We test-drive the all-new Ferrari and find it’s the perfect everyday supercar.
There is a school of supercar thought that subscribes to the notion that sportscars need necessarily be rabid machines. Fantastically ferocious cars that bark, gnarl and howl while doing the exact opposite of what its driver wants it to do. And although there are plenty of Italian, German and British marques that will readily pander to this clientele, I’m not a fan.
Yes, I love my supercar fast and throaty, but when it becomes rambunctious and rowdy is when I’m ready to politely step away from it. Which is why on a recent drive to Ras Al-Khaimah in the UAE, I am only too happy to get behind the wheel of the all-new Ferrari GTC4Lusso unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show last year – a car that’s not only desirable and fast, but something I could live with everyday.
The GTC4Lusso is a successor to the Ferrari FF, with plenty of cosmetic (a new diffuser and spoiler) and mechanical changes (more power). That 4 within its name stands for a 4-wheel drive and a 4-seater car. Before I step in, I take a moment to look at its side profile – it’s an estate-meets-coupe-meets-supercar design that doesn’t look one bit confused. The shark fins along the side are just what is needed to cut the slick exterior and give it a bit of bite.
Inside, there are plenty of go-faster bits including a flat-bottomed steering wheel and bright coloured knobs and buttons, carbon-fibre trims and bucket seats placed down low. As we set out from the Burj Al Arab towards the Ritz Carlton Al Wadi (we would be the first guests at the hotel after it changed hands from Banyan Tree to Ritz Carlton), we take the car out onto Emirates Road. Expectedly, the Ferrari is fast and responsive in a straight line – the naturally aspirated 6.3-litre V12 is good for 680 prancing horses and capable of a top speed of 335kph.
It was later that afternoon though, when we drove to the nearby Jebel Jais, the tallest mountain in the UAE, with delightful switchbacks where it becomes evident just why Ferrari has a hit on its hands with this car. The steering is intuitively responsive and the car feels like it’s was designed to make the driver feel subhuman – I always feel like I’m in control, although I know that there are millions of algorithms running parallel in that superbrain of its engine to deftly compensate for my rookie driver errors without allowing the car to turn in too early, or letting the rear kick out more than it should when cornering at high speeds. I keep it in Sports mode and try and open up the 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox (there are two of them – one in the rear and the other in the front to evenly distribute the car’s weight – which also explains why the car feels so planted at high speeds) as much as I can without driving off the cliff. It works up a speed very quickly (0-100kph in 3.4seconds), but is able to scrub it off as rapidly too thanks to those carbon ceramic brakes. It really does feel quite spectacular.
What sealed it for me is that this here is an immensely driveable car that gives you the speed, style and practicality in a package that you could drive to the office one day, to the supermarket the next and then even to the track to have some fun when the mood strikes. There are very few supercars that allow you to shift between your different alter egos seamlessly. Think of the Lusso as your wingman.