The Ferrari FF was unveiled in March of 2011 as the successor to the 612 Scaglietti. Whereas the 612 was a typical two-door grand touring coupe, the FF was styled as a shooting brake. This was Ferrari’s first production shooting brake in nearly four decades, and what was revealed was an undoubtedly a superb car with a very unique all-wheel-drive system and an aggressive yet functional design. The GTC4Lusso, Ferrari’s newest shooting-brake, is an amazing update of the FF. Featuring an upgraded drivetrain, engine, new exterior styling, and a revised interior and infotainment system, the GTC4Lusso is carrying on the shooting brake body style. The shooting brake car design has actually been around for over 120 years, but what exactly is a “shooting brake”? Let’s dive in and explore some brief history behind this term and iconic body style.
‘Shooting brake’ is a term for a car body style which originated in the 1890s as a horse-drawn wagon, used to transport hunting parties with their equipment and game. The “shooting” term refers to the hunting gear, and the “brake” part of the name might have its origins in the Dutch word ‘brik’ which means ‘cart’ or ‘carriage’. It is not entirely clear exactly when the name came to be and how it was formed, but the term has been in use for well over one hundred years. In the 20th century, the shooting brake came to describe a body style of vehicles with enough space to fit passengers and enough rear space for a larger amount of cargo, while still a stylish and sporting alternative to a larger saloon (sedan). The shooting brake essentially became a fusion between a performance coupe and a wagon/hatchback and typically has two doors.
It all started in January of 1964, when Ferrari presented the Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 at the annual Ferrari pre-season competition press conference, and later at the Brussels Auto Show. The Ferrari was fitted with the a new 4-liter Type 209 V12, which sported a slightly longer engine block than the 400 SA series from which it was derived. The 330 GT 2+2′s elegant lines were the work of Pininfarina, and featured a canted twin headlight arrangement and 50 mm increase in wheel base, with a redesigned interior to give rear seat passengers additional leg and head room without any sacrifice to that of the front seats. This marked the first time Ferrari built a shooting brake body style, and approximately 1,000 examples were built in all.
Then came the bespoke 1972 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Station Wagon. Architect and home builder Bob Gittleman decided that he wanted a bespoke version of the 365 GTB/4, so he consulted Chinetti Motors in New York, owned by legendary Italian racing driver Luigi Chinetti and asked for “something different” from his Daytona. Thereafter the one-of-one Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Station Wagon was built in the shooting brake style.
After a long hiatus, Ferrari introduced the iconic shooting brake grand touring Ferrari FF in 2011. FF stands for Ferrari Four, or for Four seats and Four-wheel drive. The FF replaced the 612 Scaglietti grand tourer but re-introduced the shooting brake body style to the Ferrari lineup. The Ferrari FF also introduced a new mid-front-mounted 6.2L V12 that delivered unprecedented performance and responsiveness at all engine speeds: 651 HP at 8,000 rpm, along with the extremely sophisticated 4RM all-wheel drive system. The 4RM system delivers RWD driving dynamics in regular conditions, only sending power to the front wheels when slip is detected. Weighing 50 percent less than a conventional AWD system, Ferrari’s 4RM system helps keep the car’s overall curb weight down, while maintaining a weight distribution of 53/47.
The arrival of the new Ferrari GTC4Lusso has changed the sporty four-seater, four-wheel drive grand touring shooting brake concept forever. This is a car designed for drivers wanting to experience the exhilaration of Ferrari driving anywhere, anytime, anyhow: short spins and long journeys, snowy mountain roads and city streets, alone or in the company of three lucky passengers and their luggage. The GTC4Lusso is fast too, the new Ferrari V12 features 680 HP @ 8,250 rpm and 0-62 MPH acceleration in just 3.4 seconds flat. The improved 4RM system is more precise than ever, and has been integrated with rear-wheel steering to produce the new Ferrari-patented 4RM-S (four-wheel drive, four-wheel steering). This combination results in a world class sports car with all the trappings of a grand touring coupe, and yet still the cargo capacity of a shooting brake.
Ferrari’s mission is to provide the ultimate sporting experience available in road cars, with cutting edge technology and blistering performance. With their second modern shooting brake, the GT4CLusso, they have added a healthy dose of utility, luxury, and comfort as well. The shooting brake body style can be driven daily, used for family outings, or even nights on the town with friends. The Ferrari FF and GTC4Lusso have set a new precedent for the shooting brake body style, and are surely a sign of many more generations of this classic car style to come.