Four Play

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The formula for exotic speed rarely includes “2+2” but in the case of Ferrari’s newest Lusso, these numbers provide the answer for an extra pair of seats.

Admittedly when one thinks of Ferrari, other than the outstanding racecars and racing heritage, the first thing that comes to mind is a long, low slung two seat sports car with a rear engine. But Ferrari does provide a “family” sports car that can handle four passengers. Do not, however, believe that speed, handling, good looks, and performance are left out of the equation with the four-passenger GTC4 Lusso. And on top of that, there are two versions depending on your horsepower preference.

Unlike most of the current Ferraris, the powerplant is up front with all-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive depending on the power choice. The bigger and more expensive version has a V-12 engine producing 680 horsepower sending power thru a 7-speed, dual clutch automatic transmission to all the wheels. The twin turbocharged V-8, however, does not lack thrust with its 602 ponies also work- ing through the same transmission. With the smaller engine and two wheel drive instead of all-wheel drive, the overall weight drops and that results in a similar, but slightly slower 0-60 mph time of 3.5 seconds. Top speed almost reaches 200 miles per hour.

Even with room for four passengers, the styling theme is clearly Ferrari with some obvious modifications to accommodate the back seat area. A low, long hood line with teardrop shaped head- lights provides the front look along with a low semi-round grille with the prancing Ferrari horse in the center. Towards the rear end, the lower body moves up over the rear wheels, and the roofline goes all the way back to the rear hatchback with its small spoiler. All in all, a super attractive and distinctive package is presented.

A beautiful leather lined interior is presented to all the passengers. Various carbon fiber inserts are spread around. Up front, the high bolstered seats have multiple colors and stitching and is designed to hold you in place on the corners. Much like a Formula 1 racecar, multiple controls are on the steering wheel. A big red start/stop engine button and a button to adjust the shock absorbers is on the lower left, and on the right is a dial to adjust the comfort, sport, and wet drivetrain responses. And instead of the speedometer being in the dash pod, a huge tachometer is in the center flanked by two small video screens with other data. And as with most vehicles these days, a very large video screen to control multiple features and show the rear camera view is in the center of the dash.

Even though this Ferrari is relatively short, the rear quarters are not too difficult to get into and has a fair amount of headroom. Admittedly, the front passengers may have to move their seats forward to accommodate any big and long legged rear passengers. The lift gate can be opened with a button on the driver’s door or on the key. A medium- sized storage area is presented.

But the real fun is still on the road. The V-8 starts with a deep-throated roar. The transmission can be operated in an automatic mode, but that is not as enjoyable as shifting manually with super large paddles behind the steering wheel. Gear choices are shown in the dash pod. The steering feel is somewhat heavy, but is super direct and to the point. The ride is brisk without being distressing to the occupants. In other words, this car handles corners, lane changes, and such for what it is—a super sports car.

With this family sports car, the best of the sports car world is preserved, but can handle the driver and three passengers in reasonable comfort. And all of that is in a very good-looking package.

MODEL: 4-PASSENGER SPORTS CAR
POWERTRAIN: TWIN TURBO V-8, 3.9 LITERS, 602 HORSEPOWER. 7-SPEED, DUAL-CLUTCH AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION, REAR DRIVE
PERFORMANCE: 0-60: 3.5 SECONDS, TOP SPEED: 199 MPH
PRICE: (BASE) $256,000, AS TESTED $315,674

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