Crossover & Midsize

The Vulgarity of Ferrari’s First SUV

This year has certainly been one of surprises, but even hardcore Ferrari fans didn’t see this coming: an SUV announcement. Ferrari revealed plans for its Purosangue earlier this year. And Car and Driver recently posted images of a test vehicle spotted in Italy, which was no doubt an SUV.

However, the birth of the first Ferrari SUV has been a controversial affair so far. For one thing, the company doesn’t even want to call the Purosangue an SUV, pushing the “FUV” name instead. And many observers think the late head honchos of Ferrari would not approve of the new SUV.

What we know about Ferrari SUV

In the spy shots that Car and Driver posted, the 2022 Ferrari Purosangue appears to be based on the Maserati Levante. The publication also speculates the SUV will be powered by a V8, though it could also see a V6 or V12. It has a rear-mounted transaxle, which likely means it will have plug-in capability.

Though an SUV is definitely a step away from Ferrari’s ordinary, it’ll still boast the brand’s iconic flair. It will sport the same twin exhaust pipes and brake discs found on any of the automaker’s sports cars. No word on pricing yet, but the Ferrari SUV is expected to cost in the $300,000 range.

Ferrari execs’ perspectives

The Purosangue will probably be as powerful and luxurious as Ferrari’s other models. However, it’s hard to imagine how the brand’s founder would react to the news. Enzo Ferrari, who passed away in the late ’80s, was famously opposed to manufacturing any four-door model.

He considered sedans to be “vulgar” and unimpressive, unlike the many stylish Ferrari coupes you see today. Before the Purosangue, the only four-door ever built by the company was the Ferrari Pinin. Although Enzo Ferrari showed interest in the concept car at first, he eventually reiterated his distaste for sedans, and the model was dropped.

Former Ferrari chairman and CEO Sergio Marchionne also didn’t live to see the birth of a Ferrari SUV. He was the chairman of Maserati and CEO of Fiat-Chrysler as well. Much of these three companies’ success can be attributed to Marchionne’s strategic business decisions.

Asked about the possibility of a Ferrari SUV, Marchionne was less than enthusiastic. He told financial analysts on a conference call in 2016, “You’d have to shoot me first,” Car and Driver reported. Marchionne passed away in 2018, just before several luxury SUVs began hitting the market.

The success of other luxury SUVs

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The Rolls-Royce Cullinan, now in its fourth model year, costs a whopping $340,000. The price may seem steep, but the affluent are more than happy to pay for one. The Cullinan boasts a huge twin-turbo V12, a cooling beverage bin in the backseat, real leather upholstery, and wool carpeting.

The Lamborghini Urus has also become a hit, no doubt in part to the SUV’s sleek styling. It’s powerful enough to qualify as a racecar and has a stylish interior as well. 

Ferrari’s former bosses believed that luxury customers would never buy SUVs, but that’s clearly not the case. The Cullinan helped Rolls-Royce reach a new sales record, selling over 5,000 units in 2019. The Bentley Bentayga has seen similar growth since its 2017 release.

Some people, such as Top Gear‘s Chris Harris, think Enzo Ferrari would’ve warmed up to the idea of an FUV, Carscoops reported. Harris believes the Purosangue will generate plenty of profits, which the former founder would have used to fund his racing programs. Only time will tell if the first Ferrari SUV will be as popular as its luxury rivals.