Ferrari reveals the GTC4Lusso

Let’s be frank: A four-seat Ferrari is a tough sell, not unlike a hatchback Ferrari, a four-wheel-drive Ferrari and a Ferrari with a padded vinyl landau roof. The Ferrari FF has been all of those things, minus the landau roof, since its debut at the 2011 Geneva motor show — and indeed, it has been a tough sell. It may be that a Cheerios-flinging toddler in the back seat rarely figures prominently in the Ferrari Daydream.
Well, tough sell or not, Ferrari remains unwilling to retreat from the 2+2 arena, which it has occupied in one unlovable way or another since the 250 GTE 2+2 of 1960. And this year, the four-seat, four-wheel-drive, hatchback FF hands over black-sheep duties to a new four-seat, four-wheel-drive, hatchback model. Meet the GTC4Lusso.

The mostly new grand-tourer (call it a shooting brake if you must) looks every bit as gawky as the FF, which owed its shape to Pininfarina’s Flavio Manzoni. The curb appeal is improved by handsomely revised front- and rear-end treatments, reshaped side glass and big vents aft of the front wheel openings. It is what an Alfa Romeo MiTo woud become after an accidental overdose of gamma radiation.
Providing the motivation is a naturally aspirated 6.3-litre V12, good for a healthy 680 horsepower and 514 pound-feet of torque. So equipped, the GTC4Lusso (that’s one word, pal) will run from zero to 62mph in a very brief 3.4 seconds — half a second faster than the FF — and run on to an FF-matching top speed of 208mph. Like the FF, the ‘Lusso features all-wheel-drive, although the new car gets a version of the F12’s rear-wheel-steering setup, along with the 488 GTB’s highly effective Side Slip Control system, which aids acceleration out of corners.
The interior is notably improved from the FF, with elegant shapes, high-end materials and a tablet-like 10-inch touchscreen infotainment interface. The back seats are still habitable by most humans, except for those who are notably taller or broader of beam than average, or those with claustrophobic tendencies.
Look for an official unveiling of the GTC4Lusso at next month’s Geneva motor show. Fingers crossed for that padded vinyl landau roof.

Why the Internet Is About to Replace TV as the Most Important Source of News

The headline conclusion of Pew’s latest monster survey of the media landscape was the demise of TV news. “There are now signs that television news is increasingly vulnerable,” the authors wrote, “as it may be losing its hold on the next generation of news consumers.”

But the larger story is the rise of the Web, which has surpassed newspapers and radio to become the second most popular source of news for Americans, after TV. This is the graph from the report, in my opinion:

So that’s where we get our news now — and the trajectory is clear. Internet is on a rocket ship up. TV is stable but in soft decline.

But where is the money going? TV channels get affiliate fees — the hundreds of slivers of our cable bundles that are paid out to networks. Radio is supported by some donations and public financing. The rest mostly comes from advertising — and the advertisers still prefer print and TV. As this Mary Meeker slide shows, we spend more time engaging with mobile devices than reading print, but print publications still get 25-times more ad money than mobile.

I have a theory — well, maybe more of a frame — for the message these two graphs are sending. For younger people, the Internet is the new cable news. For advertisers, cable news is still cable news. Among 20-somethings surveyed by Pew, about a third said they watched TV yesterday. An equal share said they saw news headlines from Facebook. The rise of Facebook and social media doesn’t mean the coinciding demise of TV, since screens can be additive. When I watched football on Sunday, for example, I’m also texting on my iPhone and reading the Times on my iPad. The iPad and iPhone didn’t replace the TV. They supplemented it.

But ultimately, attention and money are zero sum, and advertising companies will shift money to meet the eyes wherever they go. And they’re going online