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Ferrari GTC4Lusso T, mature look with a teenager heart

We recently did a review of the first-generation Ferrari GTC4Lusso, when we got to drive it on some twisty mountain roads complete with the mandatory gorgeous sceneries. Needless to say, it felt like a true Ferrari and we absolutely adored it. So you can probably imagine our enthusiasm when Ferrari said we could drive the brand-new GTC4Lusso T. We packed all of our gear and headed out to the airport in Doha. Our destination? The beautiful and sunny Monteriggioni commune in the Italian region of Tuscany. Unfortunately, the weather en route to the airport was anything but sunny.

After having our flight delayed, we had to wait for a break in the weather before we could fly out to Italy and drive one of Ferrari’s finest creations. It was an agonizing 24-hour trip from Doha to Dubai then a connecting flight in Germany, before finally arriving in Bologna, Italy. When we got to the hotel it was 3 am, and the test drive was scheduled for the next morning, 9 am sharp.

That gave us a window of about 6 hours to rest, but with all the excitement, we barely got half that in actual sleep time. Seeing as how my bag got lost in transportation and I didn’t have it with me the majority of the trip (yes, really), we got up nice and early so as not to miss our 9 am session. We knew we were in for a treat, but the following 500 kilometers on amazing roads were a lot more than anyone could have expected.

Following a short and brief talk with the folks over at Ferrari, we were handed over the keys to our GTC4Lusso T. On the outside, it’s actually not that different to the V12-powered GTC4Lusso. In fact, it’s completely identical. Sporting the new Ferrari corporate face as the one found on the 488 GTB and the F12, it’s a complete clone of its V12 predecessor. Everything from the front bumper winglets and race-inspired diffuser down to the rear quarter panels and even wheels is familiar. All in, there’s no way you can tell the new car apart from the old one when stationary, apart from maybe the V8 soundtrack when it’s turned on and the rims.

The GTC4Lusso T is a prime example of why change isn’t always better. Although it looks exactly like the car before it, the original GTC4Lusso wasn’t exactly dated to begin with. In production for just one year, it got a different name (previously FF) and the new design language we mentioned. So, in a way, the new turbo version is just as modern and innovative. The shooting brake rear end is mesmerizing, turning the GTC4Lusso into something resembling a super car wagon, if such a thing ever existed.

Getting inside reminds you of the original V12 GTC4Lusso as well. Though it looks completely identical, Ferrari was keen to point out that the new T version boasts a Dual Cockpit architecture. In lay man’s terms, it means it received a similar information display right in front of the passenger so that he can get in on the driving experience as well. Or probably scream once he sees the incredible rate of speed the new turbo car is capable of enforcing. Either way, it looks cool and definitely brings a touch of innovation to the interior.

Also new is the 10.25-inch HD capacitive touchscreen which we found quick and engaging. There’s no lag and it offers tons of options. We’ve never been particularly excited about infotainment in a Ferrari, but this one really makes you want to use it more often. Kudos to Ferrari there. The two-tone design is carried over, with an aluminum trim as standard and a carbon-fiber one as optional. The F1 wheel has to be our favorite part of the entire cabin, apart from the seats maybe. Inspired by their racing cars, it features a flat bottom and F1-styled buttons for everything, from the turn indicators and windscreen wipers to the Manettino switch.

We got a chance to drive the car in various type of conditions, and it performed flawlessly everywhere. Heading out to the twisties, we got stuck in rush hour but the car handled it amazingly well. Play your tunes, set the A/C to just right and give interested and excited bystanders the occasional rev. It’s the perfect super car experience. IT didn’t feel too big for the tiny Italian city streets either. A Lamborghini feels massive in comparison. It’s nippy and agile at normal speeds, something most people probably don’t expect.

We then got some open roads where we had a chance to test the new engine, and what an engine it is. A 3.9-liter V8 with two turbochargers, it’s actually a detuned 488 GTB motor. In GTC4Lusso T guise it produces 601 horsepower and 760 Nm of torque. Although it loses 80 horsepower on the V12 GTC4Lusso, it gains 64 Nm of torque, but more importantly, both the usable power and torque are way down low, so it feels a lot faster.

Peak power is delivered at 7,500 rpm, but 80-90% of it is available from 5,000 rpm, so you don’t have to rev it to over 7,000 rpm all the time like you did in the V12. What’s more, all of the torque comes in between 3,000 and 5,250 rpm, making the midrange punch almost overwhelming. The end result is nothing short of breathtaking. Any gear, any revs, pin the throttle and it’s off like a rocket. Because it ditched the all-wheel drive system and power is sent to the rear wheels alone, it’s 60 kilograms lighter, and you can definitely feel it.

Ferrari went back to the more traditional RWD layout but kept the rear-wheel steering system. In the corners, it’s a real joy to throw around, and when you find an open straightaway you better hang on. The sprint to 100 km/h takes just 3.5 seconds and it will go on to 320 km/h.

​Primarily designed at a younger audience, the new GTC4Lusso T is a much more usable car than the V12 predecessor. Do you miss the V12 engine? If I’m being honest, yes, a bit, but the torque more than makes up for it. Plus, you can truly daily drive this thing, making it that much better.

By: Tarek Hawchar

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