Nicholas Cooksey experiences 2 new Ferraris – the 812 Superfast and the GTC4 Lusso.
In September I was invited to spend a couple of days in Dubai to experience these two great new cars from Ferrari, one for each day.
It worked like this. The Ferrari team put me up in a beautiful hotel – the Jumeirah Zabeel Saray on the Palm, and each morning gave me a key and had me sign a form. Therafter the rest of the day was mine to drive anywhere I liked and have as much fun as is legal – provided I didn’t exceed 200 km each day! Yes – aren’t I lucky to have such a great job.
Day one was spent with the 812 Superfast. I’m always overly cautious when I collect an expensive car for a test drive. It takes me a while to get a feel for the vehicle before I feel comfortable enough to start ‘pushing it’. But I had just spent 36 hours with a Superfast less than a week earlier while overseeing a photoshoot for our sister magazine Bahrain Confidential so as soon as I climbed into the cockpit it felt familiar and comfortable, like meeting up again with an old friend.
Driving a Ferrari is making a statement to everyone else on the road that you are not a normal traffic user.
This is a front-engined, rear-drive, two-seat super GT. There’s a seven-speed dual clutch transmission. Power steering is electric.
As all things Ferrari, it is a brilliant marvel in automotive engine, and immensely pleasing on the eye. It is big, ridiculously powerful, and crazy expensive.
Driving a Ferrari is making a statement to everyone else on the road that you are not a normal traffic user. On one occasion I looked into the rear view mirror to see the man in a Toyota behind earnestly taking photos of me (er… I mean the Ferrari) with his smartphone.
This Ferrari has a new four-wheel steering system and is currently the most powerful Ferrari in the range. It can go from 0 to 100 kph in just 2.9 seconds. That’s not just superfast but ‘crazyfast’. It offers 789bhp from its 6.5-litre naturally aspirated V12 engine, and has a top speed of 333 kph. It’s really, really fast.
And yet this car feels so light to drive despite it weighing more than 1.6 tons. But it does feel big, as in long and wide.
The next day it was the turn of the GTC4 Lusso. This car replaces the FF (which itself replaced the 612 Scaglietti). The Lusso looks similar to the FF, but better and with major engineering improvements including both four-wheel drive and four-wheel steering. It’s lower, wider, and more aggressive than the FF. Major engine improvements call for more cooling so the grille opening has been widened to cater for this.
The Lusso offers a choice of two engines – a 680 bhp 6.3-litre V12 and a turbocharged 3.9-litre V8, offering 602 bhp. The 6.3-litre naturally aspirated twelve-cylinder unit makes its peak power at 8000rpm and runs into the limiter at 8250rpm, while the V8 produces 602bhp at 6500rpm and can achieve zero to 100 kph in 3.5 seconds – the V12 does it in a tenth of a second quicker.
This is the ‘family Ferrari’ as it genuinely seats four adults, and there’s a 450-litre boot. Rear seats split and fold to increase the volume to 800 litres should you need it.
Both cars sound great, but they are not noisy – especially inside the cabin… well that’s until you put your foot down hard on the accelerator. Then they scream like a Ferrari should!
Sitting in them is like being cocooned in luxury leather interiors, the steering wheels are functional works of art – come to think of it I cannot think of any other car brand with cooler steering wheels.
The experience of driving these two amazing cars, the power and all round capabilities, whether it be power, acceleration, braking, steering precision… all surpass anything you could possibly need for normal road driving. But that’s what makes them awesome.
It was a most enjoyable couple of days.
To arrange your own test drive in Bahrain contact Euro Motors on +973 17 734 734.