Bella Macchina!

Your whole family will love Ferrari's roomy and sturdy new GTC4Lusso. But not to worry, you can still strut your stuff in this Italian rocket.

BY MICHAEL FRANK

Testing Ferrari's new GTC4Lusso this summer in the Italian Dolomites, I experienced pure driving euphoria. Exiting a corner, I matted the throttle a tad early, causing the rear tires to step momentarily sideways, screeching as they clawed for grip. To correct that, even as the car launched itself forward past 40, then 60 miles an hour, I instinctively snapped my wrists. The car straightened and flew ahead while I ratcheted through the seven-speed gearbox via paddle shifters. I practiced this maneuver time and again while chasing a trio of skilled motorcyclists up, down, and around the mountains, always finding this glorious Italian machine acrobatic and nimble, and at times fittingly bombastic, accelerating to 100 mph in less than 10 seconds.

At the summit of a Dolomite pass, the guys on motorbikes pulled off and shouted, "Bella macchina!" Agreed. But this, the largest car in Ferrari's 69-year history, which goes on sale in November for an estimated $300,000, is finally something more than a performance-only, one-trick prancing horse. It's a stellar driver's car, yes, but also a genuine family car roomy enough for four adults.

WE KNOW YOU'RE ASKING ...

Wasn't the FF Ferrari's first ‘family' car?
Sort of. While the FF, which debuted in 2011, was the first Ferrari with all-wheel-drive and has adjustable suspension, the company finally embraces the logic of a sports sedan for passengers with the GTC4Lusso. To that end, the interior is far more inviting - it's airier and features many more sculptural shapes than the less-refined FF cabin does.

The GTC4Lusso grows about 3 inches wider at the rear and about half an inch in overall length. While that doesn't sound like much, that added room and careful repackaging mean you're not banging shoulders with your seatmate, and a genuine 6-footer can sit in the second row comfortably. Plus, increased trunk space can accommodate a pair of golf bags or, if you fold down the rear seats, ski gear for a weekend in Aspen. Ferrari also mounted a slick, nearly invisible touch-screen panel on the dash facing the front passenger so that rider can alter audio, climate, and navigation functions without distracting the driver.

Is it still fast?
Astonishingly so. The 680hp V-12 can propel the GTC4Lusso to 60 mph in a mere 3.4 seconds.

Yes, but is it civilized?
Indeed, and that's the key, because the V-12 reaches 80 percent of peak torque at just 1,750 rpm, so you can go very fast without flooring it - resulting in a much smoother experience for driver and passengers alike. In traffic, you can let the seven-speed transmission shift itself (instead of using the aluminum paddle shifters) and just drive. Best of all, the electronically controlled suspension handles rutted pavement with ease, dialing out anything that might be perceived as a rough ride without feeling mushy to the driver.

A Ferrari for snow? Really?
This is just the second Ferrari, after the FF, to get all-wheel drive - and, like the limited-edition F12tdf Ferrari out earlier this year, the GTC4Lusso also gets four-wheel steering. The all-wheel drive is calibrated for maximum dry grip and for keeping you safe in snow or rain. The four-wheel steering is designed to improve handling in all conditions - tightening steering when you need maneuverability and preventing sideways sliding on the slickest roads.

The most gorgeous Ferrari yet?
In our eyes, this is the company's most graceful, flowing, and alluring shape on the road today. It's a design that's at once in touch with the brand's exemplary history while still moving forward. Bella macchina, indeed.

Add your comment

0 comments




It appears you are using an older web browser! While using our site, you may encounter some trouble along the way. For PC users, we recommend upgrading to the latest version of Internet Explorer or Firefox. For Mac users, we recommend the latest version of Safari or Firefox.