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Car Review

Ferrari GTC4Lusso review

£238,347
910
Published: 19 Dec 2019
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Driving

What is it like to drive?

On a budget? Of course you’re not. But even so it’s getting tougher to recommend a V12 Ferrari over a V8 just because it hits a fraction harder and sounds a chunk better, when it’s also considerably less economical (18.5mpg against 24.8mpg for the V8), and rowdier to use. But let’s be clear, any Ferrari engine is still a very special thing. The V8 is super responsive for a turbo and has masses of torque and drivability, even if it does drone. The V12 is stunning. Yes, you might occasionally wish it settled down and didn’t trumpet your presence so blatantly, but those occasions are outweighed by its breadth and range. The figures say maximum torque doesn’t arrive until 5,750rpm, but they don’t tell you that 80 per cent of that 514lb ft is available at just 1,750rpm. From there you have 6,500rpm before the cutout – a huge arc of power, noise and acceleration. This is a deeply, effortlessly fast car.

And although it will explode along the road, a GTC4Lusso is only that sort of car for a handful of seconds at a time. It’s going to spend a lot more of its time dawdling rather than howling. And this, traditionally, is something Ferraris weren’t so good at. They are now. It’s the small stuff, like how the throttle behaves on small openings, how seamlessly the gearchanges click through, how easy it is to see out of at junctions. The GTC does all this brilliantly. The only thing that really jars is the positioning of the indicators (and light/wiper controls) on the steering wheel, but you soon get used to that. This is a car that crawls through traffic diligently – that actually seems to be interested in doing the job well, doesn’t just treat it as something to be surly about.

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But what it really likes to do is sweep through quick curves. The old FF was like a dart. Not only did it look long and thin, it felt that way, too. Fitting four wheel steering has nullified that, aiding agility and blending very well with the sharp steering. Does it need to whip into corners quite so quickly? Probably not, but there’s no denying that eagerness is matched by a stability and grip.

It’s also easy to think that the ride is firm because there’s so little movement in it. But ask yourself if it feels uncomfortable. Because it doesn’t. Initially I was surprised that the GTC4 wasn’t as supple as I expected, but the more I drove it, the more I came to appreciate how exceptional the wheel control is, how well controlled the body and suspension. It’s unflappable, which means the GTC4 exudes utter confidence in any situation, whether clanging the edge of a deep pothole or running on coarse surfaces. It just deals with it and moves on. Next problem. No fuss. Little disturbs the on-board calm.

There is a bit of road noise, and if you opt for the £11,520 panoramic glass roof, that noise gets bounced around the cabin a little. But only a little. This is a wonderfully competent long-range cruiser. The engine noise dies away, the car settles, and with the manettino twisted into Comfort you can while the hours away. At least until the fuel tank runs dry (call it 330 miles in the V12, about 100 more in the V8).

It’s not as soft and hushed as a Bentley – the seats are firmer, the chassis is crisp and wants to be given work to do. And when you do, it’s a real hard charger. Yes, the steering mistakes sharpness for actual tactility and although 60kg lighter than the old FF, the brakes have to work very hard to keep 1,920kg of GTC4Lusso in check. But there’s no slack in the system. This is a car that responds as you want, when you want.

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