Parkers overall rating: 4.2 out of 5 4.2

The engine in the Ferrari GTC4Lusso is a reworked version of that found in the FF, and it’s a wonderful thing. Developing 690hp and 697Nm of torque, with 558Nm available from just 1,750rpm, it’s incredibly flexible as well as delivering an addictive surge of performance every time you plant your right foot.

It’s a 6.3-litre V12 of a similar type to that found in the revered Enzo supercar, and revs all the way to a screaming 8,250rpm. Stretch its legs and the GTC4Lusso will cover 0-62mph in 3.4 seconds, with top speed reaching 208mph.

The noise is unmistakable – there isn’t another engine out there that makes such a refined, purposeful growl that builds in intensity and volume as the revs rise. Ferrari has altered the way the exhaust bypass valve works so it’s quieter at lower speeds or on the motorway, and sounds even better when you’re pressing on.

F1-inspired gearbox

It’s coupled to a seven-speed twin-clutch gearbox that works almost faultlessly in automatic mode, providing the correct ratio whenever you need in an instant. You’re also able to switch gears manually using the large paddles mounted on the steering column, but we found this didn’t work quite as well in the GTC4Lusso as it does in other, sportier Ferraris.

The gearbox’s tendency to regain control and shift up when you don’t want it to meant it was occasionally frustrating when driving fast. It’s best left to its own devices, the automatic operation perfectly judged for the sort of driving this car is set up for.

You can adjust the engine’s throttle response and the gearchange ferocity using the Manettino control on the steering wheel, with Snow, Rain, Comfort and Sport modes offering slightly different configurations.

Get ready for the launch

As in the FF there’s also a launch control feature allowing you to make the perfect getaway every time, no matter what surface you’re on. It’ll even work on snow without noticeably spinning the wheels.

It’s worth noting here that the GTC4Lusso is a grand tourer rather than a sports car, so its handling has been configured accordingly. That means it’s easy to drive at lower speeds and safe and stable when driving quicker.

Steering with the rear

The biggest change here over the FF is the rear-wheel steering system. This allows for a surprisingly small turning circle, bolstering the car’s in-town usability considerably and making it far easier to park. At the other end of the scale it’s used to provide more stable cornering when driven quickly, making the GTC4Lusso a confidence-inspiring thing all-around.

This works in conjunction with an electronically controlled rear differential to meter out torque in the most effective way possible across the rear axle and the same high-tech all-wheel drive system found in the FF that uses electronic clutch packs to send torque to the front wheels when the car senses it’s required.

The resulting grip on offer is astonishing, with huge cornering forces possible before the limits of grip are found. The steering is great, with ultra-fast responses and a pleasing amount of feedback through the wheel letting you know what’s happening under the car.

Our major criticism here is that when you drive the GTC4Lusso fast enough to find its limits, its systems don’t seem to work particularly harmoniously. Instead the front axle and traction control systems seem to cut in and out abruptly, making for uncouth cornering where you’d expect a Ferrari to shine.

We have thus far only tried this on baking-hot dry roads, however, and strongly suspect it would work far better on slippery surfaces such as snow or ice. That’s a big part of this car’s appeal – the ability to use it in all conditions – so we’d be keen to test the systems in a British winter before passing final judgement.

Great Italian brake-off

The brakes take a little getting used to – they’re very sharp at low speeds so you need to learn their character if you don’t fancy serious neck complications. The trade-off is incredible stopping performance at higher speeds, though; time and time again.

On a much brighter note, the Magnaride suspension damping is exceptional, allowing a blend of compliance and body control we haven’t experienced on other firms’ products. Switch between motorway cruiser and B-road blaster with a twist of the Manettino control and the car reacts instantly. It’s an addictive thing.