► Twin-turbo V8 Ferrari GTC4 Lusso T revealed
► Rear-wheel drive instead of all-wheel drive
► Offered alongside naturally aspirated V12 version
Don’t panic! Downsizing hasn’t struck the naturally aspirated V12 GTC4 Lusso with fatal effect. This, the new GTC4 Lusso T, is a twin-turbo, V8-engined, rear-wheel-drive derivative that will sit alongside the existing flagship shooting brake.
‘The first thing you need to know about the new GTC4 Lusso T,’ says Ferrari’s head of product marketing Nicola Boari, ‘is that it’s not a GTC4 Lusso with a smaller engine. It’s a completely different car that sits alongside the V12 car.’
So, the new entry-level version ditches the naturally aspirated V12 and Ferrari’s complicated ‘4RM’ four-wheel drive system. In their place you’ll find the company’s recent 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8 and a more conventional rear-wheel-drive set-up.
The aim, says Ferrari, is to deliver a lighter, equally thrilling car that’s versatile and suitable for everyday driving. Reputedly, it was developed based on feedback from younger drivers looking for a car with improved versatility, less reliance on all-wheel drive and plenty of in-gear muscle.
What are the key facts and figures for the new GTC4 Lusso T?
The car, which was revealed in full at the Paris motor show, features the 3855cc twin-turbo V8 from the 488 GTB. However, the Lusso T differs in its mechanical specification by using a different air intake system, a new intercooler, different pistons and revised connecting rods. It also, as you’d expect given the different engine location, features a new exhaust system.
The key figures are as follows:
Engine 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8
Power 601bhp at 7500rpm
Torque 561lb ft between 3000-5250rpm
Transmission Seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, rear-wheel drive
The current V12-engined GTC4 Lusso packs 680bhp and 514lb ft – produced at 8000rpm and 5750rpm respectively – which aids it in sprinting from 0-62mph in 3.4sec. Flat out, it’ll hit 208mph.
Ferrari’s new V8 version weighs in at 50kg less than its 1920kg naturally aspirated counterpart – a result of ditching its all-wheel drive layout – and will hit 62mph in 3.5seconds. From 0-104mph takes just 10.8 seconds, and it’ll keep going until it touches 200mph.
The new V8’s far more efficient, too – with a claimed average of 24.4mpg and CO2 emissions of 265g/km, compared to the V12’s 18.8mpg and 350g/km; while its emissions are likely a moot point for most buyers, the improvement over the V12 version’s claimed average will deliver a useful increase in range.
We know that the 3.9-litre V8 is a fine piece of engineering, based on our experiences of it in the Ferrari 488 GTB and California T – and its more flexible nature may suit the luxury shooting brake better than the high-revving V12.
So Boari is right – this is not a Lusso Light.
Not by a Modenese mile. According to Michael Leiters, Ferrari’s Chief Technology Officer, the Lusso T is a very different car to drive – there’s little in the way of lag from the twin-scroll turbochargers, mid-range punch is vicious and the Lusso’s athleticism is further enhanced by shifting weight off the nose.
All its control systems – it still benefits from 4WS rear wheel steering and SSC3 Side Slip Control, among others – are bespoke, as are its new suspension kinematics and gear ratios.
Visually, the T will be identified by its unique 20-inch alloys and its different exhaust layout – otherwise it will look exactly like the V12 version, both inside and out. UK prices have yet to be announced, but in Europe the Lusso T costs €233k (£199k) – a useful 15% price drop over the V12 model.
Ferrari expects sales to be split equally between the turbocharged and naturally aspirated models when the GTC4 Lusso T goes on sale in early 2017. There’s already a 12-month waiting list…
You can read our driving impressions of the V12 GTC4 Lusso here.
Why launch a freshly downsized, simplified GTC?
It’ll potentially entice more customers into Ferrari ownership, for starters. It may also appeal those who weren’t a huge fan of the GTC4 Lusso’s all-wheel drive system, instead preferring a more conventional rear-drive set-up.
Both models will be sold alongside each other, with China and California being the biggest target markets. The Chinese market is one key reason for launching this car; using the 3.9-litre V8 also means the new Ferrari will avoid hefty taxes in China. An imported car with an engine displacing more than four litres will incur so much tax that its list price will effectively double.
Ferrari delivered 316 cars to Greater China – including China, Hong Kong and Taiwan – in the first six months of 2016, accounting for 7.7% of all Ferraris delivered. The result also meant that Ferrari sales in China were up 21.1%, compared to the same period in 2015.
The last reported total shipping figure for the year, worldwide, was 4096 cars; according to Ferrari’s financial reports, Greater China is currently the company’s fifth most important market – out of a total ten registered regions. It makes sense, then, for the brand to tailor its products to meet the specific requirements of certain markets.
Presumably it will allow Ferrari to tackle different cars from rival brands, too.
Correct. It should cost less than the current £230k GTC4 Lusso, thanks to its more conventional and less complicated specification, which may sway buyers considering the likes of the Mercedes-AMG S 63 Coupe, V8-engined Bentley Continental and high-end Porsche Panameras.
This will allow the brand to further expand its number of potential customers and, should it entice them in, boost its profits – no doubt to the ire of some existing owners, who wish the company to keep its volumes relatively low in order to maintain its exclusive nature…
Wasn’t the FF… sorry, GTC4 Lusso, recently revamped?
Back in February 2016, Ferrari unveiled its updated version of the automobile formerly known as the FF. Outside of a new name – the GTC4Lusso, if you comply with Ferrari’s style guide – the revised shooting brake benefitted from more power, newer tech and a more refined, elegant look. You can read more about the updates here.
The naturally aspirated V12 GTC4 Lusso will live on, though, right?
Have no fear – the recently revamped GTC4 Lusso will remain in Ferrari’s line-up for the foreseeable. Initial reports suggest that the naturally aspirated V12 is far from finished, too.
It may, however, receive some hybrid assistance in the near future, in order to improve its economy and reduce its CO2 emissions. A needless pursuit, in all honesty, given the limited numbers and mileages tallied – but the company likely has no choice in the matter.
Read more Paris motor show news here