Ian Lamming saddles up with a prancing horse for the ride of his life.
Posted by Ian Lamming on Thursday, 11 April 2019
DUE deference is given, and rightly so, as this vehicle wears the badge of the prancing horse.
It is incredible how polite the world becomes when you are behind the wheel of a Ferrari and the driver can relax safe in the knowledge that no one will cut him up or doing anything ill-mannered.
Even the driver of the 38 tonner, who has either ignored or failed to notice the ‘unsuitable for HGVs’ sign on the single track road, looks suitably chasten and contrite, if not horrified, in forcing the GTC4 to reverse what must be a quarter of a mile to the nearest passing place. Strangely, it’s no trouble, in fact, I enjoy my magnanimity and his cringing discomfort in equal measure.
People think supercars are difficult to drive, not so the Lusso T which, while as wide as a large SUV and as low as a roadster, is easy to manhandle thanks to torquey motor, reverse camera and four wheel steer.
T is the V8 turbo version of GTC4 Lusso, the four seater shooting brake coupe that offers grand touring ability with a 200mph hoof in the haunches.
And that’s the real strength of the Lusso; it has the badge, the prestige, the status, but it also boasts peerless driving dynamics and an easy-going nature. GTC is a usable supercar that will swallow continents but can also be driven to the shops.
Performance and handling, ride and specification are all givens. It is the experience of Ferrari that has to be understood, appreciated. It’s why those lovely people in the press office won’t allow a quick flit around the block – the minimum drive is a long weekend; oh, go on then.
It is only when you see how the world reacts that you can fully understand what this historic brand represents. Nothing turns heads like a Ferrari. From the minute its guttural exhaust bursts into life in the car park to the second it pulls away with a snarl, the collective attention of the human race stares your way but with appreciation not envy, acceptance not resentment. People try and make eye contact and volunteer words of praise. It’s a luxury marque which is inclusive; who hasn’t watched the horse romp home at a grand prix, who hasn’t driven one along the Scalextric track, or dreamed of collecting one after a lottery win?
And if you did win the jackpot, this is a car you could easily drive. Yes, there are 610 prancing horses under that seemingly never-ending bonnet; 62mph appears from start in just 3.5 seconds and the top speed is in excess of 200mph. But it is remarkably forgiving to drive. It will bumble through town on a whiff of throttle, the ride cosseting over our urban asphalt acne. Throttle control is perfect, whether you demand performance or a smooth ride and handling promotes nothing less than supreme confidence.
The cabin ambience sets the mood. Embossed blue leather, diamond stitched, sports seats take you in a firm embrace. The tactile sports steering wheel uniquely offers all operations, including indicators, windscreen wipers and lights, without resorting to stalks. The only appendages are the metal paddles with which you can down or up-shift for fun, when you are in the mood, to take over from the seamless seven-speed automatic gearbox. Gearing is relatively tall, what with all the available torque, to lower revs and boost tank range – expect 400 miles plus if you drive GTC4 sensibly.
Strangely, Lusso is a car in which you are more than happy to cruise. It gives the world time to sate its lust on those classic swooping GTC lines. It’s an incredible feeling not to have to try and impress or compete. There is nothing to prove when your car sports the Ferrari badge.
But when you are the victim of unseemly tailgating, a dab of the throttle is more than enough to leave the uncouth in your wake, a mere insignificant spec on the horizon, their impudence shouted-down by the rasping V8. As if scolded by parents, they will know better the next time.
Chances are their vehicles cost no more than the £15.5k triple layer paint and certainly not as much if you add the optional £11.5k panoramic glass roof. Money really is no object.
Ferrari is so much more than a car; it is a luxury lifestyle, an experience, a global culture that appeals to the haves as well as the have-nots. Most of us can’t afford one yet they are on this world for us all to enjoy and to drive one is an enduring privilege to be grateful for.
Ferrari GTC4 Lusso T
Engine: 3.9 litre V8
0-60mph: 3.5 secs
Top speed: 200mph +
Combined MPG: 25.2
Transmission: seven-speed auto
CO2 g/km: 253
Price: £202,890.00 (£255,058.00 with extras)