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7 Things You Didn't Know About The Newest Ferrari

Derryn Wong
12/05/2016

Inside the GTC4Lusso, Ferrari’s four-seat, four-wheel-steering, AWD monster wagon 

TOKYO — A new Ferrari flagship is always something to look forward to, and we’ve been invited to Japan for a sneak peek at the GTC4 Lusso. Alas, it turned out to be a cruel tease, with no drive to look forward to, but here’s an essential guide to the car: 

It’s defintely not an FF facelift
Pass a glance over the Lusso’s lines and you think ‘FF facelift’ but underneath the skin, that’s quite far from the truth. Ferrari actually designed the GTC4 Lusso to be better than the car it replaces and specifically overcome the complaints about the FF, namely the design and the level of luxuriousness. In fact, 90 percent of the car is different from the FF. While it retains the same frame, the engine, drivetrain, bodyshell, interior are all significantly changed or different. 

 

It’s named after two historic Ferraris
Ferrari knew the shooting brake concept would be polarising, but in its typical style went ahead and did it anyway. “The FF was aimed at tapping an incremental potential of customers who were looking for something else. It’s not a design for everybody and it polarises because it’s a shooting brake – not everyone likes that or would expect that from Ferrari,” says Dieter Knechtel, the CEO of Ferrari’s operations for the Far and Middle East. The result was that while it was the least best-selling Ferrari in its time, the FF was very well used by its owners, with an average mileage of 12,000km, about thrice as much as that of a 458 owner.

How to address the ‘weirdness’ and add design pizzaz? Look to history of course. It might sound weird (or just Italian) but the GTC4 Lusso’s name is a reverse-semi-portmanteau of two models from Ferrari’s past: The 1967 330 GTC (above, left), one of the most practical, four-seat Ferrari’s of yore which also packed a V12 engine. Secondly the 1963 250 GT Berlinetta Lusso (right), widely regarded as one of the best-proportioned Ferraris ever – no coincidence, we think, that the Lusso also has an almost fastback rear end too.

It packs nearly 700 horsepower from a new engine
The titanic 6.3-litre V12, naturally-aspirated engine from the FF has been evolved significantly, although it retains the same 6,262cc capacity. The piston heads are new, as is the engine management software, injection and weight reduction (though Ferrari isn’t specific on this). It makes 690hp, up from 660hp before, 697Nm torque up from 687Nm previously, while efficiency is improved to 351g/km, from 363g/km previously. While the redline is a high 8,250rpm, Ferrari says 552Nm is already available at just 1,250rpm, so it’s a good thing the all-wheel drive system has been evolved too. 0-100km/h time drops a huge 0.3 seconds, considering the modest power boost, but top speed remains at 335km/h. That 0.3 seconds is likely down to the added power, optimised all-wheel drive and traction.  

It has the most unique modern Ferrari drivetrain (LaFerrari aside)
The Lusso is the first Ferrari to combine both all-wheel drive and four-wheel steering into a new system called 4RM-S. The former is 4RM Evo, an improvement on the already complex 4RM system that the FF debuted. As before, it’s a system patented by Ferrari and has two gearboxes plus rear wheel torque vectoring, but now includes the rear-wheel steering system that was seen on the limited edition F12 tdf model. Ferrari says that the new system is also able to transfer torque forward faster, while the four-wheel steering system makes cornering faster and safer and improves lateral acceleration. It makes the car slightly heavier than the FF though, at 1,920kg versus 1,880kg. 

It’s even more luxurious than before
Ferrari admits that FF customers expected a little more from the interior of the machine – after all it was a V12-powered grand touring Ferrari, which comes with certain, high expectations. You can’t say the bad side of Enzo lives on (the sort that picks quarrels with other Italian industrial figures who like bulls, for example) in the modern day Ferrari: “We’ve listened to the customers and their feedback, we’ve acknowledged that the interior was perceived as being a bit too average, and now that’s been upgraded in many ways,” says Knechtel. Almost everything in the cabin is changed, with a new ‘Dual Cockpit’ layout emphasises the ‘shared experience’ of the front seats (there’s still a passenger LCD readout), while refinement has been improved through sound insulation and a new, quieter AC system. There’s also a thoroughly modern, sharp and lag-free 10.25-inch infotainment system. Watch our video walkthrough of the cabin here!

It’s aimed at different folks
The FF was a pioneering concept for a full-production Ferrari, but one the company believed in quite strongly because it could offer buyers a certain degree of practicality while preserving the cool factor. In fact, the company reveals, FF owners (and by proxy those who the GTC4 Lusso is aimed at) were very unique, even amongst Ferrari owners. 

“The FF was aimed at tapping an incremental potential of customers who were looking for something else. It’s not a design for everybody and it polarises because it’s a shooting brake – not everyone likes that or would expect that from Ferrari,” adds Knechtel.

They drove their cars a lot – 12,000km per annum, or roughly three to four times as much as a 458 owners – and did so much of the time with full occupancy. They were also, on average 45-years-old, or ten years younger than the average Ferrari buyer.

It means Ferrari definitely won’t make an SUV
Porsche, Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Lamborghini and Aston Martin are all making SUVs. Ferrari, in typical Ferrari fashion, is continuing to say screw that. We’ve heard it from the horses uh, mouths, many times. But it’s heartening to see that Ferrari is sticking to its guns here.

“The SUV has been used by most of the competitors with the target of selling more to the mass market. And we don’t do that, so why should we release a car to sell more and jeopardise our philosophy?” says Knechtel when asked about the possibility of a Ferrari soft-roader.

“An SUV is too high, it’s too heavy, it’s not considered sporty even if some on the market do a great job in this area. An SUV is totally different behaviour and a totally different world…so don’t expect an SUV from Ferrari!”

Tags:

drive Ferrari ff GTC GTC4 launch Lusso new preview price SG v12

About the Author

Derryn Wong

CarBuyer's chief editor brings 15 years of experience in automotive journalism. Previously, he was the editor for Top Gear Singapore, and a presenter for CNA's Cruise Control motoring segment. He's contributed to The Business Times, Today, and many other publications, and also covered technology as editor of Stuff magazine. An avid motorcyclist and photographer, he is the Chief Slave of two cats. Follow him on Instagram @werryndong

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