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“My job is hardly assignment sometimes,” is a accepted burden heard about the Motor Trend office. Example: On a Tuesday afternoon, my inbox pinged, “Wanna drive a V-8 turbo Ferrari wagon up the Hudson River Valley? Please LMK ASAP.” Hmm. What would you reply? “YOLO, OMW!” So on Sunday morning, I was boarding a flight from Los Angeles to New York and aerial aboriginal chic beyond the country to drive the 2018 Ferrari GTC4Lusso T. Aboriginal stop: the Upper East Ancillary of Manhattan—but it was cloudburst buckets of rain in the city. IKR?
That “T” in GTC4 Lusso T is what differentiates this new car from the 2017 GTC4Lusso (no T) we initially collection in Europe in 2016, and again, Stateside beforehand this year. According to Ferrari, those lusso (luxury) admirable touring coupes’ all-weather mission remains: sure-footed adherence and versatility with allowance for four adults propelled by an iconic Ferrari V-12. That artlessly aspirated 6,262 cc. V-12, acceptable for 680 horsepower/514 lb-ft of torque, is apprenticed through two transmissions to all four wheels. The GTC4Lusso additionally appearance rear-steer accouterments originally apparent on the weaponized 770-hp F12tdf. Afterwards his drive, all-embracing agency arch Angus MacKenzie wrote: “Right now, Ferrari ability aloof accept the best agglomeration of anatomy engineers in the business. Yes, the GTC4Lusso is that good.”
Sharing the two-door four-passenger auto (aka “shooting brake”) versatility of the V-12, the new GTC4Lusso T’s mission, however, is to accommodate a 30 percent access in ammunition ability (true, according to the EPA) added additional activity and quicker responses. How? With beneath all-embracing and added rear-biased weight (46/54 percent front/rear), the front, midmounted turbocharged V-8 is apprenticed through a transaxle and rear-wheels alone—emphasis on rear. The rear-steering accouterments additionally comes along, but software was recalibrated to accent its antic goal. Suddenly, I was anxious for tomorrow morning’s backing day drive in a car that starts at $260,750 and was $336,000 as it sat. I was comforted to apprentice that the Lusso T additionally appearance Ferrari’s third-generation Ancillary Slip Control—an overlord of electronics authoritative front/rear council and cycle rates, dampers, throttle, transmission, traction/stability-control systems, and an cyberbanking differential. And of course, there is a Wet ambience on the revised council wheel’s now-famous manettino selector. So there’s that. Sleep well, beast.
Throwing the blackout curtains abreast in the morning, I was admiring to acquisition a aerial white/blue sky, inky, atramentous streets, and no rain. Afterwards a breakfast briefing, we absolved out of the auberge to acquisition a brace of new GTC4Lusso Ts at the barrier that were covered in dewdrops, one Grigio Titanio Metallizato (sliver) and one Blu Mirabeau—the one I chose. Firing up the flat-plane crank V-8, it acclimatized into a affable staccato idle. I loaded the drive avenue on my iPhone and enabled Apple CarPlay. Ancillary note: If you anticipation Porsche was accusable of air-conditioned advantage prices, CarPlay—standard on a $19,730 Honda Civic—is a $4,219 option. Coincidentally, the GTC4Lusso T’s alternative Panoramic Bottle Roof is $20,249, or $519 added than the complete Civic. Yes, really. The accepted 10.25-inch high-definition touchscreen infotainment affectation is appreciably quick to acknowledge to left/right swipes, unpinch zooms, and all added curtains afterwards averseness or latency. There are additionally two rollers and four buttons. Additionally, our car was adapted with an alternative 8.8-inch commuter touchscreen ($5,906) that displays navigation, chassis, entertainment, or achievement data. In nav mode, it can accomplish apart of the capital awning so a commuter can locate and ascribe a detour or new destination afresh accelerate it to the capital awning afterwards arresting the driver’s display. Kinda cool.
Back on East 76th Street: the car’s quick-revving motivator is a DOHC 32-valve twin-scroll twin-turbo V-8 displacing 3,855 cc. Closely accompanying to the agent in the approachable Ferrari California T and admission Portofino, they’re all allotment of the F154 dry-sump V-8 family. The 3,902 cc. 661-hp, 561-lb-ft adaptation in the 488 GTB helped actuate it to win Motor Trend’s 2017 Best Driver’s Car. Like that gem, the Lusso T’s V-8 is acquainted to bear near-zero turbo lag, and in this case accommodate “just” 602 application at its 7,500-rpm rev-limit but the aforementioned gut-flattening 561 lb-ft of torque at 3,000 rpm. That’s 47 lb-ft added than the non-T Lusso’s V-12. The V-8 appearance variable-length assimilation runners and equal-length bankrupt headers, and the once-controversial turbos accommodate capricious addition based on throttle/gear positions. In apparatus three through seven, the agent produces ever-more torque afterwards anniversary upshift to ensure that blitz of dispatch never diminishes with those taller gears.
One larboard about-face later, and while dabbling bottomward Madison Avenue in Comfort approach with the manual in auto, the seven-speed dual-clutch automated nonchalantly accomplished low-rev accouterment as able-bodied as a accomplishing accomplished job accepting the 4,100-pound car affective acclaim advanced from a stop. The auto stop/start arrangement isn’t what we’d alarm seamless, however, but it can be and was calmly disabled. I added angled off all NYC potholes by selecting Bumpy Alley approach from the council caster button that softens the magnetorheological (MR) dampers, and the consistent ride is actually plush—even on 35 aspect-ratio tires on artificial 20-inch wheels. A Ferrari that drives as agilely and calmly as a Volvo wagon? Indeed. Will it be any fun aback it matters?
Turning larboard assimilate East 97th, acid through Central Park, and afresh E 96th, put us on the Hudson Parkway in Riverside Park. I flicked the car into Sport, and the burke and bankrupt agenda grew sharper. In the abrasion traffic, I let my amateur relax a little as dispatch added and complete advance was actuality made. It was a absolutely crisp, animate day for a drive forth the Hudson. For a Californian, seeing the leaves alteration color, brief about on the Parkway, and occasionally pasting themselves on the windshield, was lovely. As with best disciplinarian controls, a about-face on the council caster activated the wipers. Afresh I began acquainted how active, about hyper-active, the rear-steering absolutely was. At 50-60 mph, I’d deride the about-face arresting (on the council wheel), almost nudge the caster for a lane change, and zip, I’d be in the abutting lane. Switching aback to Comfort approach (again, on the wheel) acclimatized the car noticeably. There would be time for that later.
Passing through Riverdale (yes, it exists and my babe would’ve lerved a pic!), I fabricated my way to the Taconic Parkway and headed arctic to Yorktown. There, the avenue veered off assimilate Bear Mountain Accompaniment Parkway and into the accompaniment park. The alley began to ascend and bend, but the dispatch complete was acquaint 40 mph, and the locals were demography it actual seriously. Why? It was mostly a double-yellow two-laner, so I acclimatized in and noticed the bounded badge brindled throughout. Ah-ha. Thank you, locals. A half-hour later, I begin myself abandoned on Seven Lakes Drive in Harriman Accompaniment Park. Finally, I could amplitude the Lusso’s legs. Sport mode: check. Firmed up dampers; check. The car took a abysmal animation and came animate for the aboriginal time that day.
Having afresh apprenticed a 488 GTB, I already accepted how able the F154 V-8 is. It can change from purring affable to barbaric bobcat in an instant, but I hadn’t advised how this would affect the GTC4Lusso T. It went from an backward Parkway admirable touring cruiser to a absolutely brainy hot bear in a amount of seconds. The complete advance on the twisting, abashing mural was a shock, and the Lusso T acquainted like a 600-hp sports car that was acclimatize to my every whim. I don’t anticipate I blinked for bristles account at a time, and I actually began to acknowledge abounding things: that adrenaline bang of torque with anniversary cull of the about-face paddle, the able E-Diff putting ability to the road, the four-wheel council alive in now-telepathic harmony, the 245/35R20 and 295/35R20 Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S tires accouterment accurate grip, and the standard, active 15.7-in front/14.2-in rear carbon-ceramic brakes. The cohesiveness of the accomplished car is remarkable, and it is article few manufacturers anytime get this right. Within what acquainted like minutes, I had accustomed at the destination, the Valley Rock Inn and Market in Sloatsburg, New York. Weak kneed, I climbed out of the car activity I had alone aloof tasted what the Ferrari had claimed the GTC4Lusso T was all about. Were there actually four seats in this car? I pulled the aback absolution on the commuter seat. It motored all the way up to the dashboard, affording accessible access into the aback seat. Once there, it’s accurate an developed could absolutely be adequate for a good, continued drive. There’s affluence of foot-, leg-, and headroom, and clashing some two-door four-passenger cars or alike some four-door “coupes,” the appearance out of the ancillary bottle is generous. Added that crazy big-ticket bottle roof actually does a abundant job of staving off claustrophobia and affords a atom added allowance than had it been a animate roof with insulation and a headliner. My appetence for cafeteria and a additional run through the esplanade with my beard on blaze had to be satisfied.
I inhaled my caprese sandwich, drank a cup of joe, and went aback to the parking lot to acquisition the Lusso had aggregate a baby crowd. I fielded questions: “How much?” About 300. “How fast?” About 200. Afresh I asked a young, bounded about Harriman Park. I hadn’t alike accomplished allurement my question, “Do you apperceive a acceptable alley in Harriman area I..?” aback he said, “Arden Valley Road. It’s area bodies go to drive. It’s appealing tight, but it’s fun. Go a few afar up to the changeabout afresh you can drive aback bottomward the hill. Uphill is added fun.” Pin dropped, I headed aback to the park. Accurate to his word, the convolute award was the complete abode to delving the car’s reflexes and abilities. Boy, was it narrow, though, with game-over copse and boulders on the side. Plus, the antecedent night’s cloudburst had larboard wet leaves and ample twigs/branches broadcast beyond it. I absurd what a Civic Type R could do with this this road, but a Lusso T? It was a Monday afternoon. It was empty, but I’d leave the stability/traction-control on. Nobody wants to be that guy.
The way the GTC4Lusso T can adumbrate its adipose weight and breadth (its 117.7-in wheelbase is 1.6 inches best than that of a Porsche Panamera) is a arresting feat. The car figuratively diminished bottomward to what acquainted about the admeasurement of a BMW M Auto as I answerable up the hill. That engine, though, and the anatomy are amazing partners. The steering, which acquainted a little darty abroad on my drive, was so aerial and so complete that it absolutely abolished from my account of tasks. The car was actually activity area my eyes and academician capital go; it alone followed. Also, how it could abide any adumbration of understeer is a abstruseness to this day. I did glimpse a adequately approved beam of chicken in the apparatus console aback I went to the burke and absorption ascendancy was activated, but it wasn’t the array that actually slows progress. I additionally saw the hazards beam a cardinal of times aback I approached the banned ballast beneath adamantine braking and apparently got into the airy ABS. Yet it all acquainted like a well-choreographed ball afterwards a distinct misstep or jettisoned baiter ballast acknowledgment to actuality apprenticed actual adamantine on a tight, glace road. Like best abundant cars, it acquainted like it had been acquainted for this actual road. And aloof like the 488 GTB, the complete ascendancy the disciplinarian feels accomplish this a abnormally accomplished four-seater. This is one of the best-tuned anatomy I’ve anytime driven.
Encouraged by Arden Valley Road, I went added into the esplanade and into the Lusso’s repertoire. I begin a continued beeline area I could sample the Lusso T’s apace acceleration. On an abandoned alley in the affection of the green, I stopped, askance the manettino to ESC off, apprenticed the PS button, and called aboriginal gear. Two pedals in, the revs climbed, I stepped off the brake, and the car leapt off the band with alone a adumbration of wheelspin on the clammy asphalt. Despite axis off Auto about-face and selecting aboriginal accessory manually, the PS barrage approach makes optimal, automated upshifts. Ferrari claims a 0-100-kph (62 mph) time of 3.5 seconds. At 6.8 pounds-per-horsepower, we’d say that’s a little conservative. At 7.3 to 7.4 pounds per horsepower, the lighter Mercedes-AMG GT S two-seater with a agnate weight administration runs 0-60 mph amid 3.2 and 3.5 seconds. We’ll say the Ferrari will dip bottomward to 3.0 to 3.3 abnormal to 60 mph aback we assuredly get to analysis one.
What started with the Ferrari FF became the added able GTC4Lusso and now has become the 2018 GTC4Lusso T. It is a absolutely appropriate car from a appropriate brand. There actually is no absolute adversary to the Lusso T. Can you anticipate of addition two-door “shooting brake” that isn’t a conversion? The Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo is abutting but a four-door. There are alone rumors and artisan renderings of a Jaguar F-Type wagon. How about an Aston Martin DB11 V8 or Maserati GranTurismo? Those aren’t adult-sized rear seats. Aback pushed, Ferrari grudgingly says the Bentley Continental GT and the Mercedes-Benz S-Class auto are the closest. Although those are, indeed, two-door four-passenger coupes accessible with twin-turbo V-8s, they’re affluence barges in comparison.
The GTC4Lusso T drives and sounds like a 488 GTB but has allowance for four. The sensations are alike absolutely agnate to a Porsche 911 with alternative rear steer—or like a Mercedes-AMG GT S. Like those, this car feels awful sorted in every way and accessible for any alley you put in advanced of it. That it can additionally coast bottomward Madison Avenue, about-face heads, and has complete rear seats and 15.9 cubic anxiety of burden allowance (with those seats folded) is what makes it such a singularity. For now, we’ll go advanced and say it is, indeed, the best admirable touring auto of our time—perhaps ever. A singularity? A four-passenger comment like the 400, Mondial, or Scaglietti in the account of Ferrari? We don’t anticipate so. It’s one of their greatest achievements to date.
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