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It takes a keen eye to spot the differences between the new turbo V8 version of Ferrari’s GTC4Lusso and the V12-powered model on which it is based. Without lifting the bonnet, there are only two visual indicators that this Lusso has a smaller engine with fewer cylinders: the design of the alloy wheels and the shape of the tail-pipes.
It’s an interesting approach given Ferrari reckons the GTC4Lusso T (as the V8 turbo is called) has a different enough character to make it a separate car.
It’s with the oily bits beneath that the fun starts. The engine is a version of the 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8 that powers the California T and 488 sports car, modified to suit the Lusso’s grand touring responsibilities and heftier size.
In isolation, its outputs look mighty: enough to propel the Lusso T to 100km/h from standstill in a claimed 3.5 seconds.
This car, with its four-seat capacity, might appeal to someone wanting a Ferrari with family-friendly capabilities and accessible performance and handling. They’ll even save some cash because the Lusso T will cost about $504,000 when it lands in Australia, compared with the V12’s heftier $579,000.
Anyone who loves the blood-curdling scream of a high-revving Ferrari V12 is in for a different experience from the V8. The Lusso T still fires up with strident bark but it’s the rhythm guitar player, not the guy who plays the soaring solos. Yet it feels anything but tardy. Power and acceleration come on with an intensity that pushes the driver (and any passengers) back in their seat.
Any doubts the Lusso T’s relative size and weight will blunt its agility are put to rest on a challenging, twisty road. It has astonishing grip and plenty of traction exiting corners. But it is also well balanced, allowing the driver to get back on the throttle, deliver some of that power and head for the next corner.
This Ferrari is also meant to carry four adults in comfort and that’s perhaps where it is less convincing. Two rear seats have more than adequate room but the ride can become jiggly at speed on uneven surfaces.
Talking fuel consumption as a cost of ownership seems ludicrous in a car of this price, but it’s worth noting that with a combined figure of 11.6L/100km the Lusso T does some 23 per cent better than the V12.
As with the exterior, there’s little difference between this and the V12 version in the cabin. It’s all leather and carpets, and overall, a fine combination of luxury and sportiness.
There’s plenty to tempt anyone prepared to spend more than half a million dollars on a car: prodigious speed and handling, luxury and useable space. It’s not the ultimate grand tourer but if that is what you’re after, Ferrari can help you out with the V12.