Ferrari won't use the term SUV, but we will.
Ferrari is making an SUV. In an interview with Car Magazine in the UK, Ferrari boss Louis Camilleri said: "I abhor hearing the word SUV in the same sentence as the Ferrari. It does not sit well with our brand. This vehicle will be unique in so many ways, and it will redefine expectations." Apparently, executives in Maranello are calling it the FUV, or Ferrari Utility Vehicle. That's even more comical than BMW calling their SUVs Sports Activity Vehicles (SAV), but we understand the reasoning. The automotive snobs of this world are still looking down their noses at the type of vehicles normal people like, so enthusiast-oriented automakers want to avoid the stigma. Nobody is fooled, though, and Ferrari is building an SUV. Here's what we know so far, along with a bit of educated guesswork:
Purosangue means 'thoroughbred,' but unfortunately for Ferrari, it's also the name of an anti-doping, non-profit charity. The Purosangue Foundation trademarked the name back in 2013, however, Ferrari says in a lawsuit that the charity "has not made sufficient commercial use of the name to warrant exclusivity." The charity is challenging the lawsuit, and it will likely drag on for a while. That means that, for now, Purosangue is a working name and could change before the SUV debuts and goes on sale.
The Ferrari Roma platform started as the Portofino convertible platform, but Ferrari's engineers have now taken it to a whole new level. The Roma's platform is a modular design for the Italian brand's front-engined vehicles, designed with variety and electrification in mind. That means it can house everything from the upcoming V6 engine to a hybrid V8 and even swallow Ferrari's big and brutal 6.5-liter naturally aspirated V12. Ferrari has a product roadmap for the next three years covering 15 vehicles, so we expect this platform to be used heavily. The Purosangue will come with a hybrid drivetrain later, but the launch model will reportedly pack an 800 horsepower V12. The hybrid will likely be the most common one on the road later, but Ferrari will be looking to claim the title of fastest SUV from the 707-hp Dodge Durango from the start.
Ferrari likes the idea of using electric power as a fill-in for turbo lag, and the Purosangue will be the embodiment of that. According to people who have seen internal documents at Ferrari, it will come with a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8. Combined with electrical assistance, the SUV will make over 700 hp and eclipse the Lamborghini Urus's 641 hp. A less expensive V6 hybrid could arrive later down the line, but Ferrari is going to be worrying about watering down its hardcore supercar brand already.
Don't expect a hybrid drivetrain using the V12, though. "Electrifying a V12 means creating, very probably, a heavy and big car," Ferrari's Chief Marketing Officer, Enrico Galliera, told Auto Express in 2020.
Chances are Ferrari will use the same or a similar setup to the SF90 Stradale's gasoline-electric hybrid system. The electrifications won't stop there, though. We also know Ferrari plans two all-electric versions, and the first is allegedly planned for 2024.
While the Purosangue will be an SUV, Ferrari doesn't want its performance to be compromised too much. As a result, don't expect a seat in the back that can take three. However, do expect the rear passengers to be comfortable. We're expecting it to be roughly the same size as the Maserati Levante, and indeed, Ferrari's first test mule appears to be based on the Roma's GT platform with Maserati Levante bodywork. But it won't be a Levante underneath, and instead, it'll be more like a jacked-up Ferrari GTC4Lusso, the model it effectively replaces. That means it'll seat four, albeit with 4 doors instead of 2. We're not expecting world-beating rear legroom though, so think of this as a practical cross-country model - a family Ferrari for a dirt road, if you will.
We've touched on the new vehicle using a similar hybrid system to the Ferrari SF90 Stradale, and we know how well it uses the electric motors at the front for torque vectoring. But we're also expecting Ferrari to throw every technology it can at the Purosangue to make it ride and handle like a Ferrari is supposed to. As such, we suspect it will also feature an improved take on the rear-wheel-steering system from the GTC4Lusso, which may explain why last year, Ferrari was caught with an early Purosangue test mule dressed in GTC4 drag.
While we're speculating, it's probably a safe bet to assume the SUV will also feature an electronic limited-slip differential, and carbon-ceramic brakes will, at least, be an option. Crucially, though, a lower center of gravity than most traditional SUVs will mean that the Purosangue will handle better than a Urus, or an Aston DBX, or anything else for that matter.
There are no concept images for the interior of the Purosangue, but Ferrari knows its customers and what it needs to get right. We will bet cold, hard cash that it will have a driver-focused dashboard but with plenty of attention going to passenger and cargo space. While it will be utilitarian in function, this has to be a luxury transporter as well as an invigorating drive. Don't be fooled too much by the two-door renderings on the net, though. Back in 2017, Ferrari's CEO pointed out that it has to as useful as an SUV: "That space is too big and too inviting and we have a lot of customers who will be more than willing to drive a Ferrari-branded vehicle that has that kind of utilitarian objective." Those customers already own supercars and coupes; they will expect something to replace their family SUV and be able to go off-road.
The pandemic has put everyone's schedules out of joint, but if everything comes together, we'll see the production version of the Purosangue in early 2022 on the auto show circuit, and get a launch date for late 2022 or early 2023. The hybrid version should follow shortly after, but the all-electric versions won't arrive until 2024. There's no talk of pricing yet, and it probably won't be announced until after the debut, however, it's not farfetched to suggest it'll be a six-figure vehicle and likely get into the $300,000 bracket for the top versions.
Here's a fun fact: Lamborghini raked in over a billion dollars in sales from its Urus SUV in 2019. Last year was also the brand's best year yet, with over $2 billion in turnover. Now, Ferrari isn't exactly hurting for money, but by taking advantage of the ultra-luxury car trend for fast SUVs makes sense. Back in the day, the Porsche Cayenne allowed Porsche to keep making sports cars. Here and now, a self-administered cash injection from SUV profits will help Ferrari develop the hybrid technology it has been working on since the LaFerrari. If Ferrari plays its cards right and doesn't limit the Purosangue's production numbers, it could have a real cash cow on its hands to use moving forward and create more insane hypercars. While we'd love to see a Dino revival instead, this seems to be the smart move financially - a necessary evil, if you will.