Red Storm Rising – Ferrari’s GTC4Lusso T
Ferrari’s latest grand tourer is the closest thing you’ll get to a supercar-like SUV
On paper, the latest model out of Maranello sounds like a compromise: A turbocharged V8 instead of a naturally aspirated V12; rear-wheel drive rather than all-wheel drive; and four seats in a space that looks more suited to two. But dismiss the Ferrari GTC4Lusso T to your own detriment, because this grand tourer—based on last year’s GTC4Lusso, which remains in production—is actually rather smart.
The engine loses four cylinders, but we didn’t miss them when we drove the car at its international launch in Tuscany this spring. Because in their stead is a pair of turbochargers force-feeding it with exhaust gases, making it practically as responsive as the V12. Its 602 horses ring up 100 km/h from standstill in just 3.5 seconds, a barely noticeable 0.1 second slower than the GTC4Lusso.
The headline news, however, is a beefier torque of 760 newton-metres. Easily accessible in the early and middle rev ranges, this made the car feel punchier on the country roads that wound through the region’s sun-kissed fields and walled medieval towns.
And if there is any turbo lag—a bugbear of such boosted motors—we barely felt it, thanks to clever engine management tricks that render power delivery almost linear. That the smaller V8 sheds weight off the front end, resulting in better weight distribution, is the icing on the cake. It is one cracker of an engine.
Ferrari says that the GTC4Lusso T is aimed at young urbanites who take the occasional out-of-town excursion with passengers. Such drivers, it adds, don’t need the all-terrain traction of four-wheel drive, and will appreciate the slight understeering response of a rear wheel-driven machine. As a concession to fellow city dwellers, the exhaust note can be toned down using Comfort mode.
The most on-point thing about the GTC4Lusso T, however, is that the cabin is in fact quite roomy, particularly in the back row, despite the signature Ferrari sleek and low-slung styling. And with the rear seats folded down, the boot will accommodate surfboards or perhaps even a bicycle.
The Italian sports car maker claims it will never make an SUV, which means the GTC4Lusso T is the closest thing to an all-purpose vehicle you can buy today that bears the prancing horse badge. And truth be told, if petrol courses in your veins, you have much to gain, and little to lose, by going this route.