A FERRARI FOR THE FAMILY
By Al Khoury
For more reviews by Al, visit NewYorKars.com
Would you like to have your ride featured in a review? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
When you think of Thanksgiving, what comes to mind? Feasting, family, football, and … Ferrari? Our featured car this month is all about keeping your loved ones close. Ferrari has a long history with the 2+2 seating arrangement, after all.
The 166 Inter was Ferrari’s first grand tourer and the first true road car to wear the prancing horse badge. It featured a vestigial folding rear bench and a V-12 engine. It was introduced in 1948 and had a very limited production run. The Italian carmaker calls this one of its first vehicles “to do well outside Italy, helping to build a reputation for Ferrari in the all-important American market.”
A majority of production cars that left the Maranello factory were grand tourers. The smaller, sportier models were mostly prototype racers. In 1960, the 250 GT 2+2 became the first four-seater Ferrari to be produced in large numbers.
The Ferrari GTC4Lusso traces its history back to the earliest roadgoing Ferraris. The model was introduced in 2016 and ended production this year. The Lusso’s 3-door shooting-brake design is borrowed from its predecessor, the FF. Both cars used a V-12, all-wheel drive layout. But while the FF used this sole drivetrain throughout its existence, the Lusso added another variant.
The GTC4Lusso launched with a 6.3-liter V-12 mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. This layout was offered throughout the model’s production run. Ferrari offered another take on this sleek grand tourer halfway through its lifespan, however.
The GTC4Lusso T launched for the 2017 model year with a base price of about $260,000. It retained the DCT and 4-wheel steering of the V-12 model, but swapped out that motor for a 3.9-liter twin-turbo unit producing 602 horsepower and 562 pound-feet of torque. The new drivetrain rerouted that power to the rear wheels.
Ferrari lists the 0-60 mile per hour time at 3.5 seconds, with a top speed greater than 199 mph. Curb weight for the turbocharged Lusso is down more than 100 pounds, to 4,112 lbs.
Zhao Wu purchased his 2018 GTC4Lusso T earlier this year. The car had 4,000 miles on the clock and Zhao has added a couple thousand more. The exterior paint is Grigio Titanio Metallic and the interior is black with red inserts.
“The one option I really wanted was the panoramic roof,” Zhao told Oloi. “I have two daughters and when they’re sitting in the rear seat, it makes a big difference for them. They don’t feel trapped.”
Zhao bought this car to enjoy on the weekends along with his family. His V-8 Lusso fits two car seats in the back, with room in the trunk for a stroller.
“When the FF came out, I thought it was the most beautiful modern Ferrari because of that shooting-brake design,” Zhao said. “But the infotainment on the inside of the car was a little dated. With this newer car, me and Thomas (founder of Oloi) were talking about how modern it actually feels. It has Apple CarPlay and other features you use every day.”
Zhao was truly sold on the Lusso’s shape. It is rare to see a car with this silhouette on the street. It is a throwback design with all modern conveniences.
“I have so many two-seater cars that I don’t get to drive very often,” Zhao said. “I’m a father and husband and I want something sporty that lets me take my whole family with me. There aren’t too many choices out there.
Zhao had his heart set on a Lusso, but debated whether to go with the V-12 or the turbo V-8.
“I really wanted the V-12 but didn’t want to deal with the reliability issues that come with it,” Zhao said. “The other reason is that my wife is the one who drives the car the most. She didn’t want the car to be too loud because our little ones would have difficulty falling asleep! But if it was for me, I would definitely have gotten the V-12 because who wouldn’t want a V-12, right?”
The car is completely stock aside from paint protection film and window tints. If he were to change anything, Zhao would swap out the wheels. Aside from that, he does not want to mess with the Lusso too much, as it’s mostly a family vehicle that stays on the road.
“This is my first Ferrari and it drives so soft. I’m afraid if I take it to the track it will go sideways,” Zhao laughed. “At the same time, it’s very planted. It’s a low car and you can feel the low center of gravity. The seats are not really bucket seats so they don’t hug you very well. It still drives like a Ferrari. You get that engaging feel and it’s very responsive.”
Zhao’s sports car stable also includes a 1997 Porsche 993 Carrera 4S and a 2018 991.2 GT3. He recently sold a Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG wagon.
Though he is enjoying the Lusso, Zhao believes he will have to let it go as his children grow and he has more things to haul along.
“It’s a great car and I got it for the purpose of serving the whole family,” he said. “When that time passes, I’ll have to get rid of it.”
Zhao considered a Porsche Panamera, but felt they are too common. He also found the rear seats to be cramped. The GTC4Lusso T, however, is roomy and rare.
“Every time I take this thing out, people are really curious about it,” Zhao said. “People want to know what kind of car it is. It looks exotic but it fits the whole family in there. Some people have asked me if it really is a Ferrari, even though they can see the badge. People don’t really know about it. This car puts you into some interesting conversations.
“There may be fewer people driving out there now, but I haven’t seen another one since I got mine.”