At the Geneva Motor Show five years ago, Ferrari introduced its first production four-wheel drive ever, a four-seat shooting brake called the FF. This year, the model gets a refresh and a whole new identity. The FF has evolved into the new GTC4Lusso, an even fiercer, more focused 4WD Ferrari GT.
We'd like to say Ferrari realized that "FF" was a horribly dull name, but the new name is arguably worse, following the unfortunate trend of mashed consonants, vowels and numbers previously seen on the F12berlinetta and F12tdf. What's worse is that the new model is inspired by a bunch of classic Ferraris with properly spaced names – the 330 GTC/330 GT and 250 GT Berlinetta Lusso – but Ferrari still smashes those elements into a hashtag-like model name, with the 4 indicating it has four seats.
If the "Lusso" name sounds more current than a car from the 60s should, it might be because of last year's Touring Superleggera Berlinetta Lusso, which is unrelated to this car, save for inspirational ties to the 250 GT.
Though the GTC4Lusso wears a new name, it looks the part of a refreshed FF. Ferrari Design has worked within the same sheet as the FF rather than grabbing a clean one and sketching from scratch. The biggest change is the reworked rear fascia, which is more sharply creased and includes a twin taillight design. The lines along the flanks are more clearly defined, and the front fenders wear a new set of gills. The rear roof also dips a bit lower in back.
Up front, Ferrari has reshaped the headlamps and pulled the teeth out, giving the grille a stronger horizontal aesthetic. Integrated grille air intakes improve cooling and work with other aerodynamic components, like the aforementioned fender air vents, the roof-mounted rear spoiler and the triple-fence diffuser, in improving airflow and dropping drag coefficient.
If it hadn't chosen "GTC4Lusso," Ferrari could have gone with "FFF," the third F standing for the new model's big addition: four-wheel steering. As it's done with the F12tdf, Ferrari has added rear-wheel steering, this time in a new integrated system it calls 4RM-S (four-wheel drive and steering). That system works with other dynamic technologies in helping the driver maintain precise control, whether on dry, predictable pavement or slick, dicey snow cover.
The driver should appreciate that tech-driven traction when they realize just how much car there is to handle. The 6.3-liter V12 now offers 680 hp (507 kW) at 8,000 rpm (up from the 651 hp (485 kW) max of the FF). The max torque of 514 lb-ft (697 Nm) comes at 5,750 rpm, with 80 percent of that torque available at just 1,750 rpm. Those upgrades let the car spring forward from stop to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 3.4 seconds, three-tenths quicker than the FF. Top speed remains 208 mph (335 km/h).
The final piece of the 4GTCLusso puzzle is an interior makeover. Ferrari calls the "dual cockpit" design a first, and indeed the high-tech dashboard looks like something we might expect on a concept car. The 10.25-in HD touchscreen face of the new infotainment system splits the neatly wrapped driver and passenger cells, the latter of which has its own optional touchscreen with a "plethora of features." Overall, it looks like Ferrari's done a good job updating the FF's blend of sportiness and luxurious comfort.
We look forward to seeing that sport/comfort blend pop to life at the GTC4Lusso's Geneva Motor Show world premiere. The show starts on March 1.
See the stories that matter in your inbox every morning