As is the Ferrari way, the scarlet ‘Start’ button sits resplendently upon the F1 steering wheel. Activation is followed by a brief whirr, then a whip-crack report from the quad exhausts. But rather than sitting in a cramped two-seater, what surrounds is an exquisitely hewn four seat, Italian sports-lounge. For the Lusso is the unlikely lovechild of a supercar and a limousine, raising the question that does anyone need a 335KPH Ferrari shooting-brake?
A keen eye will notice the Lusso as being a revamp of the FF, which is correct, though it’s a substantial revamp at that. The stratospheric 6.3L V12 powertrain now produces a mighty 680BHP (up from 651), the DCT gearbox is now quicker. More significantly, the Lusso now receives four-wheel steering to go with its clever all-wheel-drive system and updated handling software.
Outside, expect a subtle nip and tuck of the love-it-or-hate-it three-door configuration. These exterior updates include new rear lamps and fenders, a larger grille and sculptured side panels. The inside, however, reveals a dramatic improvement in the design and quality of materials and technology. Out, is the dimwitted, hieroglyphic infotainment system of the FF, and in, is a thoroughly modern 26cm touchscreen unit. There’s even a little treat in store for front passengers who receive an (optional) touchscreen of their own to engage with vehicle dynamics and entertainment.
As with the FF, fragrant leathers and aluminum are at once opulent and purposeful and the 2+2 layout remains able to swallow ordinarily-sized humans and their (weekend) luggage. Massively improved, however, is the sound-deadening, now shielding rear passengers in particular from the boomy exhaust and transmission whine. It’s a genuinely comfortable place to be.
An interior view of Ferrari GTC4Lusso
The driving experience remains solid gold supercar. The normally aspirated V12 engine note is impossibly delicious all the way up to the 8250rpm redline. It’s an F1 soundtrack or yore, which the new generation of downsized turbo power plants find impossible to replicate. And because the peak torque (514lb/ft) comes in at around 5750rpm, it leaves one actively looking for vacant onramps and tunnels to rev it all the way out.
Steering is quick and nervous off-center and the brakes a little grabby, both betraying the car’s Mr. Hyde supercar credentials over its Dr. Jekyll GT brief. Ferrari’s “bumpy road” setting is, however, GT bliss and does wonders for the suppleness of the ride. It’s no limousine, buts it’s easily DB11 or AMG Merc smooth.
Downsides are few, but present. This is a huge car – it’s 12cm shorter and wider than and almost as heavy as an S-Class. And since it has no birds-eye camera and a perfectly curb height front splitter, every parking exercise is a white-knuckle affair. Interior fit and finish are very good but there were a few delicate bits here and there. It’s also extremely expensive: a conceptually competitive AMG E63s, for instance, costs 30% of the price.
This brings one back to the initial question of the usefulness of a three-door Ferrari. Logically, wealthy owners will have many cars for their many individual needs and might not need the “one-car-to-rule-them-all” niche filled. There’s, however, just nothing else like the Lusso on the road. It oozes glamour and says a ski-weekend jaunt to Verbier at every turn. It’s bought by suave aficionados who know their cars and make the world a better place with each purchase of one. I love this car.