Latest turbocharged Ferrari gives a dynamic performance

The performance of the Ferrari GTC4Lusso T (above) is impressive, despite not having the V12's all-wheel-drive system.
The performance of the Ferrari GTC4Lusso T (above) is impressive, despite not having the V12's all-wheel-drive system.PHOTO: LORENZO MARCINNO

Ferrari's 3.9-litre V8 turbocharged GTC4Lusso T nearly matches what its 6.3-litre V12 twin can do

Turbocharged engines will eventually be found in every Ferrari model. The latest to have one is the GTC4Lusso T, fitted with a bi-turbo V8 that has already seen service in the California T.

The car is a variant of the V12 GTC4Lusso four-seater launched last year.

The GTC4Lusso T has 610bhp, substantially less than the 690bhp of its V12 twin. But thanks to turbocharging, it gets 760Nm of torque, while the V12 has 697Nm.

Peak torque, however, is available only in the top (seventh) gear. This quirk has to do with Ferrari's variable boost management system. The carmaker tailored the engine to develop gently rising levels of torque from the third to seventh gear. This allows the turbocharged V8 to mimic the characteristics of naturally aspirated engines, which Ferrari is famous for.

By avoiding the temptation to develop maximum boost at low revs, the turbocharged V8 also avoids turbo lag, which plagues many other turbocharged cars.

  • SPECS / FERRARI GTC4LUSSO T

  • Price: To be announced

    Engine: 3,855cc 32-valve bi-turbo V8

    Transmission: Seven-speed dual-clutch with paddles

    Power: 610bhp at 7,500rpm

    Torque: 760Nm at 3,000-5,250rpm

    0-100kmh: 3.5 seconds

    Top speed: 320kmh

    Fuel consumption: 11.6 litres/100km Agent: Ital Auto

The GTC4Lusso T zips to 100kmh in 3.5 seconds, 200kmh in 10.8 seconds and attains a top speed of 320kmh. The V12 is just 0.1 and 0.3 second quicker to 100kmh and 200kmh, respectively, and peaks at 335kmh.

The dynamic performance of the GTC4Lusso T is impressive, despite not having the V12's all-wheel-drive system. This gives it a more traditional feel.  

In wet weather, a 690bhp car with all-wheel-drive is better appreciated, of course. But the weather in the Italian mountains outside Florence is perfect.

The GTC4Tusso T has retained four-wheel steering, which gives it a vivid steering response. At times, it is a little too sharp, but once you get used to it, you realise you can attack the mountain bends with gusto.

The car's front grip is massive and its Pirelli P-Zero tyres do not even squeal when tortured. The first sign of reaching the grip limit is a flashing yellow light on the instrument cluster.

Power is no longer delivered in a frenzied hair-raising charge to the red-line, but with a sustained shove.

There is a long-leggedness to how the GTC4Lusso T delivers its performance as it effortlessly lopes along at high speed.

Its massive torque allows the car to stay in higher gears longer. This makes it a better long-distance grand tourer, with 30 per cent more range than the V12.

Its Sport mode is great for mountain roads, but a bit firm for town. Comfort mode does a surprisingly decent job around bends.

There are only two visual differences separating the GTC4Lusso T from its V12 sibling: It has a different tailpipe design and its wheels have a wider splayed 10-spoke pattern.

The difference in drive experience between the two is greater: The GTC4Lusso T is edgier, with its power influencing the cornering lines and the way it moves far more than the regal V12.

Perversely, it is this that Ferrari loyalists look for in their car - a sense of achievement when a series of difficult bends are negotiated well not because of all-wheel-drive and clever electronics, but because of their own driving skill.

• The writer contributes to Torque, a motoring monthly published by SPH Magazines.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 15, 2017, with the headline 'Delivering more with less'. Print Edition | Subscribe