First Drive: Ferrari GTC4Lusso T

The GTC4Lusso T is Ferrari's shooting brake – but with a V8 engine instead of the V12 – resulting in a reduced price. Don't think this car is entry level though, as Ferrari will certainly tell you otherwise.

Is this downsized model genuinely a useful alternative to the V12, or is Ferrari just trying to fill a gap in the market? AOL Cars went to Italy to find out.

What is it?

The 'T' that has been added to this car's name stands for 'turbocharged'. That's because the V12 engine has been swapped out for a revised version of the V8 unit from the 488 GTB.

As a result, Ferrari's shooting brake is now available for £30,000 less and has better fuel economy than the larger-engined model.

Other changes include alterations to the features in the infotainment system, such as allowing passengers to add navigation waypoints and also take over the music controls, the latter of which may cause some arguments on long journeys.

What's under the bonnet?

Ferrari's engineers have added new pistons to the 488's 3.9-litre V8, as well as coming up with a new intercooler design and reworking the exhaust system.

The engine looks tiny in the GTC4Lusso's bay, which was designed for the 6.3-litre V12, but the V8 is no slouch – it puts out 602bhp and 760Nm of torque.

The reduction in performance does have some benefit in the real world, as CO2 emissions are now 265g/km and the car now achieves 24mpg.

What's the spec like?

The GTC4Lusso T costs just under £200,000, which may seem expensive. However, this is £30,000 less than the V12 version.

There's also an increased saving if you live in a European country, as you'll get a significant tax break for the reduced CO2 emissions.

Any rivals?

Rivals for the GTC4Lusso T include the Mercedes-AMG S 65, Bentley Continental GT Supersports and the Porsche Panamera Turbo.

They key advantage these cars have over the Ferrari is cost. For example, the Panamera is around £100,000 cheaper.

What's it like to drive?

The GTC4Lusso T's turbocharged engine doesn't lag at all – it's outrageously responsive. Four-wheel steering means the car is extremely agile in tighter turns, despite weighing 1.7 tonnes.

The monstrous torque is something to behold, surging the car forward, with boost increasing as the revs rise. The Ferrari is not a car you can live with as easily as, for example, a Bentley. Prospective purchasers will have to make a choice between fun and comfort.

AOL Cars Verdict

With the GTC4Lusso T, Ferrari could have easily suffered at the hands of contradiction. Relaxing and practical for weekends away but sharp and agile for your favourite backroads – not usually comfortable bedfellows.

There are compromises to be had – yes, the ride is cosseting with the wheel-mounted 'manettino' switch turned to 'comfort', but it's a little fussier than a Bentley Continental or Porsche Panamera when the roads get rough.

However, if one of those cars followed the Ferrari on to a B-road, the Prancing Horse would gallop off into the distance without hesitation. It really is sensational, logic-defying performance.

If money's no object, spending an extra £30k on the V12 version seems like a no-brainer. But if running costs are important fear not – the GTC4Lusso T could hardly be considered a lesser car.

The Knowledge

Power (bhp): 602
Torque (Nm): 760
Max speed (mph): 199+
0-60mph: 3.3 seconds
MPG: 24
Emissions (g/km): 265
Price: £199,285

First Drive: Ferrari GTC4Lusso T

First Drive: Ferrari GTC4Lusso T