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2019 GTC4Lusso

For all its performance and panache, Ferrari's unique breed of supercars has rarely incorporated much in the way of practicality. But with all-wheel drive, space for four full-sized adults, and a versatile hatch, the GTC4Lusso represents a different take on the concept of a supercar: it's an all-weather, family-friendly model with a surprising amount of trunk space.

Overview

This is no ordinary family machine, of course. Designed to replace the FF, the GTC4Lusso packs a 6.3-liter V12 engine that makes 680 horsepower and 514 pound-feet of torque. Mounted entirely after of the front axle for optimal weight distribution, the engine shifts through a rear-mounted seven-speed dual-clutch transmission that provides smooth yet lightning-fast shifts.

Ferrari claims a zero-to-62-mph time of 3.4 seconds and a top speed of 208 mph.

Power is sent to the rear wheels in normal driving situations, but in certain circumstances some of the engine's output can be sent to the front wheels via a unique second gearbox mounted in front of the engine. It features two forward gears: the first cog covers the seven-speed gearbox's first two ratios, while the second covers gears three and four (the front wheels aren't powered above fourth-gear speeds).

This innovative system is significantly lighter than a traditional all-wheel-drive setup while still providing the same traction boost for foul-weather and full-throttle acceleration situations. It can also apportion power from side to side as needed to provide neutral handling dynamics.

Four-wheel steering helps make the GTC4Lusso more dynamic on twisty roads, more stable at high speeds, and easier to maneuver around town.

Time for T

Ferrari expanded the GTC4Lusso lineup with a T-badged model that comes with, you guessed it, a turbocharged engine. The unit in question is the 3.9-liter V8 also found in the 488 GTB and the Portofino.

In this application, the two turbochargers help the eight cylinders make 610 horsepower and 560 pound-feet of torque. The V8 shifts through a seven-speed automatic transmission but the T model is only available with rear-wheel drive. The setup gives it a more rear-biased weight distribution while making it lighter than its all-wheel drive, 12-cylinder sibling.

The result is a zero-to-62-mph time of 3.5 seconds, only a 0.1 seconds behind the V12-powered model. It reaches its top speed at 199 mph. Four-wheel steering still comes standard.

Don't think of the V8 model as a lesser GTC; think of it as a completely different animal.

Looking the part

Though the oversized front grille, elongated headlights and wagon-like roof line might take some getting used to, the GTC4Lusso's every-day usability is unrivaled amid exotic performance machines. It features enough space for four six-footers to sit in comfort, and there's a relatively large 15.6 cubic feet of cargo room. Fold down the rear seats, and that number expands to 28.3 cubes.

The driver faces a large yellow tachometer and a three-spoke steering wheel that is littered with buttons and controls. To free up space for the large paddle shifters, Ferrari did away with conventional stalks and moved the turn signal, windshield wiper and high-beam headlight controls to the tiller.

The cabin features suitably exquisite material quality and refinement. Unlike the FF, the GTC4Lusso packs a surprising amount of technology, too. There is a wide, high-resolution screen on the center console that displays the infotainment system. The tachometer is flanked with two configurable screens, while a small screen embedded into the passenger side of the dashboard gives the front passenger his or her own instrument cluster. It shows information such as the car's speed and the engine's revolutions.

Key competitors

The Ferrari GTC4Lusso is truly unique its in approach given the space it competes within, and given Ferrari owners' strong brand loyalty, cross-shopping will likely be scarce - but don't be surprised to hear of the Porsche Panamera or Aston Martin Rapide in the same sentence.