5 crazy technologies that make the 2018 GTC4Lusso the ultimate year-round Ferrari

five crazy technologies in the 2018 ferrari gtc4lusso roundup

We recently had the unique opportunity for some wheel time in the 2018 Ferrari GTC4Lusso, the automaker’s replacement for the FF V12 grand tourer. While it’s not surprising that it remains the benchmark for long-distance, super-luxurious grand tourers, it’s also the Ferrari you can comfortably use every day – as long as you have the funds to own one. The GTC4Lusso starts at an eye-watering $298,000 smackaroos.

Why is the Ferrari GTC4Lusso is so expensive? Besides being a V12 Ferrari, it’s a V12 Ferrari brimming with technology and, in a change of pace, all-wheel drive. But it’s not the sort of technology meant to compete with Tesla’s Autopilot — it’s aimed at creating unbridled performance and making the GTC4Lusso the ultimate daily driver. Here’s a breakdown of some of the coolest technological features that make the Ferrari GTC4Lusso an all-season performance beast that’s worth every penny.

Ferrari 4RM EVO

five crazy technologies in the 2018 ferrari gtc4lusso 4rm evo
Chris Chin/Digital Trends

Named for the automaker’s patented and bespoke all-wheel drive system, Ferrari’s 4RM EVO, is the company’s second mechanical all-wheel drive system since the 1987 408 RM, a car that never left the prototype phase.

Unlike a traditional all-wheel drive system with a center transfer case and differential, Ferrari’s latest system uses a completely separate gearbox mounted at the front of the massive V12. Dubbed the “PTU” or “Power Take-Off Unit,” it features two forward gears and a single reverse gear. It’s only active between the first through fourth main gears, transmitting up to 20 percent of the engine’s torque via Haldex-type clutches and no differential. And it’s only available when the car’s “manettino” setting is at certain positions.

The main benefit to this setup, according to Ferrari, is that it’s up to 50-percent lighter than conventional all-wheel drive systems. It also enables the GTC4Lusso to maintain a more rear-biased weight distribution for improved handling.

Ferrari’s “manettino” setting

2018 Ferrari GTC4Lusso First Drive
Chris Chin/Digital Trends

Located at the four-o-clock position on the three-spoke steering wheel is Ferrari’s signature “manettino” setting, which controls the GTC4Lusso’s onboard electronic driver and traction aids, while also adjusting the adaptive suspension, and the powertrain and drivetrain behavior. Options are Snow, Wet, Comfort, Sport, and ESC OFF, which the driver can choose based on driving conditions. Think of it as the “sport and comfort mode controller.” When in Snow, Wet, and Comfort modes, the GTC4Lusso makes the PTU from its 4RM EVO system available for extra traction. Otherwise, it’s completely off in Sport and ESC Off, when gears above fourth are in use, or when speeds exceed 120 mph.

It sounds really complicated, but it makes quite a lot of sense. The idea behind making the PTU unavailable in some conditions, like when you’re doing more than 120 mph, is that such speeds render the benefits of all-wheel drive useless. At that point, the system can no longer be of any help and just becomes dead weight and a parasite for power. And if you’re hitting such speeds, the implication is that the conditions are favorable to such speeds, meaning dry and clear, voiding the need for all-paw traction.

The GTC4Lusso’s incredible “F140” V12

2018 Ferrari GTC4Lusso First Drive
Chris Chin/Digital Trends

Another signature feature of the Ferrari GTC4Lusso is its epic 12-cylinder engine. It’s a descendant of the original V12 that debuted on the Enzo in 2002 and is essentially a Ferrari V8 with an additional four cylinders. Called the F140, it retains the title for the most powerful naturally aspirated engine in a road vehicle. It was also awarded several times in the International Engine of the Year competition. The F140 V12 is also found in cars like the Enzo, the 599 GTB Fioriano, the F12berlinetta, and even the LaFerrari, just to name a few.

In the GTC4Lusso, it displaces 6.3 liters and features the latest in internal combustion engine technologies, including an all-aluminum cylinder block and head, a dual-overhead-camshaft valvetrain, direct fuel-injection, and multi-spark ignition. The result is a whopping 681 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque – of which 80 percent is available at just 1,750 rpm – making for over 108 horsepower per liter. It ultimately enables the GTC4Lusso to hit 60 mph from a standstill in just 3.4 seconds, fly past 120 mph in 10.5 seconds, and reach a top speed of over 200 mph.

The GTC4Lusso’s 4WS  active four-wheel steering

2018 ferrari gtc4lusso cc front left tire
Chris Chin/Digital Trends

Motors adjust the angle of the rear wheels in tandem with the steering angle of the front set when the vehicle turns. This is done while utilizing “thrust vectoring control,” where the angle adjustment of the rear wheels actively transfers excess longitudinal force to increase downforce onto the tires, which basically enhances the grip of the rear tires by actively working with the front axle to optimize all-around handling and stability.

The GTC4Lusso’s main vehicle dynamics computer, SSC4 Side Slip Control, then monitors and electronically gathers all the data from the car’s various sensors to calculate the most optimal operations to ensure grip and handling. It controls everything from the traction and stability aids to the brake distribution, the function of the PTU and 4RM EVO all-wheel drive system, and the Magnaride SCM-E adaptive suspension.

Magnaride SCM-E

2018 Ferrari GTC4Lusso First Drive | Speedometer and other telemetry info in the driver's side dashboard
Chris Chin/Digital Trends

This is the name of the GTC4Lusso’s adaptive suspension. Its dampers feature a special hydraulic fluid containing metal filings. Electrical signals are then pulsed through the dampers by computer control. This allows engineers to program the suspension to adjust its stiffness and rates on the fly. If this sounds familiar, it’s the same concept as the same system found on various General Motors luxury vehicles, which is called GM MagneRide. In fact, both GM’s and Ferrari’s magnetic ride control are both supplied by Delphi Automotive and share similar designs.

With the manettino setting in Comfort, it keeps the GTC4Lusso’s ride comfortable and supple for the long hauls and urban crawls, while also maintaining body control even when hustled. Twist the red knob to Sport, and the magnetic shocks get perceivably stiffer and harder, while the GTC4Lusso’s handling becomes intensely more exciting.

All these technological features of the GTC4Lusso may seem complicated and fancy. But the beauty of it all is that they seamlessly work behind the scenes so that the driver doesn’t have to worry about a single thing.


Audi’s traffic light information system shows the challenges facing V2X tech

Audi’s traffic light information system is among the first commercial applications of potentially game-changing V2X tech. So how does it work in the real world? We spent a few days getting stuck at red lights to find out.

Bentley’s 542-horsepower Continental GT V8 is the best kind of downsizing

The Bentley Continental GT V8 has fewer cylinders than its W12 sibling, but Bentley expects it to offer better gas mileage and more agile handling. The V8's top speed of 198 mph is also pretty darn fast.

Make some room in your backlog. Here are all the games to look out for in 2019

2019 is already a huge year for video games, with a large number of series getting new installments, including some that have been dormant for years. Brand new franchises are also being created.
Product Review

The Nissan Rogue is smart, handsome, and practical. What’s not to love?

Year after year, Nissan’s Rogue compact crossover is a consistent best-seller, outpacing Honda’s CR-V, and even Toyota’s mighty RAV4. We looked for the reasons why people love the 2019 Nissan Rogue, and found them.

Can electric cars be S3XY? Tesla says yes with the new Model Y crossover

Tesla introduced a crossover named Model Y at its design studio in Los Angeles. It's a more spacious alternative to the Model 3 it shares 75 percent of its parts with, and is a smaller sibling to the Model X.

Adventurous and electric, Porsche’s second station wagon will arrive in 2020

The Mission E Cross Turismo concept Porsche unveiled during the 2018 Geneva Auto Show will morph into a production model tentatively named Taycan Cross Turismo. This 600-horsepower electric station wagon will arrive in showrooms by 2021.

Automakers are spending billions on self-driving technology people are afraid of

Automakers are spending billions of dollars on developing the technology that will power self-driving cars, but research shows consumers have no interest in giving up control. Will they ever recoup their investment?

Mustang-like and electrified. What did Ford just show a preview of?

Ford posted an enigmatic picture of a blue Mustang emblem on a black background right as Tesla prepared to introduce the Model Y. Is the Blue Oval teasing a hybrid Mustang, or is it previewing a Mustang-inspired, battery-powered crossover?

Amazon and Kia team up to simplify EV home-charging station installs

Kia Motors announced a new program with Amazon for electric vehicles. Customers planning to purchase a new Kia EV or PHEV can check out recommended Level 2 240-volt home charging stations and arrange installation in their homes.

Unrestrained by heritage, Polestar sets its sights on becoming a digital brand

With no heritage to worry about, Polestar is free to move full-speed ahead towards its goal of becoming a digital brand. All of the company's upcoming models will be electric, and they will inaugurate an Android-powered infotainment system.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Write music with your voice, make homemade cheese

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Fisker plans sub-$40,000 electric SUV with 300 miles of range for 2021

Fisker Inc. plans to launch an electric SUV with a base price of under $40,000, and a range of around 300 miles in 2021. The unnamed vehicle could compete with the Tesla Model Y, if it ever gets into production.

Tesla gives us a cryptic look at its cyberpunk, Blade Runner-inspired pickup

Tesla has started designing its long-promised pickup truck. The yet-unnamed model will come with dual-motor all-wheel drive and lots of torque, plus it will be able to park itself. It could make its debut in 2019.

2020 Cadillac CT5 luxury sedan gets turbocharged power, chiseled looks

The 2020 Cadillac CT5 replaces the CTS in the General Motors luxury brand's lineup. Cadillac will unveil the CT5 at the 2019 New York Auto Show in April. Until then, it's keeping most details under wraps.