Ferrari is by no means the first high-end sports car manufacturer to bring us an SUV, but that’s probably more an indication of the company’s painstaking development process and reluctance to rush a product into the market.

Words Tony Whitney

Ferrari is by no means the first high-end sports car manufacturer to bring us an SUV, but that’s probably more an indication of the company’s painstaking development process and reluctance to rush a product into the market.

Words Tony Whitney

Rivals like Lamborghini, Porsche and Aston Martin have been very successful with their SUV entries and around the auto industry, there are many luxury carmakers that have seen SUVs quickly outsell conventional saloons and sports cars.
To be truthful, the Ferrari Purosangue (Italian for ‘thoroughbred’) doesn’t look much like your average SUV. In fact, when referencing the product, Ferrari refers to its history of building four-seat touring cars over the decades rather than breaking into the sports utility market. Looking at the Purosangue’s admirable styling, it’s easy to imagine that reducing the height by a few centimetres would create something more like a sportback design and all thoughts of an SUV would vanish. There are some novel touches to the body layout. The rear doors are hinged at the back like many Rolls-Royce models and this should certainly ease entry and exit. The roof is fabricated from carbon fibre to reduce weight and the boot is the biggest ever seen on a Ferrari.

It looks every inch a Ferrari and enthusiasts of the marque are going to be lining up for it.
When the time came to choose a drivetrain for the Purosangue, the Maranello icon decided to bring us ‘the full Ferrari’ and not follow several rival super-luxury SUVs by opting for some kind of electrified system. Packed under the long bonnet in mid-front-mounted configuration is a 6.5-litre V-12 that attains some 725-horsepower without turbocharging. It’s all brute power and it certainly promises to get the job done in fine style with a zero to 100 km/h time of around 3.3-seconds and for the bold, a top speed of 310 km/h. The rear-mounted transmission is an 8-speed automatic with which the driver can opt for manual shifts. A power transfer unit is coupled at the front of the engine to provide four-wheel drive. This layout gives optimal weight distribution for outstanding poise and handling.

The interior of the Purosangue won’t disappoint people used to the outstanding quality and fit and finish that comes with all products from Ferrari. The leather upholstery is especially impressive and visitors to the Ferrari factory are often surprised to see fine hides being hand tailored close to the actual production line and not farmed out to a sub-contractor. The seats themselves are interesting and there are just the four and not the common three-seat rear layout. The rear seats are similar in design to the front pair and thus have maximum hip-hugging capability for fast driving on winding roads. Each seat is individually adjustable, another feature never seen before on a Ferrari. Various trim combinations of leather, fabrics and carbon fibre can be chosen by the buyer.

A surprise vintage cue is the dash with its twin binnacles that will remind some enthusiasts of old Chevy Corvettes. The left binnacle carries all the driver’s instrumentation and the right one, the usual infotainment screen. According to Ferrari, inspiration for the cabin came from the SF90 Stradale, which most buyers will be very happy about. Ferrari points out that sustainable materials were used throughout the interior. Interestingly, the carpets were recycled from polyamide fishing nets recovered from the oceans. Owners will be able to delight in a Burmester high-end surround sound system that’s about as sophisticated as audible entertainment can get, though many owners will find all the satisfaction they need in the wonderful burble and roar of the V-12 engine.

Many observers were predicting that Ferrari would be the last maker to field an entry in the luxury SUV field, but the Purosangue will prove them wrong and perhaps set new standards for the class. As far as looks and performance go, there’s very little out there to match it. No pricing has been officially announced, but speculation is running around the €390.000 mark.

EV DRIVE SYSTEM 6.5-litre V-12, 725-horsepower.
TRANSMISSION 8-speed automatic with manual override.
ACCELERATION Zero to 100 km/h 3.3-seconds.
TOP SPEED 310 km/h.
I LIKED Flawless styling that’s somewhere between a sports coupé and an unusually sporty SUV. Great vintage touch with the normally aspirated V-12 engine. Superlative interior.
I DIDN’T LIKE Some level of electrification would have been desirable but it won’t put off Ferrari fans.
MARKET ALTERNATIVES Lamborghini Urus, Aston Martin DBX, Bentley Bentayga, Rolls-Royce Cullinan, Maserati Levante Trofeo.
WHO DRIVES ONE? Ferrari owners and collectors will be first in line and as always, the company will take care of their needs before accepting orders from other buyers.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY €390.000 predicted. Available during 2023.