As an introduction to this year’s wheels GT Car of the Year award, let’s dispense with the usual ‘fiercely contested category’, ‘narrow of margins’ and general ‘sitting on the fence’ shenanigans normally associated in the convoluted methodology of revealing the winner. Top GT CotY silverware goes to the Ferrari GTC4 Lusso, and here is why.
The McLaren 570GT rules itself out of contention by simply being the least ‘grand tourer’ from our trio of GT contenders, despite being the only one with ‘GT’ in its nomenclature. McLaren has done a fantastic job of repackaging its existing car with a smidgen more daily usability, a hint of extra comfort and a pinch more practicality making it, within the current McLaren range, certainly the most GT-esque model available. But softer springs and additional room for one more handbag do not necessarily equate to being a perfect GT car.
The root of the ‘problem’ with the 570GT is that it has a 3.8-litre engine producing 562 horses at 7,500rpm stuffed right in its middle where clearly there should be a second row of seats. Yes, it is more comfortable and usable than its angrier 650S elder sibling but, make no mistake, the 570GT is in essence still a superb mid-engined McLaren supercar. Faced with a tight winding mountain road or some time on track, the CotY crew would be fighting for the 570GT’s keys. But as a true grand tourer, it isn’t so convincing.
Things aren’t so clear-cut with the Aston Martin DB11. This is a true grand tourer, blending style and power in that unique way that only Aston Martin seem to excel at. Our own contributing writer, Dejan Jovanovic, has stated that he would happily drive the DB11 to Shanghai to grab himself a nice pot of green tea, then drive it back. Which, considering that Dejan doesn’t even like green tea, should be enough to convince anyone of the DB11’s grand touring credentials. It strikes the prefect balance of not being dulled or diluted by the latest tech while maintaining its reigned-in usability. This isn’t an all-out extreme sportscar, this is a proper traditional GT car with a very pleasant, nice and creamy 5.2-litre twin turbo V12 that will effortlessly propel you across continents in comfort with its 600 horsepower. It is also a stunning-looking machine, with many of our CotY judges preferring its Marek Reichman styling over the Flavio Manzoni-designed ‘shooting-brake’ GTC4 Lusso.
But, as Connor MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod used to always ramble on about, there can be only one. And the winner of this year’s wheels GT Car of the Year award goes to… pay attention and go back and read the first paragraph.
The GTC4 Lusso isn’t just an exceptional grand tourer, it’s an exceptional car. This is a functional Ferrari for all seasons and pretty much any given situation. It has all-wheel drive and four-wheel steering, which is perfect for ‘that day’ when it snowed up Jebel Jais. It can sit four adults comfortably, has an absolutely amazing naturally aspirated V12 sitting up front that is just in-de-scrib-ably sumptuous. The 681 horses sing with pleasure every time you command it to. Boredom will never be a factor on a grand tour in the Lusso.