to avoid writing an article whenever Ferrari announce a new car. Believe me, I’ve tried and failed on numerous occasions. There’s just something inherently irresistable about a new Ferrari that can’t be ignored, no matter how irrelevant and unobtainable the car may be even to very wealthy people indeed.
We don’t even have any real pictures yet, not until Ferrari show off the car at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show in early March. However, on the off chance that my audience contains one or two very very wealthy people who also happen to lack a Y chromosome, I’d like to draw your attention to the fact that today’s the 23rd of February. Hint hint, nudge nudge. Wouldn’t the new Ferrari be the perfect gift for men’s day? Look no further than the Ferrari GTC4Lusso if you’d like to spoil your significant other on this wonderful day, ladies.
Of course there is the slight detail that even if you run out to the nearest shop that sells Ferraris the actual car probably won’t show up for another year and a half, but who’s counting. It’s a great gift, one which I personally would gladly accept, no matter the delay. I wouldn’t even mind that Ferrari have, yet again, given one of their cars a terrible name. Perhaps they lost a bet, or they’re trying to prove that they can sell cars no matter what they’re called. Either way, considering its immediate successor was simply called the»FF«, I don’t think GTC4Lusso is an improvement per se.
When you start treating car names like they are pizzas (which taste good no matter how many things you put on top) things can get a little confusing. At least the average pizzeria has the common decency to use spaces in their menu, whereas Ferrari-style spelling would create names like PM4bufala if you wanted an extra large pizza Margharita with extra bufala cheese. Adding the word «Luxury» to the name of a 4-door Ferrari is also about as obvious as adding «Fast» would be. It’s just odd. To make things worse, seeing the word luxury tagged onto a car’s name brings back memories of a time when crappy cars with terrible beige velours interiors got «deluxe» badges randomly glued to their body panels. But, to quote from the Shakespeare play which was suitably set in Italy, what’s in a name anyway.
Whilst I was never lucky enough to actually drive one, the old Ferrari FF was probably my favourite model in the entire range of prancing horses. The clownshoe shaped car with a V12 at the front, 4 seats and an ingenuous all-wheel-drive system struck a perfect balance between eccentricity, practicality and beauty. It could easily be used every day to make even the most boring little trips a lot more interesting, and assuming you didn’t order it in bright red or yellow, it was even a little understated by Ferrari standards. Whilst not being their best ever selling car by a long way, I think the FF probably did create some sales to people who wouldn’t have bought a Ferrari in its more usual form.
The similarities with the old FF are obvious
So, building on the relative success of the FF now follows the GTC4. I’ll just use the shortened name from now. It’s probably a testament to how good the previous car was, that not much appears to have changed at first glance. The most obvious thing is the new rear lights, which do look rather nice don’t they? It’s immediately clear when you look at it that the GTC4 is basically a facelifted FF with some technical improvements as per usual. It gets thirty horsepower extra over the old car which brings the total up to 681, a welcome change as the old car was starting to feel embarassingly underpowered with only 651. Seriously though, I doubt you’d be able to tell the difference. Both the old and new car get from zero to one hundred kilometers per hour in about three and a half seconds, and there’s not much thinking that you can do in such a small amount of time.
A bigger change is the addition of 4-wheel steering, a feature lifted from the recently introduced F12tdf (sigh) racetrack oriented model. It’s one of those features that seems to be making a big comeback in performance cars these days, possibly because the engineers ran out of more conventional ways of improving a car’s handling. Long story short, the GTC4 is expected to go around corners pretty well. The perfect car to take on holiday to the Alps, then, even when snowflakes are falling from the heavens. Speaking of heaven, I think the big V12’s sound is best described as a choir of angels, with a really big fat angel accidentally trodding on Satan’s tail as it approaches 8000 revolutions. The Ferrari V12 is a masterpiece of overabundance in all possible ways. So much power, so much torque, and that sound. If any archeologists unearth one of these things in a thousand years, they’re going to wish they were alive when some of these great V12s still roamed the earth. The way things are going, engines like these will soon be extinct, so enjoy their existence while it lasts.
And that’s probably the best thing about cars like the GTC4. It doesn’t matter that almost nobody can actually buy them, or that they are hilariously over-engineered for being used on average streets. We should all enjoy being alive in this era of automotive brilliance. The internal combustion engine as we know it is doomed, and it deserves a last hurrah in the form of epic cars. It helps, of course, that people like to click on glossy-looking images of a gorgeous new Ferrari. That’s the kind of human behavior that keeps the lights on in our office, in fact. But a V12-engined Ferrari also represents dreams in solid form. Dreams which you can see, touch and drive. On this February 23rd, that seems like a pretty good dream to have.