Architect and photographer Dima Alsoufi gets a full day-pass with Maranello’s superb four-seater – the 690cv V12 GTC4Lusso – courtesy of our good friends at Al Zayani, Ferrari’s official dealer in Kuwait.
A four-seater yet, above all, a Ferrari.
“A Ferrari in Kabad. Perhaps not a Ferrari’s natural home in Kuwait, but this desert area – just beyond the Kuwait Camel Racing Club’s headquarters to the south of the city – allows us space to stretch the GTC4Lusso’s long, long legs.
It’s a grand tourer – and therefore in its element over lengthy distances. Making for an unlikely sight as we roll into Kabad, we’re turning heads. It’s a Ferrari, so of course we are. We’ll turn heads everywhere we go today.
The GTC4Lusso is everything you’d expect of a Ferrari… and more. A clue is in its silhouette. At the front, it’s full-on Ferrari sportscar. Slide your gaze further back, and you’ll notice the roofline lingers a little higher than on most other Ferraris – this is a four-seater. And Maranello haven’t merely added two token seats in the rear – it’s the real thing, indeed it’s spacious and comfortable as our (tall) photographer Mohammad will testify. No complaints from him as he stepped out halfway through our journey.
photography: Mohamed Al Wazzan
It’s a passenger’s car as much as a driver’s car. Ferrari have designed the GTC4Lusso with Dual Cockpit architecture. So, both driver and passenger have their own LCD screens indicating key information – including speed, distance and GPS mapping and more.
Sitting comfortably in the firmly supportive seat, with a light grip on the car’s tan leather steering wheel, all essential controls are easy to reach with many only a finger-tip’s touch away – including Ferrari’s now legendary gearshift which connects to the gearbox through a steeringwheel-mounted paddle-operated seven-speed dual clutch. If you haven’t used this before, it takes very little time to learn it intuitively, and then you wonder why all cars don’t do things this way!
The acceleration is almost beyond words. Within 2 seconds we’d already reached a speed it’s best not to publish here and, pushing on to gain more speed, such is the stability of the car that wholly illegal speeds are reached far faster than is healthy if you value the continued possession of your driving licence. As a counter to the GTC4Lusso’s phenomenal acceleration, Ferrari have fitted a fabulous set of brakes too.
A swift drive back to Kuwait City, and we find ourselves on familiar roads, roads that this large grand tourer is surprisingly nimble and light on. We’re still turning heads… “is it a Ferrari?’ As an architect, it’s easy to appreciate the precision with which the designers have combined the passion and lines of a sportcar with four-seat family-car practicality. Above all else, it’s a Ferrari.
There’s a lot of engineering involved in the GTC4Lusso, but the beauty is that, as a driver, we’re not required to understand it all. For example, rear-wheel steering is fitted as standard – as are many other advances in automotive engineering – but Maranello’s engineers have done such a fine job that their tech works seamlessly, often without the driver’s knowledge, leaving us with nothing more to do than enjoy the Ferrari experience.
As a driver or passenger, one element you will find yourself missing out on is the iconic roar of the Ferrari’s naturally-aspirated 6.2 litre V12 as it passes you by. Step outside, and have a listen.
One unexpected, and wholly un-engineered, advantage of driving a Ferrari is that everyone gives you room to pass when they see you coming. Without doubt, the height of luxury… especially on Kuwait’s roads.
Driving experience over, let’s highlight some of the design, engineering, and comfort elements you need to know:
- The GTC4Lusso’s name references several illustrious predecessors, not least the 330 GTC or its 2+2 sister model, the 330 GT, as well as the 250 GT Berlinetta Lusso, which married extreme performance with stylish design and sophisticated materials and craftsmanship.
- As is the case with all Ferraris, the GTC4Lusso introduces a slew of technological innovations, notably the new Ferrari-patented 4RM-S which guarantees exceptional handling even on low-grip surfaces and superb stability and responsiveness in all conditions.
- Intense research and development has boosted the 6,262 cc V12’s maximum power output to 690 cv, making the GTC4Lusso the most powerful car in its segment. Both its 2.6 kg/cv weight-to-power-ratio and its 13.5:1 compression ratio set new records for the category, too. Underlining the strong links between Ferrari’s GT engine division the racing world, the V12 revs to a red line at a class-leading 8,250 rpm. In fact the performance figures are those of a true thoroughbred sports car, with a maximum speed of 335 km/h and acceleration from 0-100 km/h in just 3.4 seconds flat.
- The combined action of the spoiler and diffuser moves the centre of the various pressures acting on the car towards the rear axle, increasing the grip of the steered rear wheels and thus the car’s overall drivability.
- The FF first introduced the 4RM system integrated with the E-Diff, F1-Trac, SCM and ESC to guarantee superb traction and control in all weather conditions. The GTC4Lusso marks another major advance, by introducing new control and integration logics with the evolved 4RM system which includes the rear-wheel steering.
- The SSC4 Side Slip Control System controls all the car’s components and vehicle dynamics controls. Through the information it receives from the onboard sensors and grip estimation, the SSC4 can intervene on all of the controls governed by the on-board systems thus adapt the car’s behaviour to suit differing dynamic behaviour and grip conditions.
- Penned by Ferrari Design, the GTC4Lusso is a further refinement of the shooting brake coupé, reinterpreting the concept with an extremely streamlined, tapered shape that gives it an almost fastback-like silhouette.
- To underscore the GTC4Lusso’s Grand Touring prowess, Ferrari has also given it a new ultra-intuitive infotainment system that makes all of its features and content instantly accessible.
- Huge attention was lavished on the front passenger area. The Passenger Cockpit was specifically designed to ensure all commands were within easy reach. It is also more comfortable thanks to softer armrests while larger, easy-access storage compartments are a practical addition. A dedicated LCD Touchscreen lends it a very modern élan.