of 5m, to be exact – and with such a long bonnet stretching away in front of you, you really want to have confidence in what the front wheels are doing, and the FF let itself down a little in that regard. The GTC4Lusso is a vast improvement, handling with an agility that is incredible for a car of its dimensions. Turn-in is sharp and precise, and the rear end never feels loose, even on gravelly surfaces, thanks to the all-wheel-drive transmission and steering working to put the power and weight where it’s needed.

The GTC4Lusso is a true Ferrari GT, offering long-distance driving comfort for a driver and three passengers, without compromising on that essential Ferrari experience. And, you can put your golf clubs in the trunk! What more could you ask for?

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Calvin Escobar
About Calvin Escobar

The Car scene is so diverse Where I come from, most enthusiasts recognize the amazing engineering (particularly the engines). The bulk of the ridicule originates from the manner in which many of the vehicles are modded/maintained. Thus, the jokes and or hate tends to be aimed more at the owner rather than the machine. All of which makes seeing properly sorted old Toyota's and Hondas at car meets, auto shows, and track days all the more refreshing.

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