2017 Ferrari GTC4 Lusso Review

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Martin Padgett Martin Padgett Editorial Director
June 7, 2017

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Scrimping and saving is for the folks who have to buy an Audi, a BMW, or a Benz; go full-bore with Ferrari's Tailor Made program, and you'll

All the practicality in the 2017 Ferrari GTC4 Lusso is genuine, but most will buy it for its unique shape, its drive system, and its badge.

The GTC4 Lusso—the updated, renamed successor to the FF—isn't just Ferrari's first factory-official shooting brake (that's two-door wagon for those not yet in the know); it's also Ferrari's first four-wheel-drive car, and it's a technological powerhouse as well as a sophisticated grand touring machine that also packs the performance potential to rival some supercars—especially when the road surface turns a little slick.

The name will be familiar to Ferrari fans. It references some classics such as the 330 GTC or its 2+2 sister model, the 330 GT—one of Enzo Ferrari’s favorites—and the 250 GT Berlinetta Lusso. The number "4" alludes to the car’s four seats in the cabin.

But the shape and the mission is an unusual one, especially for the company that breeds cars like the 488 GTB and the Enzo. The GTC4 Lusso is a bit of a mystery, true—but it's also a car that drives well, has great seat comfort and decent ride comfort, and isn’t at all fatiguing to drive near the speed limit, something we really can’t say for a lot of performance cars.

GTC4 Lusso styling and performance

Review continues below

With its two-door wagon (also known as a "shooting brake") form, the GTC4 Lusso's look is unusual. While the front of the vehicle screams Ferrari in all the right ways. it’s the shooting-brake packaging that can be a bit surprising on the first up-close walk-around past the side and rear of the car. Yes, there’s enough space for a small back seat, and some quite significant cargo room, as well as a wide-opening hatch. And somehow—and this is the real art—the front end blends beautifully with the roofline and haunches.

Compared to a lot of newer cars, it’s simpler and less cluttered in its sheetmetal; yet there’s a rich complexity in the contours and form as a whole. As we’ve said about other Ferrari models, there’s something organic in all the forms; it’s not just showing GTC4 Lusso manufacturing prowess with creases and arcs. As with the F12 Berlinetta, the GTC4 Lusso's sides show strong character lines following the swells of the fenders.

The interior of the GTC4 Lusso is done up with all the cues of other modern Ferrari models, including a driver-centric cabin layout and control interface, two-tone finishes, and, of course, fine leathers and metal trim. The steering wheel is free of stalks and levers, with turn signals instead operated as buttons from the steering wheel and a small "manettino" lever, controlling drive modes, on the steering wheel.

Under the hood is Ferrari’s familiar 6.3-liter V-12, paired with a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. In this latest application, the engine delivers 680 horsepower and 514 pound-feet of torque, up from 651 hp. By comparison, the FF delivered 651 hp and 504 lb-ft. The engine is said to be much more tractable, with Ferrari claiming as much as 80 percent of the torque is produced from as low as 1,750 rpm.

With the 7-speed, F1-derived gearbox, the GTC4 is surprisingly docile, delivering near-seamless shifts without the brute force and shift shocks of the Nissan GT-R, another high-power four-wheel-drive car that some might point to as a rival.

Other claims made by Ferrari include a 0-62 mph time of 3.4 seconds and a top speed of 208 mph. That's not bad considering the car with all fluids and a driver will weigh almost 4,400 lb—and that's with optional lightweight features. The weight distribution, meanwhile, is 47-53 front-rear.

Torque flow is smooth and seamless from the four-wheel-drive system, which like most else in the GTC4 Lusso is entirely unique, and engineered especially for the car. Instead of using a transfer case like most all-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive vehicles, Ferrari sends power directly from each end of the engine. A separate two-speed transmission takes power off the nose of the crank to drive the front wheels. The front wheels only drive the car below fourth gear (or around 80 mph, whichever comes first. So at lower speeds you get assistance in tightening your line or getting up slick driveways, then after that, it's truly a rear-wheel-drive car.

To aid the handling, there is the four-wheel-steering system. This made its debut in the F12 tdf and here it is teamed with the 4RM all-wheel-drive system. The system also integrates a brake-based differential, adjustable dampers and Ferrari’s Slip Side Control feature to optimize handling, especially in poor conditions such as on snow-covered roads.

Magnetorheological dampers help control the GTC4 Lusso's body motion for improved grip in a wider range of conditions, while carbon-ceramic brakes increase the fade-resistance and stopping power of the big shooting brake. There's even a 'bumpy road' setting for the suspension that allows a little more travel, and you'll definitely want to get the nose-lift system as ground clearance is surprisingly low (yes, even considering the GTC4 Lusso's touted snow ability.)
 
GTC4 Lusso comfort and features

The GTC4 Lusso is awe-inspiring for its civility and its practical side, as it meets that traditional, howling V-12 touring-coupe side of Ferrari heritage while offering faithful hatchback practicality. You get a floor that’s definitely not flat, although the trunk capacity is 15.6 cubic feet, expandable to 28.3 cubes with the folding of the seatbacks.

The package would be called only somewhat practical by mass-market standard, but this sure isn’t the mass market; and next to any other Ferrari—or any other exotic with two doors—it’s far more practical. It’s a real back seat, good for kids, and other smaller passengers, and fine if you promise to drive gingerly.
 
Also in the cabin, you’ll find a revamped dash complete with a 10.25-inch touchscreen display for the infotainment system. Apple CarPlay allows access through core functions and apps—like for maps, messages, and calling—through the vehicle’s screen, as a remote extension. The steering wheel is more compact thanks to a smaller air bag and the integrated controls are said to be more ergonomic.

If you've even thought about buying a Ferrari before, you'll know what you're getting into with ordering and pricing. You'll end up with a costly, yet one-of-a-kind car. Want the Ferrari prancing horse embroidered into the headrests? That’s another two grand or so. The Passenger Display, which shows speed and rpm to your passenger, is about $4,000; and the panoramic roof alone is about $18,000. Yes, you'll also have a $3,700 federal gas-guzzler tax for this model's somewhat optimistic 11 mpg city, 16 highway EPA ratings; but who's counting?

We've driven the Lusso in its previous guise as the Ferrari FF; we'll update this page once we've spent a fair amount of time in the Lusso.

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