Ferrari South Africa had a very busy first week in June 2017 when they launched the all-new GTC4Lusso at their Cape Town dealership. And what a grand affair it was! The class and style was dripping on every detail and the unveiling itself could not have been more spectacular.

Over the years, whether it is with their road- or track cars, Ferrari always made an effort when launching (read: revealing) a new model. And they have to because of the rarity of these occasions. Ferrari’s road cars, when brought to market, normally stick around for a few years, so when development on a new car begins you take note and wait in anticipation for when the product will launch.

This brings us to the GTC4Lusso: the new four-seater Grand Tourer taking over from the FF.

The big reveal

Earlier this year I attended the Shanghai Auto Show and made sure I found my way over to the Ferrari stand. Though the big highlight for the Italians was the 812 SuperFast, the GTC4Lusso was also in attendance. It sat pretty while everyone was cocooning over the 812; almost out of sight as eyes glared and gazed at the main attraction on the stand.

However, this time around, back home, the attention was placed squarely on the four-seater. No other vehicles in the showroom, nothing else to divert attention from it. It was the GTC4Lusso’s time; it was its night to shine and impress. And impress it definitely did. Apart from the fact that it is a Ferrari – which in itself is reason enough for it to be a showstopper – the GTC4Lusso had everyone’s attention once the covers came off.

READ: Ferrari GTC4Lusso makes SA debut in Cape Town

The front-end does not stray from Ferrari’s current design-language and the car’s face, from the grille to the headlights, all remind of the Italian’s firm current range. In the past every model in Ferrari’s line-up had their own distinct design, but in recent times they’ve all adopted a more similar one. This is not necessarily a bad thing and the thought behind gifting the range with a unified design can be understood, but non-eagle eyed observers might mistake it for a different model.

But that is where the GTC4Lusso’s immediate and obvious design similarities with its siblings end. The car’s coupé-like shape is bigger and wider to accommodate the extra seats in the rear. And in typical GT fashion, this sports car has a longer rear to accommodate a practical boot.

Four seats, you say?

The Ferrari GTC4Lusso’s interior is all plush and fancy, with clean surfaces adorned in red-stitched leather. The detail, again, is noticeable throughout the cabin and a sense of occasion is created with every dial and gauge your eye falls on.

Manufacturers have their own way of designing and executing their interiors and Ferrari, too, has their own way of going about this. In this regard, they move away from the traditional layout and added their own unique touch to the mix. The steering wheel is home to features that’ll probably be used most. The windscreen wipers, indicators, suspension settings, headlights and the engine start/stop button are all housed here. Over-kill? Perhaps. But the fact that Ferrari is committed to this design means that it works.

Other dials within the driver’s reach include cruise- and launch control.

What I did pick up was that the dials and buttons on the centre console are a bit small and positioned lower down the console. One can understand Ferrari’s minimalistic approach when executing the interior – and it really does look and feel pretty amazing – but when piloting the GTC4Lusso drivers would have to take their eyes off the road for a tad too long trying to find the desired setting. Of course, once you’ve grown into your GTC4Lusso this will be a distant thought.

For front passengers, getting comfortable in the GTC4Lusso is without fault and the driver’s seat goes back far and low enough to eliminate any sense of claustrophobia. Sports cars are normally endowed with tight and space-stingy interiors, but front occupants are spared of this. Access to the back is very easy, too. Pull the handle on the front seat and it moves forward automatically, literally creating ample of room to enter and exit the Ferrari. And to move it back, simply flick the seat forward and it’ll move back into the position from which it was moved. However, rear space is quite limited for taller passengers.

Engine and all that

Powering the GTC4Lusso is another of Ferrari’s treasures: its 6.2-litre V12 engine. With more and more manufacturers opting to downsize their engines, Ferrari is continuing with their big ones. And why should they stop? Ferrari is known for building some of the best and greatest V12 engines for their road cars and it is only fitting that the GTC4Lusso continues that rich tradition.

Pushing 507kW and 697Nm to the road through all four tyres, this four-seater will blitz from 0-100km/h in 3.4 seconds and will call time on its high speed run at 335km/h. Helping performance is the fact that more than 80% of that torque is already available from a lowly 1750rpm!

The GTC4Lusso, despite being the more practical offering in the current Ferrari range, leaves none of its Ferrari dynamics behind. Thanks to an advanced four-wheel drive system developed by Ferrari, the car will be able to handle anything thrown at it. The automaker said that the design of this system allows the car to handle any road surface, including snow, while continuing to deliver optimal and maximum performance.

Oh! And it features rear-wheel steering.

Slotting in

In South Africa the 488 GTB and 488 Spider are Ferrari’s best-selling vehicles, followed by the California T. The GTC4Lusso, priced from R6.5-million, slots in above these vehicles, but below the F12 Berlinetta. That it will find owners is a given, but that it will sell more units than the two 488 models is very unlikely. And in this context Ferrari knows it. They know their new four-seater will be sold in limited numbers, which should increase the exclusivity of these vehicles.

Unfortunately an opportunity to drive the Ferrari GTC4Lusso will not befall many people, but it can be said with surety that this car will enjoy and receive the same halo treatment from both Ferrari fans and Ferrari SA management.