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Powered by the world's best turbocharged V8 engine, Ferrari's Variable Boost Management software and a lighter rear-wheel drive system, the GTC4Lusso T proves to be no less capable than its V12-powered sibling.

14 Sep 2018


When we last spoke to Dieter Knechtel, Chief Executive Officer Ferrari Far East and Middle East Hub, this time last year, he was clear on the matter that Ferrari won't build an SUV, at least not in the traditional sense.

"It's not fitting with our DNA, and our expectations when it comes to weight, performance and spirit. Ferrari makes cars that are fast, light and as sporty as possible," he says.

Whether or not Ferrari will eventually jump on that bandwagon, which rivals like Lamborghini have with the Urus, only time will tell. And of course, as fans of the fabled supercar maker, we hope it never does, for two good reasons.

Need a ride? The GTC4Lusso T will seat four adults in total comfort even over long distances

One, no matter how much sporting genes manufacturers try to inject into SUVs, they can never really bend the laws of physics given their size and weight. Two, Ferrari already has a 'Ferrari for the family'. The most practical Ferrari, as much as any Ferrari can be practical, is the four-seater GTC4Lusso T that you see here.

Wait, haven't you guys already reviewed this earlier this year?

We have, but that's the V12-powered version. This one's badged with an extra 'T' at the end, which like on the California T, denotes its twin-turbocharged V8 rather than the GTC4Lusso's naturally aspirated V12.

Less power than the V12 but more torque, rated at 760Nm, is supplied in a creamy fashion

But before you go off thinking that robs it of its status as a 'real' Ferrari, bear in mind that this 3.9-litre twin-turbocharged V8 powerhouse has won the International Engine of the Year Award for three years in a row since 2015.

Despite losing the greater horsepower of the V12 (680bhp versus 601bhp), the twin-turbo V8 gains a wealth of torque, outmuscling the V12 with 760Nm versus 697Nm.

And it delivers it with a great deal of civility thanks to Ferrari's variable boost management system, which increases torque output for each advancing gear, producing linear acceleration to mimic the characteristics of naturally aspirated engines, which Ferrari is famous for.

Big carbon ceramic brakes help slow the GTC4Lusso T to a stop as quickly as it sucks you into the horizon

The absence of lag is outstanding, and the engine only reaches peak torque in seventh gear.

Pedal to the metal and the century sprint is dispatched in 3.5 seconds, insignificant against the V12's 3.4 seconds. It is able to achieve a top speed of 320km/h, just shy of the V12's 335km/h, which is again a negligible difference.

The real difference here, then, is in the way they sing (and the designs of the wheels and the exhaust tips), and Ferraristi will argue that the V8 lacks the charisma and aurality compared to the V12. 

Still, it delivers a considerably exotic soundtrack especially when the exhaust flaps are open in Sport setting.

Ferrari also promises that the V8 offers a 25% increase in efficiency and a 30% increase in total range over the V12.

It may not deliver the same aural highs as the V12 but it definitely sings it own alluring V8 soundtrack

Lighter, more tossable family supercar

Part of that increase in efficiency has to do with the car's lighter front end, as well as its lighter rear-wheel drive system. The V12 employs all-wheel drive instead. Even so, the GTC4Lusso T almost never loses its footing and is extremely easy to drive quickly.

The same rear-wheel steering system that works so flawlessly with the V12's all-wheel drive system is in effect here, which provides ultra-quick (sometimes too quick), feedback-abundant steering response but gives the GTC4Lusso T a Ferrari edginess that sets it apart from other GTs and helps it feel more like a thoroughbred sports car than any four-seater we remember.

Lighter nose and a lighter rear-wheel drive layout makes this the more tossable GTC4Lusso

That said, while anyone who has never driven a Ferrari shouldn't have problems getting comfortable behind the wheel of this one, it must still be treated with a certain level of respect. Exceed the limits of its grip and it will remind you of the supercar underneath its family skin by lighting up the rear tyres, alongside a flashing light on the instrument cluster.

So can the world's best turbo V8 lure buyers away from the classic Ferrari V12 GT?

That's the wrong question to ask. While both of them are built to fulfil the family-hauling needs of the well-heeled, the difference in characters alone, given their power and drivetrain differences, will offer almost completely different experiences.

Cabin is, as expected of a million-dollar Ferrari, well-appointed and equipped with modern technology

The V12 is the more soulful, more time-honoured offering, while the V8 shows just how downsizing can be done right, and is the 'easier', more practical Ferrari.

Instead, the question should be, with the GTC4Lusso, T or no T, should Ferrari even bother about SUVs? We think not. With four seats, a well-appointed cabin and an unbeatable driving experience, this is all the car a fast-paced, supercar-loving family will ever need.
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Car Information

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Ferrari GTC4Lusso T 3.9 (A)
Rate it

Price

: $1,068,000

Engine Type

:

V8 Twin-Turbocharged

Engine Cap

:

3855cc

Horsepower

:

448kW (601 bhp) / 7500 rpm

Torque

:

760 Nm / 5250 rpm

Transmission

:

7-speed (A) F1 DCT

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

3.5sec

Top Speed

:

320km/h

Fuel consumption

:

8.6 km/L

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