Another week, another new car launch. This time it’s the new GTC4Lusso T, Ferrari’s first proper four-seater powered by a V8 at the front. It’s also the first time Ferrari have offered two engine choices for a model since the 308 GTB in the 1980s. We’ve already seen this car at the 2016 Paris Motor Show but now was the chance to see it up close and personal.

Say what you will, Ferrari know how to throw a party. The venue for the launch was the Tsutaya T-Site in the posh and trendy area of Daikanyama in Tokyo. Rather than launch their fancy new car in an open car park, Ferrari had put up a tent that’d put some Cirque du Soleil shows to shame. It looked like somewhere aristocrats would go for brunch rather than a bookstore car park.

The GTC4Lusso T also represents an important milestone for Ferrari, it’s gunning for a new type of buyer. Someone younger and looking for their first taste of the Prancing Horse lifestyle. The T starts from a ¥29,700,000 (NZ$374,635) in Japan slotting in between the California T and V12-powered GTC4Lusso. That’s Porsche Panamera Turbo, Mercedes-AMG S63 Coupe, and Bentley Continental territory.

The smaller, more economical, and torquier award-winning 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8 should help make buyers’ decisions easier too. Sure it’s lost four-cylinder but gains more torque and is also lighter. 610hp puts its 50hp more than the California T and about 50 less than the 488, which have basically the same engine. Torque is rated at 760NM, about 60NM more than its V12 counterpart. Performance figures are still very Ferrari; 0-100 km/h in 3.5 seconds and a top speed of “over 320 km/h” should be adequate.

Apart from the smaller engine and lack of four-wheel drive, the T weighs 50kg lighter. Smaller engine and a lighter body means the T is more economical, with an average claimed fuel consumption of 11.6L/100km. That might not be top priority for most Ferrari buyers but as this was designed for daily use it’s nice to know you won’t be visiting petrol stations often.

It does keep the V12 Lusso’s four-wheel steering system. Couple that to a 46/54 weight distribution and the latest in Ferrari’s Side Slip Control, the T promises usability for all drivers. Now you might be thinking the lack of four-wheel drive hinders the all-round usability of the T, but not all markets have New Zealand’s wild and unpredictable weather.

That’s not even an exaggeration. I spoke to a salesman at the Cornes Ferrari showroom in Tokyo and he said about half of the buyers for the FF and GTC4Lusso were first time Ferrari customers while the other half already had a couple of Ferraris. Most genuinely use their cars as daily drivers with some even using them their primary family car. You can’t do that with a California T that’s for sure.

In Asia, California, and oh let’s say, the French Riviera, snow and slush aren’t a big problem. Certainly in Tokyo you don’t need four-wheel drive, despite how many Porsche Cayennes and Mercedes G-Wagens there are. Anyway, with the T being suited for urban driving it’s the ideal school run car for current Ferrari drivers.

Inside, the interior is identical to the more expensive GTC4Lusso so you’re not shortchanged there. There’s genuine room for four adults, meaning should you choose to use this as a family car, the kids in the back will be fine. The boot is 450L, which is certainly more than enough for a weekend getaway.

Styling wise, the GTC4Lusso T doesn’t stray too far from it V12 stablemate. It’s still a front-engine GT car, with that long bonnet and rakish rear end. It’s certainly a unique concept, there’s nothing quite like it on the market. Sure, the Audi RS6 and upcoming Porsche Panamera Sport Turimso are fast wagons, but only the GTC4Lusso is a two-door shooting brake.

This thing has presence, and it’s quite a handsome looking thing. The launch color is called ‘Blu Electrrico’ and it’s a beautiful shade of blue. My favourite angles of the GTC4Lusso is from the side, rear three-quarter, and the rear. I particularly love the return of the quad-taillights reminiscent of classic Ferrari GTs.

Japan accounts for about 6% of all Ferrari sales, so the GTC4Lusso T is an important model for the market here. Spend a couple of days here and you’ll notice the popularity of the FF and California T, so the GTC4Lusso T will surely find homes in Japan.

For the New Zealand market, I’d imagine more buyers will be tempted by the four-wheel drive V12 version but the T’s lower entry price point should appeal to some. Order books for the GTC4Lusso T have already opened. For the rest of us, speccing one online configurator is a great way to kill a few hours.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

 

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.