FERRARI HAS just confirmed that production of the four-seat GTC4Lusso has ended. No direct successor is planned and when that happens the unavoidable verdict is that the car in question was an idea whose time never really came.
Introduced initially as the FF in 2011, it was the first all-wheel drive Ferrari production car, but used a drive system so bizarre that everyone at the 2011 Geneva Show just stood there and wondered whether Maranello had been suffering a carbon monoxide leak.
It utilised a second gearbox, this one with just two forward speeds, that took power from the front of the engine. This constanty slipped Haldex-style clutches and could transmit, at most, 20 percent of the V12 engine's 683Nm of torque. This system, dubbed 4RM, only worked in the first four gears, the front transmission's first gear covering first and second in the rear 'box, and second covering the main box's third and fourth.
Read next: Ferrari FF Alpine road trip
While it was of modest functionality, it was at least light, weighing around half as much as a typical all-wheel drive implementation. Equally divisive was the FF's styling, which offered a variation on the shooting-brake and was, at that point, the biggest Ferrari ever built.
It didn't last long though. Ferrari produced 2291 across a five-year period to 2016, or just over 450 per calendar year. Compare that to around 2500 Ferrari 458s sold per year and 1000 F12 Berlinetta models shifted per annum, it's clear that the FF was a bit of an acquired taste.
Its successor in 2016, the GTC4Lusso ditched the trick all-wheel drive system in the V8 model, but retained it with the V12 flagship. It developed into a quite lovely GT car, with surprising practicality, a better Delphi-developed infotainment system and a cleverer 4RM-S system in the V12 with the additionof the spookily prescient Side Slip Control.
Read next: Ferrari history, trivia and fast facts
But now it's gone and we probably won't see its like for a very long time. When the last one rolled off the line in Maranello last week, it left a gap in the range for a proper four-seater Ferrari that the 2+2 Roma can't ever fill. That role will be replaced with the introduction of the Purosangue SUV. While we're intrigued as to what that will look like, it may well throw into even sharper focus that which we've lost.
The FF/GTC4Lusso was a weird outlier in Ferrari's forensically researched product plan and, in the harshest light, was probably judged a sales failure, but we loved it. We adore Ferraris that aren't predictable and which offer something that nobody else does. Whatever else you think of the FF/GTC4Lusso, it's not going to be forgotten anytime soon.