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Ferrari GTC4Lusso to spike FF sales

Let Lusso: The Ferrari GTC4Lusso has hit Australia shores and should lift sales over the FF that it replaces.

Big volume growth expected for FF-replacing Ferrari GTC4Lusso

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Ferrari logo1 Jun 2016

By DANIEL DEGASPERI

FERRARI’s new GTC4Lusso has landed in Australia with an overhauled design and improved infotainment offering priced from $578,888 plus on-road costs, $46,112 cheaper than the FF it replaces.

The new look, lift in comfort features and price drop will be key to achieving a sales spike with the new model, according to Ferrari Australasia president and CEO Herbert Appleroth.

“The FF was quite striking for a Ferrari,” Mr Appleroth told GoAuto at the Australian reveal of the GTC4Lusso in Sydney this week.

“I think we’ve just successfully evolved the shooting brake concept to present something that’s appealing to everyone. Certainly the external design won’t polarise as many clients, I think it’s something that the majority if not everyone will appreciate and that’s been our reaction already.

“The on-board (entertainment) is probably the key (to improved popularity), whether it’s the entertainment system which is quite stunning and the sophistication of that design on the inside is quite remarkable, so I think that will certainly appeal.

“In interior design I don’t think there is any competitor which is as fresh and advanced as what you see in this GTC4Lusso.” The proportions and chassis of the GTC4Lusso remain similar to the four-year old FF – Ferrari’s first four-seat four-wheel-drive vehicle – however the rear styling has been tapered and rounded, while the front gains a new headlight and grille treatment.

Although Ferrari Australiasia has not yet released standard and optional equipment specifications for the GTC4Lusso, the cabin is now larger with a new 10.2-inch infotainment system as its centrepiece.

The new software runs off a processor that is eight times more powerful than the previous system, and delivers sat-nav with 3D maps and ‘split view’, access to climate controls and Apple CarPlay connectivity.

It is these exterior and interior changes that Mr Appleroth believes will make the GTC4Lusso “a lot more popular” than its FF predecessor, more so than the engine and chassis changes.

He said that where the FF had largely appealed to a traditional Ferrari buyer base, the styling of its replacement will help the brand aggressively target new customers and poach buyers from traditional V12-engined British brands.

“(FF) has been a consistent seller, we’ve sold pretty much the same number every year, it’s been a bit of a sleeper (but) mainly amongst existing Ferrari owners who wanted a four-seater. (There were) not a lot of conquests,” he said.

“I think the GTC4Lusso will now extend into a lot more conquest clients.

“The GT V12 or W12 market in Australia is actually quite a big marketplace proportionally and they tend to be all British competing in that space. The British brands do particularly well with front-engined V12 GT cars.

“Now we have something which of course gives the style and performance of a Ferrari, but now the luxury and the on-board experience that perhaps those fans of the British cars have been looking for. I think this is the perfect car to conquest a lot of those other brands.” Mr Appleroth said the company would aim to take sales “particularly” from British models but also the Porsche Panamera, Aston Martin Rapide and Rolls-Royce Wraith.

“They all deliver something individually where this delivers everything. Already we know what’s occurring in the market and it’s going to be a hit,” he added.

Engineering changes will deliver “an even better driving experience” according to Mr Appleroth, but they are not central to delivering the expected sales spike.

The carry-over 6.3-litre V12 now produces 507kW of power at 8000rpm and 697Nm of torque at 5750rpm, rising 21kW/14Nm over the FF thanks to a higher compression ratio of 13.5:1 compared with 12.3:1 previously.

Ferrari claims 80 per cent of torque is available from 1750rpm, and although the GTC4Lusso has not followed the California and 488GTB by turning turbocharged over its respective predecessor, its 0-100km/h claim of 3.4 seconds falls three tenths.

Claimed combined cycle fuel consumption of 15.0 litres per 100 kilometres drops 0.4L compared with the FF.

Although the 4RM four-wheel-drive system and seven-speed dual-clutch transmission remains FF-derived, new traction control software called Slip Slide Control 4.0 debuts and teams with new rear-wheel-steering hardware derived from the system used in the F12 tdf.

The 4920mm-long GTC4Lusso has a kerb weight of 1920kg, 40kg heavier than the FF but still with identical weight distribution of 47 per cent front and 53 per cent rear.

The 450 litre boot volume also remains unchanged, as do the 245mm front/295mm rear 20-inch alloy wheels with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres, and 398mm front/360mm rear ventilated disc brakes.

Mr Appleroth declined to talk sales numbers specifically, and when asked whether the GTC4Lusso would snare a larger slice of the Ferrari sales pie in Australia, he replied: “It’s growth in the pie.” “We simply do not have a weak point in the range at the moment, in depth and in quality, in performance and style that dominates its competitors, there has never been a better time for Ferrari from a product point of view.” In terms of supply versus demand, Mr Appleroth commented: “I’d love to say we’ re going to do a perfect balance (between supply and demand) but with anything beautiful in life you have to wait, it’s no different with this GTC4Lusso.” He also added that Ferrari Australasia’s seven-year included maintenance program is unprecedented in the market and the brand will work hard to improve the resale values of V12 models locally.

Ferrari sales are down 7.8 per cent to the end of April 2016 compared with what became a record 2015 that delivered 48.2 per cent growth compared with 2014, however Mr Appleroth maintained that the brand continues to grow.

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