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- Post is under moderationThe founder of the most famous marque in motor racing was no slouch behind the wheel, having driven for the Alfa Romeo works team before setting up the #Scuderia-Ferrari / #Enzo-Ferrari / #Ferrari .
Born 18 February #1898
Died 14 August #1988
Career highlights Winner of Circuito di Modena and Coppa Acerbo; set up Scuderia Ferrari
Choosing a hero for this issue was the perfect excuse to go for the great man himself. So much has been written about him (including his own utterings in Piloti, che gente… and My Terrible Joys), I can only offer my observations.
Enzo Ferrari certainly had a hard climb out of relative mediocrity to the heights of leading the most famous brand on earth. Born in 1898, he made it through most of WWI in the military, albeit in poor health, and eventually got himself employed at Costruzioni Meccaniche Nazionali. By 1920, he was with ALFA (later Alfa Romeo) at Portillo. Around 1921, by dint of hard work, determination and considerable charm, he was manager of the fledgling race team, as well as a driver in the company of Antonio Ascari, Ugo Sivocco and the inimitable Giuseppe Campari.
Bringing Vittorio Jano from FIAT to replace designer Giuseppe Merosi was a brilliant stroke, moving Alfa into the serious quality car market. As he progressed, the forceful and pragmatic Ferrari noticed that aside from works drivers, there was no shortage of wealthy amateurs anxious to compete but not wanting to get their hands grubby. Harnessing his know-how, he set up his own firm at the end of 1929, preparing and transporting Alfas (and ’bikes) for clients.
Some of the drivers turned out to be rather good at the job. Mario Tadini, for instance, could beat the best of the competition in hillclimbing and was a fine wheelman on the Mille Miglia. So, indeed was Felice Trossi, who took over the presidency of the Scuderia in 1932 when Alfredo Caniato (one of the original backers) resigned. As Enzo Ferrari prospered, his pace as a racer diminished. Sufficiently so that in August ’1931, competing in an ex-factory 8C in the Tre Provincia road race near Bologna, he was thrashed by a diminutive driver in an older 6C-1750. Nuvolari and Ferrari were made for each other.
When Alfa withdrew from racing and handed over the hardware to Ferrari, with it came drivers such as Arcangeli, Borzachinni, and Nuvolari.
Enzo’s ability to keep the balls in the air required copious doses of ingenuity, guile, willpower and sheer bravado. Juggling businessmen, racers, mechanics, suppliers, bankers, officials, press, public and family required the patience of Job and the skill of Niccolo Machiavelli. It was to be Ferrari’s life until he died in ’1988. Enzo derived great joy from the control and influence that he had over everyone he came into contact with – none more so than his drivers.
Did he really connive Nuvolari’s win on the 1930 Mille Miglia by having Varzi informed that he was well ahead when he wasn’t? Was Eugenio Castellotti really summoned from his bed to the Modena Autodrome in March ’1957 and told the lap record there was no longer his? Was de Portago really told that Gendebien was ahead of him on the ’1957 Mille Miglia?
The infatuation with Ferrari’s life and cars knows no bounds. Myth, folklore and truth are constantly intermingled. In the ’60s, books rarely dealt with the man himself. That’s all changed. Today you can find out who made his suits, how he dealt with those close to him, why he loved going to his house at Fiorano. Someone even tracked down who produced the ink with which he signed his documents and what sized bottles it came in. Who on earth would care?
Okay… it was bought from Olivieri’s shop at Via Claudia 95, Maranello, which got it in 1-litre bottles from Gnocchi in Treviso. It was made by Francesco Rubinato, and Enzo liked the colour because his father used a purple pencil to mark out sheets of steel. There is likely only one noble person left who could add to the history, and she has no reason whatsoever to oblige.
Ferrari finished second on the Targa Florio in #1920 driving an Alfa Romeo 40/60. Below: Enzo pictured in later life with his signature sunglasses.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderation/ 2017 FERRARI GTC4 LUSSO COVER STORY #Ferrari-GTC4-Lusso / #Ferrari-Lusso / #Ferrari-GTC4 / #Ferrari-FF
The rumour mill is always churning on about Ferrari doing the unthinkable and putting out a passenger 4x4, keeping in line with the current “monkey see - monkey do" trend of the auto industry. Thankfully Maranello”s interpretation of that thought transcended first onto the FF and now into the all-new - a vehicle that truly stands out in a league of its own. Classy, elegant and ferociously fast, this is the world’s ultimate Grand Touring sports coupe. We find out why...
One of my favorite things in life is taking my six-year old daughter for a drive in every car I test drive. I mean, as a little person her comments are certainly very honest and straight to the point, sometimes even opening my eyes to the practicalities I miss out on. For example, “this car is too loud dad" or “I can't hear myself sing” and 'the seats are not as comfy as… if you get the drift?
Now obviously, when I get a two seater coupe our drive time is limited to just a few quick spins around the block with Taylor Swift or Selena Gomes, blaring out of the stereo. And I don’t really like that... both of the latter and especially the former! I love sharing my experiences with her whether its the Ferrari, the McLaren or the Porsche, but the front seat is no place for a child, hence cruise time gets limited, that is...
ENTER THE GTC4 LUSSO
I have been a sucker for hatchbacks ...all my life. So to me, the whole “shooting brake” (aka station wagon, hatchback or estate) concept has always been a jaw -dropping proposition.
Of course there are exceptions to that rule, when we start talking about Subarus, Toyota Yaris or some Chinese made obscenity that have Hooded the market of late.
Point being. I have always in love with the Ferrari FF... since its launch. To me the FF (four seats, four wheel drive) is a gentleman's steed. You get plenty of room, dapper interior and decent luggage space to keep all your boxes... just in case you get fired... or the missus finds out about your other squeeze.
But besides the afore mentions, it offered a thumping #Ferrari-V12 engine upfront, a Ferrari gearbox and a glorious Ferrari exhaust note. It was the ultimate Grand Tourer in my books, and my personal favorite from the existing range. So imagine my surprise when people chose to bypass it either due to its looks or simply because they found it too large to track, Either way, Ferrari hit the refresh button earlier this year and came out with this updated, smarter looking and stick driving GTC4Lusso.
Alright, the name is a bit clunky but it’s been soaked in classic Ferrari heritage. The GTC+ was bagged from the roomier and spacious variant of the 1970’s Daytona, while Lusso was the designation given to the less flashy but super classy, drop-dead gorgeous (1963-1964) 250GT. Yes! It is amazing how the Italians can just pick up the archives and splice off names/designs for all their new products. Only exception to the rule being La Ferrari (still hate that name!)
IS IT A FACELIFT?
The answer to that is no. Facelifts are the industry standard for adding shine to a product that has started softening up on sales. Ferrari doesn’t do that. Ferrari goes through a “modificato" process that ensures its road cars stay abreast with the fast paced developments at the company's R&D shop. And that's exactly what the new Lusso is all about.
The GTC4 offers a plethora of improvements which not only make it faster, lighter and roomier but also adds for die first time ever. Jour wheel steering. I guess, this was done for specifically for those of you who questioned the FFs handling prowess - being such a large car. But more on that a little bit later.
It’s awesome... that’s the only way I can describe it. There is a new dash design which incorporates a ten-inch screen and an upgraded LCD passenger display just above the glove box. This will not only keep your passenger fascinated with the speeds your driving at, but also allows them to fiddle around with extras such as making phone- calls, controlling music or adjusting the sat-nav. The new infotainment processor is about eight times faster than the last, which means displays switch over in micro-seconds and you certainly need that in this car, so you can look out for speed cams.
The quality of leather and metal used is peerless. The entire interior has been given a re-fit albeit with a smaller but grippier steering wheel. There are four new seats developed with partner Poltrona Frau which have got a retro 70s vibe to them. They are comfy in a very un-Ferrari-esque kind of way, and even if you’re not sitting hi them, they are just amazing to look at.
The Lusso may lie only millimeters bigger but the cabin feels a lot roomier than that. The panoramic glass roof option only further adds to the airy and luxurious ambience of the car.
I was ecstatic as my daughter got into the rear seat and sat there comfortably enjoying the ride. No words spoken is always a great sign at that age. It would be safe to say that average sized adults can travel quite comfortably in the back of this car, no issues at all.
REDRAWN OR RESTYLED?
It looks big on the outside too, and sure enough the changes to the exterior have altered the proportions. The new gills or fins behind the front wheels help visually shorten the long nose, while the rear haunches are curvier, giving the car more width in terms of stance. Overall the rear end with its bracketed top and integrated spoiler with the round protruding lights looks really cool. I mean don’t get me wrong, I love the front end of this car... but in all honesty, this is probably the first car on the planet I would purchase based on its behind.
Aesthetically you can see it looks a lot more chiseled than its predecessor. Although I loved the FF, but it looked a lot more straightish.
In my humble opinion there was something quite not right from the li-pillar oil and the “modificato” process has rectified it. This here is the finished product and it resonates that sentiment through the driving dynamics of the Lusso. It feels more broad shouldered through the turns and stubbier when stationary. If you like cigars then consider this a “Churchill” that finishes off as a ’robusto’.
I know it might sound cliched but there is nothing like the sound of a naturally aspirated V8 or V12. So when Maranello started toying with the twin-turboed V8s, I wasn't too pleased, nut from the aspect of output but more so from the sound. A Ferrari high note should never end as a growl... it can start oil with one but it must finish off with a scream! And that is exactly what the GTC4's 6.3-litre V12 does when hammered.
Forced induction might have been introduced if the GTC4 had rivals from a performance aspect, but luckily it does not! You might think Bentley. Aston, AMG S-Coupe or Wraith, but ever tried sitting in the back of one of those? Or say...doing a time-attack challenge in a Wraith? Nothing comes close to the driving ethos of the Lusso and there is literally nothing around the corner either. As a result the GTC4 is not inclined to adhere to segment benchmarks or slap on turbo chargers or blowers in the quest for more HP.
However, improvements have been made to output but through the use of conventional machinery and tools. The old car made 651bhp, the new one makes 681bhp. Compression ratio has been raised, the piston design has changed, there’s now multi-spark ignition and as a result, power has climbed up by 30bhp. With further tweaks to the gearbox and traction software the GTC4 knocks of 0.3 secs from the FF, delivering 62mph in just 3.4secs. Top speed is 208mph.
HORSE WITH CLAWS
In typical Ferrari fashion the spec sheet handed to me was jam-packed with acronyms. But the one that really stuck out first was the 4RM-S, which controls the new four-wheel drive and four- wheel steering system. This is the same system that made its debut on the limited edition F12 TDF, making the Lusso an even more special proposition.
Anyways, the afore mentioned system works in tandem with the SSC4 SCM-E and E-Diff (in order: side blip control, adaptive damping and electronic differential), and I'm only bringing these up to show you the complexity and integration of the various systems that keep the GTC4 pointing in the desired direction.
The four-wheel steering really does make the Lusso feel more agile than the FF. It is a bit lighter (by about 60kg in total), which helps with direction changes, but this system, which is almost entirely unobtrusive, makes the GTC4 sharper into corners (when the back wheels turn in the opposite direction to the fronts) and gives it a more attacking, willing demeanour.
You feel more confident once you realise you can overtake or change directions mid-curve especially in a car that's this big and heavy.
Quite Frankly tile Lusso does a far better job of controlling its weight oil bends and turns than I expected. On the open roads and larger sweeping curves it’s clearly in its element with the big engine howling and plenty of grip and power both on hand and foot.
But the best part is when you get the power on, feel all four wheels work the last part of а winding curve, and then the V12 propels you out and on to the straight. It is quiet torquey at die bottom end (80 per cent at 1750rpm Ferrari claims, although it doesn’t feel quite that strung), but forget about that, because it’s what happens higher up that counts.
ONE OF A KIND
Yes it truly is. Because #Ferrari usually tend to focus more on their front nm occupants and performance rather than excess baggage...or any baggage for that matter. The FF was therefore a welcome break from routine and a proper car with all the mannerisms synonymous with the famed prancing horse insignia. Therefore the Lusso has turned out to be a step above its predecessor gaining a whole lot more, while losing none of its original dynamism, especially that stratospheric #V12 .
Its ail expensive car, but I can't think of anything as exclusive, sophisticated, elegant and sporty to carry lour people, while staying true its brand values, like the GTC4 has. And given that the company has said it will never go down the route of producing an SUV (anti thankfully so) enthusiasts looking for a non-Ferrari' to use as a daily driver have had their prayers answered. To put it simply, there is nothing quiet like it out there... not at least until the next “modificato” on this offering is due.
“ON THE OPEN ROADS AND LARGER SWEEPING CURVES THE FERRARI LUSSO IS CLEARLY IN IIS ELEMENT WITN ITS BIG ENGINE HOWLING AND PLENTY OF GRIP AND POWER BOTH ON HAND AND FOOT.”Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
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THE FF’S SUCCESSOR MATES 4WD AND 4WS WITH V12 GOODNESS
Sculpted flanks have helped the GTC4Lusso shed some visual weight.
Lovely cabin, but you’ll be too busy using the 507kW to notice.
Seats fold flat for those Joshua Doore runs Ferrari owners always do at weekends.
GTC4Lusso has many, many screens. Which one runs Mario Kart?
ENGINE 6262cc #V12 , #AWD ,
POWER 507kW, 697Nm
MPG 15l/100km, 350g/km CO2
PERFORMANCE 0-100kph in 3.4sec, 335kph
VERDICT A thoroughly overhauled and updated FF. Still does the same job, but does it with more panache and dynamism. 9/10
Maybe the name was too literal. FF. Four-seater, four-wheel drive. Not very sexy. Whatever the reason, it’s now the GTC4Lusso. As names go, this one is a bit clunky and not strictly accurate (the initials stand for Gran-Turismo-Competizione ), but it does talk to Ferrari’s history. And Ferrari is good at liaising with its back catalogue, not just through plucked names, but through model continuation – the mid-engined V8 sports car, the front-engined V12 coupé. These are long-running themes over at Maranello.
The FF may have introduced 4wd to the Ferrari idiom, but its strategy was entirely familiar. Here was a front-engine V12 four-seater that could actually seat four, and for extra brownie points, swallow their luggage too. It required little compromise, delivered where it needed to, exceeded expectations. Five years on, it’s had a freshen up.
For the most part, this is entirely predictable. It’s got a bit more power, a little less weight, rear passengers have 16mm more legroom, emissions have dropped, the infotainment is improved. But one thing is perhaps surprising: it still uses a naturally aspirated 6.3-litre V12. We’re not used to this. Where are the turbos?
Aston has been forced to fit them to the new DB11 to keep it class competitive, M likewise Ferrari’s own 488 GTB. Competition is the reason. The 488 gained blowers not because of emissions legislation, but because it was at risk of being out-powered by Porsche and McLaren. But the GTC4 is different. It has no natural rivals – there’s nothing out there, literally nothing, with even remotely the same skill set.
So a naturally aspirated V12 it is. And Ferrari has not left the old 485kW unit alone. The compression ratio has been raised, the piston design has changed, there’s now multispark ignition; and as a result, power has climbed 22kW. 507kW is a big number, enough (with tweaks to the gearbox and traction software) to knock 0.3secs off the 0-100kph time. But what I like most about it is that it now starts more quietly in the mornings.
Ferrari has been listening to its customers, and they said they didn’t want it to be quite so effusive first thing. So now the exhaust baffles stay closed more when the engine is cold or at low speeds. You see this response to customer feedback in other places as well. The steering wheel is new, equipped with bigger pads for the headlights and wipers and indicators that can be activated by fingers from behind as well as thumbs at the front. It’s more functional; but aesthetically? Not so good. That’s the trouble with responding to customer feedback – the customer ain’t always right.
The rest of the cabin is close to being a triumph. The new dash design, which incorporates a ten-inch central screen and a separate passenger display, is a big improvement. It’s quick and slick, and the passenger can keep themselves occupied making phone calls, controlling music, fiddling with the satnav and seeing how fast the driver is actually going.
Size-wise it’s a little bigger in all three dimensions, but we’re talking millimetres here, and the thing was already the size of an S-Class. It’s better looking, though. The new strakes behind the front wheels have helped shorten the profile visually, while the rear haunches are more curvaceous. The back end, bracketed top and bottom by an integrated spoiler and underbody diffuser, looks really cool. The rear hatch is more upright, improving both stowage and aero, apparently. I love the way it looks from the rear three-quarter – the front I can take or leave, but the rear sells me on the whole car.
Overall there’s more tension to the surfacing, more sculpting. The FF used to look like a long, thin, pencil-ish car, but the GTC4Lusso comes across as a bit shorter and broader. That change is reflected in the driving. The track widths have barely changed, yet it feels more broad-shouldered through turns, and quite a bit stubbier than its 4922mm length suggests.
There’s a reason for that. A veritable legion of acronyms underpins the GTC4Lusso’s chassis, but I’m going to concentrate on just one of them: 4RM-S, which manages the four-wheel drive and new four-wheel-steering system. It works in harmony with SSC4, SCM-E and E-Diff (in order: side slip control, adaptive damping and electronic differential), but I only mention them to show the complexity and integration of the various systems that keep the car pointing in the desired direction on a thin ribbon of tarmac laid over a treacherous Dolomite.
Anyway, the four-wheel steering really does make the GTC4 more agile than the FF. The car is a bit lighter, which helps with direction changes, but this system, which is almost entirely unobtrusive, makes the GTC4 sharper into corners and gives it a more attacking, willing demeanour. Almost unobtrusive – it occasionally felt snatchy coming out of tight corners, meaning I hadn’t wound the lock off the super-fast steering quite fast enough. But that absolutely the only time I ever felt the GTC4 wasn’t 100 per cent cohesive.
You must remember it’s a big, heavy car, and one not particularly designed for the area Ferrari has chosen to launch it in. Yes, I’m sure some owners do take their cars skiing, but hairpins are not a natural stamping ground for a 1920kg, long-wheelbase grand tourer. Still, the GTC4 looks beautiful in the Dolomites and does a far better job of controlling its weight on these tight, difficult roads than I’d anticipated. On the few open sweepers we encounter, it’s clearly in its element, big engine howling, just a sniff of steering lock applied, but the tight stuff gives you plenty of proof about how well this car apportions torque to each wheel. It’s very, very effective.
And so well-controlled. Initially I was surprised that the GTC4 didn’t have the same suppleness in its suspension as the 488GTB, but the more I drove it, the more I came to appreciate how exceptional the wheel control is. It’s not uncomfortable at all, it just deals with stuff in a completely unflappable manner. Little disturbs the on-board calm.
Little except the engine, of course. Yes, it now has an extra 22kW and 15Nm, but it’s the sheer drivability that sets it apart. This is an utterly triumphant engine: epic reach, and spectacular harmonics. I love the way the GTC4 deals with corners; but the best bit is when you get the power on, feel all four wheels work the last part of the corner, then the V12 hurls you up the straight. It does have reasonable torque at the bottom end; but forget that, because it’s what happens higher up that counts. The GTC4Lusso is such a special car.
I was sceptical about how much of a step forward over the FF it would be when the basic concept remains so similar, but it’s a wholesale inside-and-out reworking that’s lost nothing, gained extra dynamism, and retained the atmospheric V12. Good news all round.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
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Back to the front 1993 Ferrari 456 vs. 1973 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona. Good news for car lovers: the front-engined GT is back. Richard Bremner drives Ferrari’s 456GT and traces its Daytona genes. Photographs by Tim Andrew.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
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