A Ferrari Invitation to Drive the Newest Lusso
It’s 8:00 am at the Signature FBO hanger at Palm Beach International Airport, and after a quick check-in we are given the all clear to board our Ferrari-logoed helicopters. The air is an unusually cool 50 degrees, but balmy compared to our friends up north who will receive unsolicited, braggadocios photos and texts over the course of the next 4 hours. It’s hard not to boast. We are about to depart on a 15 minute ride to a private estate to test drive the 2018 Ferrari GTC4 Lusso T, the first four-seater to be powered by a V-8 engine. Hosted by Ferrari Financial Services in conjunction with Ferrari of Palm Beach, a select few of us lucky Ferraristi were presented with a morning of food, fun, sunshine and Ferraris.
As we approached the Highland Beach Estate, two Lussos greeted us on the front lawn, and 6 more awaited our arrival in the driveway. As we entered the impressive property, we were presented with a refreshing ginger and basil lemonade, and escorted to the back terrace overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. There we got to know our fellow drivers and fueled our stomachs with canapés of prosciutto and melon, yogurt parfaits, fruit, and pastries. The espresso bar was particularly popular as we all hugged our hot coffees and fought for a place in the sun to warm ourselves. The patio was also equipped with two artful displays of available custom finishes for your future Lusso – premium leather, contrast stitching, paint finishes, even different colors of Prancing Horse steering wheel emblems to personalize your car.
Ready to go, we then gathered ourselves to the front driveway to admire the fleet and prepare ourselves to drive these beautiful machines. Eduardo Marques, the lead driver (who also does stunt work for movies in his spare time) walked us through the cars... the design, the engine, the custom luggage, and the overall comfort and versatility of the Ferrari 4 seater. What we were told to look forward to was the incredible smoothness of the ride, and it did not disappoint.
For our test drive, we chose a rosso mugello GTC4 Lusso T with tan interior. With Eduardo in the lead, we turned right out of the driveway and headed north on AIA for a leisurely 45 minute tour towards Palm Beach and back again. I can personally report that the heated seats worked like a charm! Although we didn’t get above 40 mph, I can also report that the ride was as smooth as promised. Effortless handling. A perfect daily driver. The panoramic glass roof framed the palm trees and clear blue sky as we glided along. Another fun touch is the passenger dashboard display allowing them to “play along” and see mph, rpms, and what gear the car is in. After having a go behind the wheel, and successfully pushing all the buttons and testing out the 10.25” HD touchscreen infotainment system, we soon found ourselves back at the estate.
The patio had been refreshed, and the large outdoor wooden dining table was beautifully set for brunch. I snagged a seat in the sun facing the ocean, and salivated over the printed menu. As Eduardo recounted stories of his days on the 2015 Mad Max movie set and stunt work for Disney, we feasted on a coffee crusted ribeye and goat cheese truffle frittata, garnished with sliced cucumber, a tower of grilled vegetables, and an Illy espresso demiglaze painted like a racing stripe on the plate. Since the driving was behind us, we were able to relax with accompanying mimosas and wine from Bogle vineyards. For dessert, a refreshing lemon panna cotta with mascarpone hazelnut cream, and more racing stripes, this time made from a berry balsamic compote.
We were winding down, but far from done, as we still had the return helicopter ride ahead of us. This time I got to co-pilot (aka ride in the front and touch nothing!). We listened to air traffic control through our headsets, and observed the traffic ahead both on land and in the sky. We touched down back at PBI at exactly 12:00, and within the hour we are having lunch at the Seafood Bar at the Breakers, reading through our “gee wiz, aw shucks, your life stinks” texts from our nearest and dearest friends.
Like a dream, the morning was behind us, and back to reality we go.
Thank you, Ferrari, for another exceptional experience!
Report and images from Crista Miller.