What It’s Like to Drive a Ferrari as a Four-Seat Family Car

Ferrari GTC4 Lusso Four Seat Family
For reasons that are slightly beyond my comprehension — but into which I’ll not look too deeply, because why risk messing up a good thing? — over the past few months, I’ve gotten to enjoy a pair of different Ferraris. The first time, I got an electric blue Ferrari 488 Spider. The four days I spent with that car changed my perception of what driving an automobile could be like, and essentially spoiled me for life. It also rather spoiled my son (then three, now four), as we hooked his car seat into the thoughtfully-provided LATCH anchors there in the shotgun seat of the two-person convertible and drove around town for hours. (I kept it under light speed while he was in the vehicle, FYI.) For weeks after the 488 went back to the dealership, he asked when we would get our next Ferrari, a question I always had to answer with a wistful: “Well… probably never.”

But then we got another Ferrari.

And if only for yet one more weekend, the John family’s second Ferrari was thoroughly enjoyed. You see, this time, the whole family could come along for a ride. At the same time. That’s right, Ferrari makes a four-seat sports car designed, not for use on the track, but rather for long drives through the countryside or the mountains, or for getting groceries after you drop the kids at school. The Ferrari GTC4Lusso T not only has four seats, but it also has more trunk space than many standard sedans.

Ferrari GTC4 Lusso Four Seat Family
Steven John/The Manual Steven John/The Manual
Should you ever find yourself driving a GTC4Lusso T on a track instead of while running errands, though, don’t worry too much: The car has a 680 horsepower twin turbo charged V8 engine that propels it past 62 mph in fewer than 3.5 seconds, hitting a top speed of 199 miles per hour. (In fact, the car probably tops out at 214 mph, but that’s not entirely on the record.) I didn’t drive “my” Lusso anywhere near 199 mph, of course. Now, 130-plus? Well, maybe for a few seconds. But just a few.

My experience with the Ferrari GTC4Lusso T began with a briefing all about the car given at a lovely Manhattan hotel named The Surrey. (To put the place in perspective, the pair of Ferraris sparkling on the street out front didn’t look out of place. I probably did, but I played it off well enough, I guess, because they let me inside.) There, over a fancier breakfast than I’d eaten in months, I learned all about the graceful, ferocious family-friendly machine I’d soon be driving care of a brand representative in from Italy. After the morning briefing, I hopped into my Ferrari GTC4Lusso T and pressed the starter button. The engine came to life with a roar both savage and dulcet, and one that I had missed so very much since parting with the 488 over the summer.

Ferrari GTC4 Lusso Four Seat Family
Steven John/The Manual Steven John/The Manual
Let me tell you this: Driving a Ferrari in Manhattan’s morning rush hour traffic is not much fun. But let me also say this: Driving a Ferrari on upstate highways and around the winding roads of Harriman State Park is lots of fun. Except when you get pulled over. Which I did. (Fortunately I wasn’t actually going all that fast at the time. My disarming charm put together with stupid dumb luck saved me from a ticket, and I kept the car near the posted limit for a while after that.)

My weekend with the GTC4Lusso T began with a visit to the stunning new Valley Rock Inn, a property still in active development by entrepreneur and real estate developer (and genuinely nice guy) Michael Bruno. The Valley Rock Inn, located in Sloatsburg, New York, is a currently sleepy, likely soon-to-be happening town right next to Harriman State Park that deserves its own article which, hey, I’ll be writing soon enough. So enough about that for now.

Anyway. I drove the car all around the state park and the surrounding towns and roads for much of Friday afternoon and part of Saturday morning, then I headed back home around lunchtime. That afternoon, we put our son’s car seat in the back of the Ferrari and my wife hopped in beside me. For the next two days, the family spent most of our waking hours thinking of places to which we could drive and intentionally completing errands using the least efficient routes possible.

Because when you have a family-friendly Ferrari GTC4Lusso, you and the family spend as much time as possible in the car. And when the good folks from Ferrari take their car back at about 6:45 am on a Monday morning, you get a bit misty-eyed. Then you get some coffee and get back to the real world. Oh well, there’s always next time. Maybe …

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