Back in February 2016 Ferrari launched a new, sleek and accomplished four-seat grand tourer. The GTC4 Lusso was powered by a naturally-aspirated V12, featured four-wheel drive, rear-wheel steering and looked sensational. Yet beneath the coupé-like profile there was room for four, with dual-cockpit architecture, a 10.25" HD touchscreen and an optical display to distract passengers while the driver was enjoying the glued-to-the-road handling. As a way of getting to St Moritz without taking a lumbering SUV, it had no equal.
Until now. Fast forward eight months and the new GTC4 Lusso T makes its debut. Difference? The clue is in the name; the ‘T’ denotes the 3855 cc turbo 8-cylinder that in different states of tune also powers the California T and the 488 GTB. The other major point of difference is rear-drive, instead of the V12 model’s four-wheel drive.
Both the V8 powertrain and rear-drive transmission save weight, endowing the GTC4 Lusso T with a sportier feel than the V12 model. As a result the latest generation SCM-E suspension, ESP 9.0 and third-generation Side Slip Control (SSC3) give plenty of scope for creative expression with slip angles, whilst helpfully stepping in if really called for.
Visually, there’s little to distinguish between the V12 all-wheel drive GTC4 Lusso and the T version, although V8-specific tailpipes and 20" forged wheels are available. But Ferrari owners aren’t badge-obsessed; the only one that matters is the one with the prancing horse on it.
Since Ferrari took the forced induction plunge with the 3.9 V8 Turbo, it now offers the powertrain in three distinct models; front-engined convertible (California T), mid-engined two-seater (488 GTB) and front-engined four-seat GTC4 Lusso T. In the latter guise it develops 610 (metric) horsepower at 7,500 rpm, with maximum torque of 760 Nm available between 3,000 and 5,250 rpm. Evolutionary revisions include new pistons and conrods, reshaped inlet ducts and a new intercooler. Acceleration from 0-62mph takes 3.5 seconds, and top speed is nudging 200mph. That’s impressive, especially when you consider the new V8 Turbo is 50% more economical (it’s all relative) than the twelve-cylinder. In real terms this means you can travel up to 30% further on a tankful.
For some, the feline growl of a naturally-aspirated V12 and the practical winter benefits of all-wheel drive will make the case for the GTC4 Lusso. But the GTC4 Lusso T has a character all its own and some will prefer the agility of its V8, rear-drive powertrain. Oh, and thanks to a flat plane crank and large-diameter silencer, it also sounds sensational. Too close to call?