Lamborghini may be going full-steam ahead with the Urus SUV, but Ferrari has no plans to follow suit. To put a fine point on it, when asked about a potential off-roader last week, Ferrari (and FCA) chief Sergio Marchionne declared, “You have to shoot me first.” The man usually knows what he’s doing when he speaks to the press, and unless he’s planning on doing some kind of Chris Burden-esque performance art piece, we’re just going to take him at face value on this.
So for the busy Ferrari family of four (you know, the perky ones in the matching Ferrari F1 jackets and hats), the go-to model since 2011 has been the FF grand tourer. With seating for four almost actual-size humans and four-wheel drive, the FF is unlike any Ferrari produced before or since, and as such, it’s also one of the more controversial cars in its lineup. Purists don’t like it because it’s not a mid-engined two-seater, and it isn’t exactly very pretty, but 651 horsepower routed through two gearboxes to all four wheels and a top speed of 208 miles per hour in a comfortable grand tourer is nothing to sneeze at. It may not be a LaFerrari, but it’s still quite the technical powerhouse.
But after serving for five years, the FF — at least in name — is no more. Facelifted for 2016, the car will be revealed at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show as the GTC4 Lusso. It’s more an evolutionary step than great leap forward, but it’s leaner, prettier, and more powerful than its predecessor. The 6.3-liter V12 now pumps out 681 horses and 514 pounds of twist, and those four wheels don’t just move under their own power anymore, they all steer now, thanks to a new system cribbed from the F12tdf supercar.
If the FF seemed like an outlier in the Ferrari lineup, the GTC4 Lusso is chock-full of Ferrari past and present. Its GTC moniker is borrowed from the 1966-’68 Pininfarina-designed 330GTC. Criticized in its day for being more of a luxury grand tourer than race-bred sports car, it’s not much of a stretch to see a connection between these two cars. And for even the most casual Ferrari fans, the Lusso nameplate is one of the most iconic of the ’60s, when it was a pretty grand tourer based on the 250 and enjoyed by the likes of Steve McQueen. And going forward a few decades, we can’t help but see more than a passing resemblance between the new car’s hindquarters and the 456 “Venice” estate cars built for the Sultan of Brunei in the ’90s.
But that’s where the history lesson ends. From the A-Pillars forward, the Lusso bears more than a passing resemblance to the new 488 GTB, and the revised interior looks even more like a proper Ferrari while still maintaining an inviting grand tourer character that we’d like to spend some time in. Understanding that the average Lusso buyer has different needs than an F12tdf buyer, the company has upgraded the car’s infotainment system, making it both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible, and routing it all through a 10.25-inch HD touchscreen.
With a cleaner look, more power, and tech upgrades inside and out, the GTC4 Lusso is poised to take the most groundbreaking Ferrari of the last few years (LaFerrari excluded) and make it even more competitive. We can’t wait to see what the new Lusso can do, whether it’s on a desert straightaway or a snowy mountain pass.
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