To most high nett worth individuals (HNWIs), the V12 Ferrari GTC4Lusso ticks all the right boxes in desirable grand touring car standards. Indeed, when we drove it last year, it really felt like a cruise missile made to obliterate everything else on the road, and in great stride and comfort too.
With that in mind, you might think the seemingly ‘watered down’ turbocharged V8 version, the Ferrari GTC4Lusso T, wouldn’t be as good. Dead wrong. That, in a nutshell, is our take after a recent full day test up to Berjaya Hills, Genting Highlands and back to Kuala Lumpur… so read on even though it’s a few horses and cylinders shy off its flagship sibling.
On the surface, it’s hard to tell apart the turbocharged Lusso T (hence the ‘T’ in its name) from the V12, which is fine. It’s sleek, adequately grand and, in our test unit’s case, proudly dressed in the right shade of rosso red.
Inside, much of the kit and plush finishing of V12 remains, including novel bits like the optional interactive passenger display screen. What should still surprise many is just how much comfortable space there is to welcome four full-sized adults, decent head and legroom at the rear included.
When we thumbed the two-step Start button on the optional carbon fibre steering wheel fitted in our test car, the differences between the Lusso T and the V-12 became more apparent. We’ll begin with the most obvious one, the soundtrack of Ferrari’s award-winning 3.9-litre turbocharged V8 powerplant sitting up front.
Derived from the just replaced California T, the blown V8 rumbles in a deep, rich bass instead of that unmistakable top-end howl of the V12. Give it the full beans and the decibel levels from those quad tailpipes justify this mill’s street cred perfectly, especially with the Manettino knob – Ferrari’s fancy drive mode selector – set to Sport.
With a simple pull of the right-side carbon fibre paddleshift behind the wheel, the Lusso T’s 7-speed dual clutch automatic box engages first gear, putting all 603bhp and 760Nm of torque at the mercy of the right foot. Almost immediately, the Lusso T’s abundance in low-end torque becomes apparent.
It’s surprisingly easy to manage all that power, especially when the Manettino is in Comfort mode. With peak torque coming in from as low as 3,000rpm, you don’t need to floor the pedal to get this grand tourer going off the line. In fact, at 3.5 seconds, the Lusso T is just 0.1 seconds slower than the V12’s nought to 100kph sprint, and it will hit a top speed of 320kph too.
In other words, there’s enough go to thrust everyone on board into the Lusso T’s plush yet supportive leather seats. It undoubtedly helps that the 7-speed box is fast, slick and nearly seamless throughout, no matter what the drive mode.
Given its long, low and wide proportions, racing the Lusso T in and out of the corners of a B-road, let alone creeping in and out of a multi-storey parking lot, might seem daunting at first. Actually, it’s surprisingly easy thanks largely to aids like the lightweight electric power steering, front suspension lift and intelligent rear-wheel-steering (RWS) system. This is again where the Lusso T differs somewhat from the V12: the Lusso T doesn’t have the V12’s intelligent partial all-wheel-drive system and its accompanying hardware. It isn’t necessarily bad because it makes the Lusso T a pure rear-wheel-drive car – that, and its smaller, lighter V8 engine, has transformed this grand tourer’s driving dynamics tremendously.
Arguably, the lighter weight and its dynamically engaging electric power steering combine to make the Lusso T sprightlier and more athletic on corners. Other features and hardware, like its sticky Pirelli P-Zero tyres, carbon ceramic anchors and clever adaptive suspension suite, contribute to that drivability.
Equally, if not more, marvellous is how Ferrari’s Manettino drive selector keeps the Lusso T in check throughout. Unlike most other Ferraris, the Lusso T’s Manettino only lacks a Race mode, which is also a mark of its exclusive nature as a fast, purpose-built cruiser, and a comfortable one too.
Set it at Comfort and the Lusso T feels civilised enough for the daily school run or perhaps a quick scoot with the missus to the neighborhood store for groceries. Flick that switch back to Sport, though, and the Lusso T quickly turns into another rowdy, riotous Italian stallion from Maranello, ready to eat Panameras and Continental GTs for breakfast as easily as its V-12 sibling would.
It’s capable of incredible speeds and yet stays comfortable enough to put anyone in its plush passenger seats to sleep. The big difference here compared to its flagship sibling is just how much easier it is to manage the Lusso T.
If you desire something stripped down and focussed purely on performance, Ferrari has steeds like the 488 Pista and 812 Superfast to sate those needs. But if you want something equally fast minus all the discomfort and impracticalities, the GTC4Lusso T is perhaps your best bet, especially if you’re one of those HNWIs who favours speed, comfort and a distinctive Italian flair.
Sans duties and options, the Lusso T is priced from RM1,078,000. Realistically, you’ll need just over twice that amount to own one and that too if you are willing to wait a while for what is perhaps the most comfortable and versatile Ferrari money can buy today.
Not as watered down as you might think. It’s a proper Ferrari GT, arguably more comfortable and versatile, thus making it a more sensible buy.
3,855cc V8 turbo, RWD with RWS, 603bhp, 760Nm
|Price||From RM1,078,000, without duties and options|
|Economy||11.6L/100km, 265g/km CO2|
|Performance||0-100kph in 3.5 secs, 320kph|