We drive Renault's facelifted family SUV in the UK to see if it's...
So would it surprise you to learn the Ferrari is just 12.4cm shorter than an S350d, or that Maranello’s car is only 4.5cm shorter in the wheelbase? It is perhaps less surprising that the Ferrari is the wider car, but which way would you go on weight? The limo or the four-seat supercar?
You’re right: it is the Benz that’s heavier, but by just 35kg or, to put another way, a sack of spuds.
So, luxurious it truly is. It may not have four doors, but plenty that do (the Aston Martin Rapide, old Porsche Panamera, to name but two) are nothing like as commodious in the back seats. I’m 6ft 4in and could sit quite happily in the back until the tank ran dry.
The graphics and ergonomics are not quite German premium-league, but the days of sticking a proprietary sat-nav to the screen, or using a system that makes you want to hit your head on the steering wheel, are over.
However, let us not forget that this is a Ferrari, and the moment you slap Count Baracca’s shield on the side you’re making a promise that the car that’s carrying it had better keep in full – which means it needs to have an engine that doesn’t so much pluck at your heartstrings as threaten to tear them clean out of your chest.
The Lusso has that engine. What’s so clever is the way the engine’s character can be turned on or off by a nudge of the foot. My judgement is that in a more sporting Ferrari such an F12, you always want some form of audible accompaniment from under the bonnet, even when cruising, just to perpetuate the sense of occasion.
In its richly layered yet diamondsharp voice lie the echoes of the GTO and Daytona. That it also bowls almost two tonnes of aluminium, leather, oil, water and carbonfibre up the road at a fairly ridiculous rate should be taken as a given.
So I wish I liked more the way the Lusso handles. I know back-road brilliance probably isn’t that high up the priority list for such a car and I’d hate to think of that ride quality being compromised, but the fact is that, despite its new four-wheel steering system, the Lusso suffers from the same steering flaws as too many Ferraris of the recent past: it’s needlessly aggressive off-centre, a fault compounded by the fact that, despite it retaining hydraulic assistance, proper steering feel is minimal.
Anything that acts as a deterrent to you enjoying your Ferrari on a good road cannot be a good thing.
I also found the brakes a little over-assisted and was annoyed to discover that if you gave the left-hand pedal a decent stab to shed some speed, the car thinks you’re about to crash and starts noisily flashing the hazard lights to alert you and other drivers.
Then again, the Aston is far less practical than the Ferrari, with less interior room and lacking four-wheel drive. But Ferrari is right: there is no other ultra-high-performance coupe on sale that offers this level of luxury, space and practicality. As a spacious supercar its flaws are obvious, but as an ultra-fast luxury car it lives in a class of one.
Ferrari GTC4 Lusso
Location Wales; Price £231,310; Engine V12, 6262cc, petrol; Power 681bhp at 8000rpm; Torque 514lb ft at 5750rpm; Gearbox seven-spd dual-clutch automatic; Kerb weight 1920kg; 0-62mph 3.4sec; Top speed 214mph; Economy 18.8mpg (combined); CO2/tax band 350g/km, 37%; RivalsAston Martin DB11, Rolls-Royce Wraith