Ferrari has revealed its long-awaited first SUV: the Purosangue.
Fitted with the Ferrari fundamentals, including a front-mid-mounted V12, the Italian firm says this “FUV” (Ferrari utility vehicle) is still “a true sports car”.
But where does this 715bhp, £390,000 four-door, four-seat sit in the automotive spectrum?
Our testers discuss:
The thing that has always struck me about Ferrari is how extremely successful it has been at making its new models feel different from rivals: special steering feel, special sounds, special responses from the foot controls, even special seats.
When we first saw the FF, a very different car from the others in the range at the time, it was readily apparent just how much it still felt like a Ferrari.
So I would back Ferrari to keep its family character feel, even in a vehicle of a brand new format.
Chuck in the good parts of crossoverdom – space, comfort, convenience and easy access – and I’m pretty confident that we’re looking at an extremely good car. Especially since latecomer Ferrari will have learned much from the experiences and the mistakes of others.
As much as I hesitate to admit it, the concept of a GTC4 Lusso on stilts, only with far better rear-seat access and luggage space, isn’t exactly lacking in appeal, especially for those who will actually tour in the thing.
After all, riding high is intrinsically comforting, and if Aston Martin can make the DBX 707 so dynamically well sorted, you have to imagine that Ferrari can at least hit the same heights.
In relation to the competition, I’d expect the Purosangue to feel unusually light on its toes, agile and balanced. It might even be genuinely playful, in the way shown possible by Alfa’s Stelvio Quadrifoglio and, to some extent, the Aston. How well the atmospheric V12 will suit it, though, I’m not so sure. Torque will be key.
Owners of Ferrari FFs and GTC4 Lussos tend to love them and use them a great deal.
The Purosangue should lift that usability yet another notch and, I suspect, significantly increase the 3000-mile average that most modern Ferraris cover each year.
Chief engineer Raffaele de Simone said Ferrari resisted making an SUV/crossover/whatever “until it could be a genuine Ferrari”. I guess we’ll see.
Ferrari has been very confident about the design compromise of the Purosangue: that its customers will instinctively recognise the car as an SUV, even though it looks little like its rivals.
I’m not so sure, but the ultimate test will be how much more usable those customers find the car than a typical Ferrari GT.
If the Purosangue is spacious, comfy, versatile and inviting, and can entertain and excite like a true modern Ferrari sports car as well, how many of us could fail to see the appeal? That won’t be an easy brief to meet – but clearly we should expect this car to both look and drive like a breed of its own.