- Available from £140,000
- 6.3-litre V12 all-wheel drive or 3.9-litre V8 twin-turbo rear-wheel drive
- A less thirsty and more modern feeling evolution of the FF
- V8 for the shops, V12 for tops
- PTU transmission spectre not entirely vanquished
- V12s are a lot more expensive than V8s and likely to stay that way
Ferrari estate, anyone? Even now in 2023 it sounds weird. Fifteen years ago it was positively outlandish, but the Ferrari FF that first propelled Ferrari into a new world of high-speed practicality back in 2011 confounded the doubters and showed, not for the first time, how the addition of a glamour-free element like utility could revitalise the finances of glamorous sports car manufacturers.
This buying guide is actually for the 2016-20 GTC4Lusso and Lusso T but it would be crazy not to preface it with the story of the 2011-16 FF because for many the GTC4 looked like an FF facelift. Ferrari said it wasn’t. They said that the cabin design and all the body panels were new, and that both the mighty V12 engine and the all-wheel drive system had been comprehensively revised. They also pointed to the new V8 version and said look, we told you it was new.
We’ll get into all that in more detail later. First, what’s in a name? Letters and numbers in a car’s name don’t always mean much but they traditionally tell you quite a bit about a Ferrari. The numbers usually relate to the individual cylinder displacement in cubic centimetres. So, if you were aware of the fact that a 412 from the 1970s had twelve cylinders, you could work out that its engine size was 12 times 412, i.e. 4,944cc or thereabouts.
The 2011-on FF was different. There was no number in its name. If there had been it would have been 522 because its naturally-aspirated V12 displaced 6.3 litres, but obviously they couldn’t use that because 522 was also the number of the bus service from Tregaron to Aberystwyth. FF stood for Ferrari Four, shorthand for the four seats and four-wheel drive. It wasn’t just any old AWD setup either, but a new and patented ‘4RM’ in-house system which sent default power to the rear axle via a Getrag 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox and which also had a second, front-mounted, two-speeds-plus-reverse gearbox that could take up to a fifth of the engine’s torque in the first four gears. In the top three cogs it was rear-drive only. Ferrari claimed that using the 4RM rather than a heavy transfer case brought a big weight cut compared to non-Ferrari AWD systems, and that its poor-conditions performance was accompanied by enhanced off-the-line acceleration on dry roads.
The FF was Ferrari’s first foray into the AWD scene and, most would say, a very successful one. It won loads of awards and generated a loving fanbase. Fewer than 2,300 of them were made in its five-year life, which isn’t a lot by mass production standards but of course the important figures for Ferrari were on the sales invoices and not on the final build stats. In 2012 the starting price for an FF was £227,000. With the usual extras thrown at it, the actual price per car was probably nearer to £300k. Even if it was actually a little bit less than that you’d still be looking at £600 million gross income from one car alone, so it wasn’t entirely surprising when a new version of the ‘shooting brake’ reappeared in Ferrari’s 2016 brochure as a replacement for the FF.
This GTC4Lusso saw very little change to the FF’s elegant Pininfarina lines, and this time the model name did give you a proper Ferrari-style insight into what you were buying. GTC meant grand touring coupe, 4 meant four seats, and Lusso meant luxury. The AWD Lusso was revealed at the 2016 Geneva show. Seven months later, the Lusso T pitched up at the 2016 Paris show. This one was rear-drive only but that wasn’t the only change. It had a completely different engine, an uprated 602hp version of the 488/California T 3.9 twin-turbo V8. The engine change, along with the absence of AWD hardware, contributed to an overall weight saving on the Lusso T of more than 50kg and, as we’ll see in a moment, to a worthwhile improvement in fuel economy.
Compared to the FF, the V12 GTC4Lusso was up on power by 30hp courtesy of some intake mixture trickery. It was up on torque too, only by 10lb ft but at slightly lower revs. It was quicker than its FF predecessor over the 0-62mph run (3.4sec vs 3.7) and unchanged on top speed (208mph). It was also marginally more economical than the FF, with an official combined average of 18.5mpg versus 17.3mpg, although in general use you would be more likely getting 12mpg in your FF and therefore not much more in your GTC4Lusso. How did the two GTC4Lussos stack up against each other, though? Well, there really wasn’t very much in it on performance. The 3.9 turbo V8 was just 0.1sec slower through the 0-62, assisted as it was by its fatter and more accessible torque curve. It was slower than the V12, though not actually slow at 199mph.
In September 2020 both versions of the GTC4Lusso were dropped. Ferrari said that the model had run its normal (for Ferrari) five-year course. The GTC4’s disappearance created breathing space for the stoking up of anticipation for its indirect replacement, the 2023 £313,000 Purosangue. To the delight of serial Ferrari buyers, it turned out that Ferrari’s first four-door four-seater (and its first SUV) was still going to be powered by a big (6.5 litre, 715hp) non-hybridised natural V12.
Getting back to the GTC4Lusso, both V12 and V8 versions didn’t go on sale in the UK until 2017. Today, at the bottom of the used GTC4 price range you’ll find higher-mile (up to 40,000) 3.9 V8s at £140,000. Throw another £10k into the pot and you’ll be able to choose between V8s with 10-15,000 miles on them. If it has to be a V12 for you it will also have to be quite a bit more cash, not just because these cars tend to cover smaller mileages but also because they’re among the last flag-wavers for the unfettered and unadulterated big V12. As such you’ll do well to prise a V12 from its owner for less than £170k.
SPECIFICATION | Ferrari GTC4Lusso/Lusso T (2016-2020)
Engine: 6,262cc V12 48v naturally aspirated/3,855cc V8 32v twin turbo
Transmission: 7-speed auto, all-wheel drive/rear-drive
Power (hp): 681@8,000rpm/602@7,500rpm
Torque (lb ft): 514@5,750rpm/561@3,000-5,250
0-62mph (secs): 3.4/3.5
Top speed (mph): 208/199
Weight (kg): 1,790/1,740
MPG (official combined): 18.5/24.4
CO2 (g/km): 350/265
Wheels (in): 8.5 x 20 (f), 10.5 x 20 (r)
Tyres: 245/35 (f), 295/35 (r)
On sale: 2016 - 2020
Price new: £230,000/£199,000 (2017)
Price now: from £170,000/£140,000
Data given is for Lusso V12/LussoT V8
Note for reference: car weight and power data are hard to pin down with absolute certainty. For consistency, we use the same source for all our guides. We hope the data we use is right more often than it’s wrong. Our advice is to treat it as relative rather than definitive.
ENGINE & GEARBOX
Two very different engines here, and two very different ways of achieving high performance. We’ve given you the spec sheet comparison which showed very little between them on the road. The big differences were in feel and sound. The V12 had the potential to be more of a screamer than the V8, although the availability of 80 per cent of peak torque at 1,750rpm meant that it was no one-trick pony. The power delivery was honey smooth and remarkably long if you had the will and wit to hang on to the limit in every gear. If you needed twelve cylinders in your life and a top end that was comfortably over 200mph, then the straight Lusso was a shoo-in.
If you wanted a less shouty drive, fewer visits to the petrol station and a lower purchase price the V8 T did a fine job. Its flat-plane engine didn’t have the skin-wrinkling sonic impact of the V12, despite the active tailpipe valves that switched in and out a little randomly to add character, but the V8’s use of Variable Boost Management to eliminate turbo lag and to provide differently-shaped torque curves in the top five gears made it a smooth and efficient drive. It also felt more ‘immediate’ on the throttle than the V12, but even without a Novitec exhaust the big lad was the boss when it came to bloodcurdling sounds. Start-stop was free on all UK cars. There was a recall on Lussos built between October 2017 and October 2018 to replace potentially defective fuel vapour separators.
Again we need to hark back to the FF to see if that car’s transmission issues were resolved in the GTC4Lusso/Lusso T. There were two main difficulties. One was the PTU or Power Takeoff Unit which was integral to the 4RM drive. This gained a reputation for failing. Poor sealing caused hydraulic oil to be lost inside the gearbox, resulting in a mixture of oils, reduced hydraulic fluid levels and a cut in hydraulic power to the gearbox selectors in the PTU. The fault would be flagged up as ‘4WD Failure and Manettino stuck in Wet Mode’. The GTC4 uses the same PTU setup. Failures are less common now but do still happen. Parkes Performance/SS Auto Tech in Bicester do an internationally-rated PTU rebuild for £7,950.
The other problem was the Getrag DCT box which wasn’t great at learning its owner’s driving style and which could be dangerously hesitant when switching (or not) from reverse to forwards during parking manoeuvres. Again the finger of blame was pointed at inadequate seals and/or bad sensors. A couple of years ago the cost to drop, split and rebuild an FF’s DCT box to put right sensor failures was £7k. Add whatever extra you think to that figure to take inflation into account.
Manettino failures have been reported but often as not these would resolve themselves overnight. Disconnected transmission wiring was also noted by at least one owner, disabling some ratios. Batteries have failed even on cars whose owners said were driven every day. You got seven years of free servicing with these Ferraris, proper annual/12.5k miles ones too, none of your new-fangled variable intervals nonsense. If you did more than 12,000 a year – admittedly an extremely remote possibility – they would give you another service.
The standard warranty for UK GTC4s was four years, so some will still be covered. Having said that, at the time of writing most of them would be V8s as we only managed to find one later (i.e. 2019 or 2020) warranty-qualifying V12 on sale in the UK. Extended warranties are expensive. Some FF owners found them poor value for money when things that they expected to be covered went wrong and it turned out they weren’t. More than a few FFers went down the self-insuring route instead, putting aside money for unexpected eventualities.
At nearly two metres wide the GTC4 was a big car that demanded a level of care on the sort of nadgery roads you might encounter in, say, ski resorts, but your work was made easier by steering that was both perfectly weighted and quick. The GTC4Lusso was one of the first Ferraris to get rear-wheel steering, inherited and usefully toned down from the F12 tdf. The 3.9 T had it too, which combined with the weight saving of not having the V12’s AWD system on board endowed it with useful pointiness and agility. The V12 countered with outstanding grip on every wheel, with up to 90 percent of torque capable of being sent to the outside front. As noted earlier it reverted to two-wheel drive in the top three gears.
The drive mode settings on the GTC4’s manettino switch were Ice, Wet, Comfort, Sport and ESC Off. ‘Race’ wasn’t considered appropriate on a family estate. In Sport mode you could engage the adaptive suspension’s Bumpy Road button which was very much worth using on British byways as it brought the sort of comfort you’d never think might be part of any Ferrari experience.
Some FFs fitted with suspension lift systems suffered from blowouts (again, seals were suspected) but so far there is nothing to suggest similar problems on GTC4s with the lift option. This gives the car remarkable ground clearance for around £4k. You’d want to be sure you had it cranked up to the max over sleeping policemen if, as the first buyer, you’d laid out £3.4k for the carbon front spoiler. Carbon ceramic brakes were standard on both GTC4 models.
The main design changes to the FF that turned it into a GTC4Lusso were small revisions to the aero (new rear diffuser and roof spoiler), a wider front grille, and a neater-looking quartet of rear lights. You’ll have your own views on the merits of the overall styling which was slightly less edgy than the FF’s.
Some think the GTC4 looks more mature, helped in that by paint colours that tend to be sober rather than spectacular. They did a maroonish Rosso Cordoba that was very classy. Black cars are always difficult to keep looking nice in the UK, but if you like the dirty, stained Mad Max look on an expensive car then that would be the best choice. Rare hues don’t necessarily hike GTC4Lusso prices. Factory Scuderia shields sat in wing recesses so you couldn’t save yourself £1,000 by not specifying them and then chucking on a couple of ten-bob stickers.
The full-length glass roof was superb. Mind you, it ought to have been at £11,500, and there was no 575 Superamerica-style electrical dimming included in that. Back-seat passengers benefited more from the glass roof than those in the front so if you’re going to be travelling solo or two-up there’s no need to un-shortlist cars that don’t have it. Adaptive front lights (£1,700+) worked well. Carbon fibre side vents didn’t make the air flow any faster than the standard ones but they did lighten your wallet to the tune of £1,700. Carbon sill covers were equally non-functional but that didn’t stop them costing nearly £5k. Broken cables have prevented some doors from opening.
Comfort in the GTC4Lusso was excellent and not just for the front two bods either. Even tall types could sit in regal splendour in the back and escape fatigue for hours on end thanks to the 16mm extra legroom they had over FF passengers. Entry was made easy for them too by front seats that would quickly whirr well out of the way. For around £2,400 the optional Daytona seats were good value.
Most of the FF’s cabin flaws were nicely resolved in the GTC4Lusso. The titchy old sat-nav screen was binned in favour of a bigger, centralised, fast-acting and bright 10.25-inch split-screen pinch-and-swipe display that both front passengers could use, not just for navigation but also for Apple CarPlay sounds, assuming the first owner had stumped up £2,400 for the privilege of having that app. The passenger could view their own mini-display on the dash if the £3,300 box for that had been ticked.
Some who had owned both the FF and the GTC4Lusso thought that the quality of leather in the FF was superior to the later car's but that the GTC4’s infotainment system was a great deal better. There have however been reports of software bugs on the GTC4 infotainment causing a screen freeze. Glitches have also affected the seat heater display, mirrors, lights and passenger side windows that would occasionally drop down after locking the car and then opening the door.
The rim of the new steering wheel was still not round in cross-section, which was irksome for some, but it did have nicer indicators plus on-wheel telephone functions. A new, more responsive and quieter climate control system was a step forward too, with more individual settings than before. You could ramp up the sounds by paying £3.5k for a JBL system. The 450-litre boot space rising to 800 litres with the back seats down was slightly compromised by its stepped shape. The removable parcel shelf could be fiddly to re-install.
The comment you’re most likely to hear from those who have owned both the FF and the GTC4Lusso is that the newer car felt noticeably more polished and modern. It was a lovely thing to drive, fast or slow, safety controls on or off. If your patch included lots of fast open roads, the V12 was the obvious choice. If you were going to be towning it more, then the V8 made more sense.
Ah yes, ‘sense’. Ferrari pitched both the GTC4 and the FF as practical family cars, daily drives even, but only for the fortunate few. For those of us tediously constrained by the absence of limitless cash, an Audi RS6 at half the price made even more sense, but Ferraris have never been about making sense. They’re about making memories, and you can’t put a price on that. Except you can, and we’ll be doing just that in a couple of paragraphs’ time.
We mentioned earlier that Ferrari built around 2,300 FFs. It’s never easy to get exact Ferrari production numbers, but educated guesses we’ve seen for the GTC4Lusso are 2,000-2,500 V12s and 1,000-1,500 V8s. If that range is about right, the total guesstimated number of 3,000-4,000 GTC4s is larger than the number of FFs, but you could argue that the drivetrain differences put the two GTC4s into quite separate boxes. Looking at it that way, it’s easy to see the Lusso V12’s potential for steady growth along similar lines to the FF.
When we put together the buying guide for the Ferrari FF in mid-2021 the entry-level price for a high-mile example – 40,000 miles for FFs – was £83,000. Today, exactly two years on, 40,000-mile FFs start at nearly £90,000. The GTC4’s perceived potential as a ‘daily’ was expected to reduce the usual Ferrari effect where anything with more than 40,000 miles on the clock was going to be a difficult sell, but it’s hard to test that theory because so far at least there is very little evidence of GTC4 owners putting in the traditional 12k miles a year. Of course, it’s only been around for five and a bit years, so it’s early days yet, but very few of the cars on sale in the UK in mid-2023 had crossed that 40k mark – not even the 3.9s that you’d think would be more likely to be used for everyday duties.
Even though the 3.9s are actually less common than the 6.3s, the nature of its flat-plane engine and the use of that engine in other Ferraris dims its appeal somewhat relative to the 6.3, so maybe 3.9s have a little way further to drop, but it’s hard to imagine heavy, or indeed any, depreciation hitting the V12s. Not now.
What price then for what is probably going to be the last four-seat non-SUV Ferrari (we’re not counting the Roma with its very small rear seats)? The beauty of buying any used Ferrari is that you don’t get stung in the same way that the feverishly box-ticking first owner would have been. The Ferrari UK test GTC4 Lusso had around £100k’s worth of extras on it, the definition of ‘worth’ being pushed to the max and well beyond by Ferrari’s price-setters.
For forty grand on top of that car’s extras bill, you could have this 2017 LussoT 3.9 in Bianco Italia (which was an expensive special order colour) along with a lot more high-priced add-ons like the pano roof, passenger display and leather boot ‘carpet’. The mileage is predictably ‘high’ at 33k but there’s an equally predictable Ferrari service history to ease your furrowed brow.
The cheapest (sic) V12 was this 2018 specimen with 23,000 miles and a £172,950 price tag. This too has the desirable pano roof, plus the carbon ‘driver zone’, suspension lift kit, adaptive headlights, hilariously expensive (£672!) tricolore boot badge and extended warranty to the end of 2024. It looks amazing in black on black but probs best not to drive it in the rain unless you have a valeter on permanent standby. At the top of the PH pile, £198k gets you this mean-looking 4,000-mile V12 in matte Grigio Silverstone. Yum.
1 / 11