Remember the hoo-ha over the Ferrari FF when it was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show five years ago? Four seats, fair enough – Ferrari had history there – but all-wheel drive and a shooting brake body?
Despite some purists’ whingeing, the FF hasn’t exactly held the company back. And in one regard this most practical of Ferraris has been particularly valuable: it has been a hit with younger customers who drive their Ferraris more often. The FF gets driven almost a third more than the Ferrari average.
Now in the FF’s wheeltracks for the Geneva Motor Show on 1 March comes this refreshed model with new look, better aerodynamics, uprated infotainment, slightly more power and torque from the big V12, and, the major mechanical change, four-wheel steering.
If the original FF was so named for Four seats and Four-wheel drive, the addition of Four-wheel steering could make this the Ferrari FFF. Or not; wisely Ferrari has canned that idea and gone instead for GTC4 Lusso. The badge recalls the 330 GTC (one of Enzo’s favourite Ferraris apparently) and adds a Lusso (luxury) reference from cars like the 250 GT Berlinetta Lusso. That’s the official explanation anyway.
Whatever the name this most grand touring of Ferraris builds on an already formidable set of attributes: it’s speedy, all-weather and all-roads secure, comfortable and practical. Plus, the ‘facelift’ has done wonders for its looks.
The GTC4 Lusso instantly comes across as less bulky and sharper than the more leaden FF, though still unmistakably ‘Breadvan’ in inspiration. There are new and strong crease lines down the flanks and a more curved rear roofline to emphasise the fastback look – without, says Ferrari, reducing rear headroom. Or indeed the boot space, which remains at 450 litres – and 800 litres if you fold the rear seats down.
Other design changes? New front grille with integrated air intakes, big new air vents aft of the front wheels, roof-mounted rear spoiler and triple-fence diffuser. Ferrari says the aerodynamic Cd is ‘substantially’ lower than that of the FF.
Almost five metres long and two metres (six and a half feet!) wide, the cabin continues to offer four individual seats in an exquisitely leather-lined cabin. But the seats are new, the materials and craftsmanship upgraded, the steering wheel a little smaller, and there’s a new 10.25-inch high definition touch screen to access the new infotainment system. There’s also a separate display for the passenger to access some of the car’s functions.
Electronics, inevitably, are at the heart of the car’s complex drive arrangements. They integrate the new rear-steering with all-wheel drive for the first time, orchestrating not just the clutch packs and front/rear torque split but the Slip Side Control and the dampers. The end result, says Ferrari, is that the GTC4 Lusso ‘enables the driver to effortlessly handle the torque even on snow-covered, wet or low grip roads’.
The 6.3-litre normally-aspirated V12 in that long nose now punches out 681bhp (690PS) at 8,000rpm, with 80 per cent of the engine’s 514 lb ft of torque available from 1,750rpm. So with similar weight to the FF, at 1,790kg, and that lower drag, the extra under the bonnet should give it a little more poke – Ferrari says 0-62mph in 3.4secs and 208mph v-max. As before the transmission is a seven-speed dual clutch jobbie with auto mode.
Price? No word yet, but the outgoing FF starts from £238,700 and it’s bound to be north of that. Fingers crossed we will see the new car in the Sussex area in the summer – when we can put our own price on what’s shaping up as a very welcome new Prancing Horse.
And this time no hoo-ha!