It seems to me that modern-day family life is not only getting unbelievably busy, but it’s also getting more and more disjointed. What used to be a weekend is now a series of ‘events’ and what used to be interaction now seems to be a group of people at the same location whose minds (and vision) are somewhere else.
Although we are only a family of three, there always seems to be something happening. Kids’ sports, games, parties, parks, markets to check out, friends to see, cars to review… the list grows ever-increasingly larger and more diverse. This would all be fine if it weren’t for the added distraction of texts, calls and, of course, all the demands that social media brings with it (heaven forbid we do anything without the rest of the web world knowing about it). And it seems it’s not just my family. Wherever ‘famiglia’ congregate, I see its members with their heads buried in mobile devices, preferring the attention of the online world rather than conversing with the people they are with. It’s a problem of epidemic proportions.
Never fear though, wonderful people, I think I’ve found the solution, and it comes in the shape of a Ferrari.
The Ferrari GTC4Lusso T brings joy, heightened emotions, interaction and family togetherness – in short, it promotes conversazione. Not only does it hold true to the brand’s three-quarters of a century’s values and heritage with excellent performance and handcrafted attention to detail, but its sumptuous leather seating provides ample space for four good-sized family members to relax and openly express themselves. The GTC4Lusso T is a sporty vehicle that welcomes modern-day comfort with open arms and offers slick new technology that’s quite the talking point… but I’ll get to that bit a little later.
Continental Cars Ferrari handed me the keys to their luxury performance vehicle, complete with a deep burgundy leather interior – this hue was a break from the norm, but really does work well. I was to have it for one whole weekend, and boy, did I have plans for my time with her.
As luck would have it (ahem), it was the weekend of my wife’s birthday, and in my humble opinion (and based on my own experience with Ferrari Australasia at Bathurst a couple of years ago) nothing puts the happy in happy birthday more than a Ferrari, even if it is only for a limited amount of time.
I had organised a long scenic country drive, a drive to the stores, a drive to the beach and a drive into town for an outstanding dining experience at Monzu, serving up probably the most authentic Neapolitan cuisine outside of Napoli… the things I do for my family.
But first I had to take care of my ‘chores’. We live in quite a close community and when a vehicle of note is parked on my driveway, it always brings neighbours knocking, the Ferrari obviously is no exception. The result is basically several trips around the ‘circuit’ one at a time. With the GTC4Lusso T being a true four-seater, I was able to enjoy the camaraderie of taking four enthusiastic friends out together, saving time and fuel – genius.
The GTC4LussoT has a V8 turbo heart, which certainly measures up well with its V12 relatives (especially from yesteryear models). With 448kWs of power, 760Nm of torque and a birth weight of around 1800kg, it’s able to get from a standing start to 100kph in just 3.5 seconds and up to a top speed of 320, not bad for a ‘family’ car.
It’s a rear-wheel drive (with a 46 percent/ 54 percent bias to the tail), which adds an extra element of spring to her step, and four-wheel steering to assist with your more fervent cornering. The Manettino (driving mode selector) on the F1 style sports steering wheel allows you to move from ‘snow’ to ‘wet’, through ‘comfort’ and up to ‘sport’ and even ‘traction off’, each with its own attributes and driving focus. For me (as it was a dry day), Sport was my main weapon of choice for the chores.
As the moniker suggests, the GTC4 Lusso T has a strong luxury bias. It has an elegantly refined interior with contrast stitching, carbon fibre trim and accents, a smart and intuitive 10.3‑inch infotainment screen (Apple and Android connectivity) and incredibly supportive lush leather seats of such depth that their scent follows you long after you reluctantly leave the vehicle behind… sigh. All of this and more fitting neatly into her beautifully flowing exterior dimensions (5m long by 2m wide and only 1.4m tall).
With the family on board, I opted for Comfort (well, for most of the time), and as the car seamlessly ran up and down its 7-speed F1 dual-clutch gearbox, we actually talked. Admittedly, much of the conversation revolved around the ‘dual cockpit’ 8.8‑inch display screen that runs the length of the passenger dashboard, offering up everything from speed and revs to g-force and driving mode selection. This is driving tech that involves everyone, they can see what you can, and, actually, often even than you – but talk is talk right?
We did play I-spy (although much of the content was long gone as we moved enthusiastically through the countryside), and my son found great joy in directing the ‘fighter jet’ air vents around the rear cabin area – see: fun for all the family.
There’s been many a time that I have described the driver’s seat of a two-seater Ferrari supercar as being my happy place. Sometimes it’s a place of calm reflection while at others, it’s an extreme driving experience where you leave all your cares and worries behind and simply ‘connect’ with the environment you are in. But now, having driven the GTC4LussoT, it would appear that when you add in the family, they too can join in on the extreme pleasure the Cavallino Rampante brings – and that is some quality modern-day family values that I would happily put my mobile device down for.