The company's first-ever SUV is extremely complicated.
It may still be a full two years away, but development of the Ferrari Purosangue, the firm's first-ever SUV, continues at a steady pace. We've seen test mules out on the road wearing a Ferrari GTC4Lusso body, though wide gaps between the wheels and wheel arches indicate a future vehicle with increased ride height. We also know the Purosangue will feature Roman-inspired styling. What will be under the hood remains a mystery, but a turbocharged V8 is very likely. It's also possible a smaller twin-turbo V6 paired to a hybrid electric system could be offered.
And speaking of hybrids, the SF90 Stradale and just-revealed SF90 Spider are the first non-limited production Ferraris to have electrification; the LaFerrari was the first.
The SF90 development program was reportedly quite intense for obvious reasons, but Top Gear has learned the Purosangue presents an even bigger challenge. Ferrari's chief technical officer, Michael Leiters, told the publication during a recent interview that while the SF90 was a challenge… "The Purosangue SUV is another dimension of complication." More specifically, the SUV requires "a certain culture and test procedures so we can meet customer requirements for SUVs."
Leiters didn't specify what those challenges are exactly, but it's fair to assume some involve overall performance, handling, and engine sound. Nothing less than the pure Ferrari experience is acceptable. Fortunately, Leiters has plenty of high-performance luxury SUV experience.
His previous job was head of Porsche's SUV program where he was tasked with making the Cayenne and Macan the extremely successful vehicles they are today. Remember, many doubted Porsche's ability to build SUVs before the Cayenne's debut in 2002. Porsche has perfected its SUVs over the past two decades to a point where it's considered the industry benchmark, a title Ferrari very much wants to obtain.
There's still debate within some Ferrari circles of longtime owners regarding the necessity of an SUV, but they can be assured the marque will never abandon supercars. The Purosangue is a response to market demand, plain and simple. But the onus is on Ferrari to deliver the true Prancing Horse experience.