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On his first visit to Australia to launch the new Ferrari GTC4 Lusso, Flavio Manzoni, Ferrari’s senior vice president of design, has also said there is no chance that Ferrari will produce an SUV.

In an exclusive interview with CarAdvice at the launch event, Mr Manzoni responded to our question around the possibility of a Ferrari SUV by saying: “I want to cite our president, Mr Sergio Marchionne, who has said on many occasions that you will have to shoot me down before we make a Ferrari SUV”.

“It’s simple, really. If we did an SUV, it wouldn’t be a Ferrari. If we are constantly looking for the best performance, the lowest centre of gravity, and the best possible handling, how can we make a bulky, heavy car with a very high centre of gravity, just because of the current trend towards these vehicles?”

2017 Ferrari GTC4 Lusso - 19

According to Manzoni, Ferrari customers are well aware of the history behind the company and don’t want a Ferrari SUV.

“The SUV is just a trend, and marketing departments know there is a great opportunity to sell these vehicles. But we are not followers, we don’t want to copy the others just because there is a marketing opportunity. That’s not important at Ferrari”.

Manzoni is an award-winning designer, responsible for the magnificent Ferrari F12 Berlinetta, for which he won the prestigious Compasso d’Oro, the oldest and most recognised award in the field of industrial design.

Overseeing all new car design at the Ferrari Styling Centre, he also accepted the Red Dot Award for three Ferraris including FXX K, California T and La Ferrari in 2015.

In 2016, Manzoni received the IF Gold Award for the FXX K, while his designs of the 488GTB and 488 Spider were also recognised. His latest work includes the Ferrari F12 TdF and the GTC4 Lusso.

2017 Ferrari GTC4 Lusso - 18

Essentially, the GTC4 Lusso is a re-styled version of the high-performance Ferrari FF shooting brake, but with a few new features and more go. It’s also inspired by Ferrari classics like the 250 GT Berlinetta Lusso and 365GTC/4.

The huge naturally aspirated 6.3-litre V12’s displacement remains the same, but output has been boosted from 486kW to 507kW at the same 8000rpm. Torque is up too, from 684Nm to 697Nm at 5750rpm instead of the V12’s previous 6000rpm.

That also makes it quicker than its predecessor too, able to rocket from 0-100km/h in 3.4 seconds – shaving three tenths off the FF’s time. Its top speed remains unchanged at 335km/h.

2017 Ferrari GTC4 Lusso - 1

The new GTC4 Lusso also benefits from some mechanical upgrades, including Ferrari’s ‘4RM’ (4 Ruote Motrici) or four-wheel drive, which is now called 4RM-S – for four-wheel drive and four-wheel steering. The system integrates and controls the power transfer unit, rear-wheel steering, E-diff and active damping for improved agility.

Inside there’s a new dual-cockpit design, and new infotainment system boasting a massive 10.25-inch touchscreen with capacitive touch technology.

Priced from $578,888 plus on-road costs, the first local deliveries are scheduled for February 2017. Orders are apparently very strong, which could mean some customers may be waiting up to two years for their car to arrive.

MORE: Ferrari news, reviews, pricing and specs
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