By: IOL Motoring Staff

Maranello, Italy - Ferrari is making it a big deal that the GTC4 Lusso T, due to debut at the upcoming Paris motor Show, is its first four-seater with a turbocharged V8 engine.

But the really big deal is that Ferrari is promoting it as a car to be driven every day, its engine and gearbox set up to make it easier to drive in traffic than its naturally aspirated 6.3-litre V12 sibling, which was first seen at the Geneva motor show in March.

The new Lusso T has the same 3.9 litre twin-turbo V8 (the 2016 International Engine of the Year) as the much sexier California T, tuned in this application for 449kW at 7500 revs and 760Nm from 3000-5250rpm but, unlike the V12, it drives the rear wheels only, via a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox.

Launch time from zero to100km/h is quoted as 3.5 seconds, top speed as 'more than 320km/h'.

But, and this is a big but, the V8 is lighter than the V12, and ditching the all-wheel drive transfer case saves still more weight - all of it at the front end of the car. Dry weight is down from 1790kg to 1740, and weight distribution shifts rearward to 46:54.

Variable geometry

On most performance cars you get X amount of power and Y amount of torque at a given engine speed, irrespective of which gear you're in.

In the GTC4 Lusso T, however, each gear from third to seventh has its own specific mapping curve for the variable-geometry turbos, calibrated to smooth out the acceleration graph to the point where it's almost as linear as that of an electric car, while the V8 sound track also gets progressively more authoritative as the speed increases, rather than assaulting the occupants with sudden blare as the bypass valve kicks open.

The T also has something its big boet doesn't: rear-wheel steering, integrated with electronic side-slip control, for sharper steering response into and out of tight corners, because then the rear wheels turn in the same direction as the fronts, while at highway speeds they turn in the opposite direction for improved stability during lane-changes.

Styling and interior trim are as per the V12 GTC4, introduced at the Geneva motor show in March 2016.

The GTC4 Lusso T will debut at the upcoming Paris motor show; we're waiting on a reply from importer Scuderia SA as to when it will become available in South Africa.

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