It Is Not An SUV, But It Is A Ferrari Utility Vehicleby Robert Moore, on LISTEN 14:56
Ferrari will build an SUV. I am not joking, the company made an announcement. It will be called the Ferrari Purosangue. That’s the official name of the Ferrari SUV. Ok, Ferrari CEO Louis Camilleri implicitly said that he does not want to hear “that word” in the same sentence with the word Ferrari. “That word” being SUV. Ok, Camilleri, I will not do it. Ever. The new Ferrari... truck… will be the most amazing piece of technology ever attempted with the “that word” layout. Luckily, we do know a thing or two about the new Purosangue.
Digression: Is the word crossover any better? Maybe, but I feel it sounds too soft for the status of a Ferrari. The Honda CR-V is a crossover for crying out loud.
The new Purosangue may take a layout similar to what we have been accustomed to with the onslaught of performance SUVs, yet the Italians promised to make it a proper thoroughbred. Incidentally (not really), Purosangue translated from Italian actually means thoroughbred. Is it just me, or the name Ferrari Thoroughbred (in English) wouldn’t sound bad at all? We have a Superfast and we like it, don’t we? Enough with the strange ideas. Purosangue it is.
Christopher Smith of Motor1 explained how to pronounce it:
“PUR-o-SAN-gue. There are four syllables, with emphasis on PUR and SAN. Phonetically speaking, start with PUR, as in a cat purring. From there just say a soft O as in oh, then SAN with a long A sound like saahn, and finish with GUE, which sounds like way but starting with a g – gway. PURR - oh - SAAHN - gway. See? It’s totally easy.”
What do we know about The Ferrari Purosangue?
First of all, the Purosangue will ride on an all-new Ferrari architecture. It is basically a modular platform intended to support numerous Ferrari front-engined models that will come out before 2022.
Ferrari plans to unveil 15 new models before 2022, with the new GT actually sharing the basic layout with the Purosangue.
More importantly than that, the new modular platform, which allows shortening or lengthening of the wheelbase, also supports proper Ferrari setting. For example, the new Purosangue, along with the new GT which will sit above the GTC4 Lusso, will feature:
- Front mid-engine layout - the engine will sit behind the front axle
- Gearbox at the rear end of the car near the rear axle which allows for an easy installation of the hybrid system
- Numerous power options
- Variable adjustable height and clearance
- Two-seat or four-seat cabin (four seats for the Purosangue obviously)
All of this says a lot about the upcoming Purosangue. It taught us that Ferrari is in a rather incredible place right now while it is reinventing itself without having to destroy the pillars of success it stands on.
Let’s visit the past now:
In 2016, Sergio Marchionne, Prancing Horse boss at the time (rest his soul) was asked about a possible SUV! His reply: “You Have To Shoot Me First!”
Fast forward to today- 2018!
The new Ferrari boss, Louis Camilleri, commented on the Purosangue:
"As a die-hard Ferrarista, I was a tad skeptical when the concept was first voiced at the board. Having now seen the wonderful design concept and the extraordinary features, and knowing the resources we have dedicated to bringing this vehicle to life, I am a hugely enthusiastic supporter."
Don’t think that I am implying that someone killed Marchione because this did not take place. Even the man himself admitted last year that Ferrari will unveil the fastest SUV ever.
So, there you have it, from “you’d have to kill me” to “an enthusiastic supporter” in two years. Ferrari-quick!
Considering that the market is what it is and an SUV seems like common sense for the Maranello-based company, I did my best to figure out what the Purosangue needs to take on as competition. These are ten things that this Ferrari has to address:
Mission: Beat The Lamborghini Urus
I could beat around the bush forever, but the thing is that the Lamborghini Urus (despite its Audiness) is the biggest competitor the Ferrari Purosangue will ever face. Its engine, whose 641 horsepowers are bound to procreate in future versions, is the first thing the Ferrari Purosangue has to beat.
The 4.0-liter, turbocharged unit in the Urus is a magnificent piece of engineering, but if the Purosangue gets that twin-turbocharged, Ferrari, V-8 from the 488 Pista (FYI: 710 horsepower there), it will be far more unique.
That may be one of the options.
The other, far more probable option, is the adoption of a hybrid system. Ferrari did not offer us many hints about the new architecture and only said that 60 percent of its offering will be hybridized by 2022. The Purosangue may get a new twin-turbocharged V-6 (already in development), coupled with quite a powerful electric motor.
Either way, I do not see the Purosangue having any less than 700 horsepower. On the top end, I can see its power expressed in numbers such as 800 and 900.
Mission: Beat The Porsche Cayenne Turbo S
The Porsche Cayenne Turbo S has one of the best-sorted air suspension setups in the industry.
The aim was to perfectly balance the comfort and dynamic abilities of the SUV. That gave birth to a suspension system that can vary ground clearance between 6.37 inches and 9.64 inches, that will hunker down with the car reaching the speed of 130 mph, and that offers great control abilities over the damping levels. Plus, it is complemented with rear wheel steering.
Ferrari will have to find a similar solution for the Purosangue. A solution that will make it comfortable, but also capable on the track. Ferrari even mentioned that the Purosangue will get the innovative suspension with variable height adjustment. Can’t wait to see what it has in mind. I guess it will be an air suspension setup, but boy would I be stumped and happy to see something crazy unconventional.
The interior of the Ferrari Purosangue won’t be as luxuriously adorned as the one in the Cullinan and the Bentayga.
It is a Ferrari, after all. Yet, it will have to be built with the same incredible attention to detail, with unique touches and features that did not appear anywhere before and with creature comforts unlike anything Ferrari has ever done.
I remember being underwhelmed and bummed by the interior of the Ferrari 360 when I saw that car for the first time ever. That CANNOT happen here. Not because of me, but because of the sheiks, Chinese, and Russian oligarchs who all need something special from their Ferrari Utility Vehicle.
For the first time ever I am expecting a lot of displays, some crazy expensive leather made from hides of massaged cows, and perfectly machined knobs and dials inside a Ferrari. It needs some of that luxury. Then again, it needs some of that Ferrari LaFerrari focused ambiance as well. Designers of the Purosangue cabin have an unforgettable four years in store (the car should appear in 2022), that is for sure.
Mission: Beat The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk
Why Mention The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk in an article about the Ferrari Purosangue?
First of all, no one expects the Trackhawk to have a 707 horsepower engine. Yet, it does.
Second of all, no one expects a 5,364-pound SUV to accelerate to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds. Yet, it does. Third of all, no one expects of a car capable of accelerating to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and hitting 180 mph to be able to tow 7,400 lbs. Yet, this one does.
No, the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk isn’t sophisticated, but you bet it has a factor of bewilderment like no other car. Ferrari has to beat that X factor with the Purosangue.
Mission: Never appear there but let everyone believe it would be the fastest if it did
Unofficially, the Lamborghini Urus managed to run the Nurburgring in less than 7 minutes and 47 seconds. This is data taken by a guy with a stopwatch app on his phone, standing on the sidelines of the track. It is not just unofficial. It is really unofficial. I bet it can do it even faster considering that the Stelvio Quadrifoglio did it in 7 minutes and 51.7 seconds.
The Purosangue will never officially lap the ‘Ring. Ferrari said a long time ago that it is not interested in Nurburgring lap times.
Yet, the Purosangue will have so much track gear and proudly present all of its advanced dynamism focused tech that everyone would believe it would be the fastest on the Green Hell.
If the car community remains so smitten by the Green Hell for the next four years that is.
Mission: Provide wonderous performance on the track, but never disappoint off road
Apart from building a unique suspension, Ferrari will have to invent an all-new AWD system setup for its cars.
When the FF came to be, the company released quite a unique AWD setup that added a sort of an additional gearbox to the front axle to feed the front wheels with power. It worked only up to a certain speed though.
Nevertheless, the Purosangue AWD system should be more complex and deliver performance that matches the systems in the Cayenne Turbo S or the Urus. Will Ferrari outsource it? Will it build something unique as it did for the FF? We do not have a clue, but I do know that if Ferrari wants the Purosangue to succeed, that AWD system will have to conquer dunes or muddy Chinese roads, and then demonstrate its ultimate track abilities. All in a package light enough to fit in a Ferrari.
Mission: Beat them all
I am not only talking about the 0-60 mph time and top speed. The Ferrari Purosangue has to corner harder than any other SUV (and possibly sedan). It has to be able to out accelerate any Tesla ludicrous concoction and beat 200 mph without breaking a sweat. Now, the Model X is the king of 0-60 (3.2 seconds - possibly quicker).
The Urus is the king of top speed (189 mph), but the Ferrari has to be the king of all of it, and then some.
The thing is that Ferrari has to work twice as hard now. By the time it reveals the Purosangue, the world will be richer for a number of additional super SUVs, many of which will overshadow the Model X and the Urus. Ferrari has to go for the ultimate right now.
Mission: Break new ground for SUVs in terms of lightness, aerodynamics, efficiency, and suspension setup
As with every new car by a cutting-edge manufacturer, the whole world expects nothing less than extraordinary from the new Ferrari Purosangue. In that regard, I think this SUV has to have the lightest body in the business (possibly all carbon), best active aerodynamics, and an innovative suspension setup.
Ferrari already announced that the architecture supports hybrid powertrains and this means that the Purosangue may become the most efficient Ferrari ever (not that the company would praise on that a lot).
All in all, numerous innovations are needed for the creation of the lightest, fastest and the most agile SUV of all time. Ferrari will break many firsts in order to deliver the promised.
It Has To Forget That It’s A Ferrari!
Mission: Satisfy lazy, rich people
"I abhor hearing SUV in the same sentence as Ferrari," CEO Louis Camilleri said at the presentation where Ferrari unveiled a plan for the next four years. "SUV just does not sit well with Ferrari."
Well, whether you call the Purosangue an SUV, a utility vehicle, a truck, or a crossover, one thing is for certain - it conforms to the guidelines of convenience, not dynamism and track abilities.
I am saying this because Ferrari engineers now have to come up with a way to provide a lot of room for people in the second row. They have to pay close attention to how the passengers enter there, where will they leave their luggage and their Starbucks coffee.
See the problem?
Hitting apex as fast as possible isn’t Ferrari’s only preoccupation anymore. Now, the Maranello guys are thinking about phone chargers, easy entry, trunk capacity, and surroundings from a high ride position. Couple this with a hybrid system, lack of N/A V-12 and with, presumably, a lot of luxury, and you have yourself a convenience mobile instead of a kidney shattering, deafening, widowmaker.
Bonus thought that will never happen - What If The Purosangue Does Not Forget It Is A Ferrari?
Imagine this - the Ferrari Purosangue with a 6.5-liter, N/A, V-12 from the 812 Superfast, rear wheel-steering, rear biased AWD system, 800 or so horsepower, and performance that would beat the Tesla Model X off the line, and a Brabus-tuned GLE’s top speed. All of that with the godly sound of a V-12 channeled through four-tailpipe exhausts. Now, that sounds more like a big Ferrari that would be loved by crowds. And one that would never ever pass EPA, WLTP, NDEC, or whatever.
Maserati Levante connection?
Nope. the Ferrari Purosangue will not have anything in common with the current Maserati Levante. It just can’t.
Read our full speculative review on the 2020 Ferrari Purosangue.