Ferrari managed to do what its competitors could not (and still haven't).
Ferrari makes bold choices from time to time, and the FF’s reveal was certainly one of them. Instead of a typical (and safe choice) direct successor to the 612 Scaglietti, Ferrari built a shooting brake. Oh, and it also came standard with all-wheel drive and a pair of rear seats that can accommodate fully grown human beings. Even for Ferrari, that was a radical departure. When it came time to give the FF a mid-life refresh, Ferrari didn’t just make a few upgrades and call it day.
This is Ferrari we're talking about here, not some other mainstream brand. It introduced a slew of new technologies, an upgraded V12 and new twin-turbo V8, and, of course, further refinement of the FF’s bold styling. They also renamed it. To best understand today’s GTC4 Lusso, we have to first go back and examine what Ferrari was thinking when it designed the FF, which debuted in 2011. First off, FF stands for “Ferrari Four,” emphasizing the AWD system. The obvious goal was to build a Ferrari that could be driven year round. Supercar companies today like to present their models as being fully capable and comfortable daily drivers, but Ferrari went one step further.
The addition of AWD was one thing, but it internalized one of the 612 Scaglietti’s biggest drawbacks: lack of rear seat space. Okay, so just make the successor’s rear seat space larger and that's it, right? Not so fast. It’s not that easy. How come? Because expanding rear seat space, specifically legroom, requires the car’s platform to be sized accordingly. A Ferrari, even if it’s a grand tourer, can’t be too big. But there was another solution no one saw coming: a hatchback body style. By going with this option, Ferrari was able to achieve the desired increased passenger space with two extremely comfortable rear seats, and also plenty of cargo room.
Ferrari learned from its internal data just how much its customers wanted to use their cars for extended getaways, not only day trips. Everything from suitcases, golf bags, and ski sets had to fit. For the latter, simply make the rear seats independently fold flat. The result was more available luggage space than not only its competitors, but even some typical four-door premium sedans as well. With the addition of the publicity that comes with launching such a boldly styled GT car, Ferrari knew it had a winner. Okay, so some old school Ferrari faithful wouldn’t like it (and still don't), but oh well. Styled by Pininfarina, the FF blends versatility and sportiness. More importantly, it looks exotic.
When it came time for the mid-life refresh, Ferrari Design took over from Pininfarina and, in a nutshell, made subtle but important improvements. At first it may be hard to tell the differences between the two, but they’re there. For example, look at the hood and front fascia; the updated car has a more sculpted look. The FF’s lower front bumper air vents have been incorporated into a single larger grille. Also notice the GTC4 Lusso’s restyled side vents, which now look more like gills. There’s also a slotted diffuser and a rear spoiler that’s been integrated with the hatch. The ultimate goal was to reduce drag and improve aero efficiency. All told, Ferrari claims a drag coefficient improvement of over 6 percent.
Ferrari says the GTC4 Lusso has an “extremely streamlined, tapered shape that gives it an almost fastback-like silhouette.” Out back, the rear of the roof has been lowered and, at the same time, retains enough volume to guarantee plenty of space and comfort for all four passengers. Luggage space, once again, remains abundant. The twin taillights emphasize the GTC4 Lusso’s shoulders and also work visually with the tail pipes to draw attention to its powerful engines. The final result is a sporting brake with muscular looks and “sculpted athleticism.” The GTC4 Lusso’s interior received a number of improvements as well, though mostly technical.
There’s the new dual cockpit design and easier to reach controls. Rear seat passengers once again find a pair of chairs that are just as comfortable, if not more so, than their favorite home recliners. Above all, craftsmanship is spectacular. With a choice of either a 6.3-liter V12 with 681 hp and 514 lb-ft of torque or a 3.9-liter twin-turbo V8 (in the GTC4 Lusso T), both of which are paired to a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, GTC4 Lusso buyers are treated to a Grand Tourer unlike anything else on the market. Ferrari took a design chance several years ago with the FF, and it continues to pay off till this day with its GTC4 Lusso successor. So far, no other direct competitor has managed to do better.