Ferrari confirms that its SUV is on the way

‘Purosangue’ model will be Maranello’s first true 4x4, arriving in showrooms within three years

 

The late Sergio Marchionne, chief executive of Fiat and therefore the boss of Ferrari too, had once said that “you’d have to shoot me” before Ferrari would make an SUV. Well, it turns out they only had to wait until he passed away from natural causes…

Yes, Ferrari has confirmed, obliquely, that it’s going to build a 4x4 to compete with the likes of the Rolls-Royce Cullinan and the Lamborghini Urus. To be fair, it seems that Marchionne had softened his stance on the idea of a Ferrari SUV before he died, but doubtless there will be others who will not be feeling so happy about it. Those people are, presumably not stockholders in the now-publicly floated Ferrari of course. SUV profit margins can no longer be ignored.

According to information released to those investors, Ferrari plans to launch 15 new models between now and 2022, and the SUV - currently known as the ‘Purosangue’ or Pure Blood - is one of them. It will be based on a new front-mid-engined platform that will also form the basis of replacements for the current GTC4 Lusso and the 812 Superfast.

That platform, and a new mid-engined chassis which will sit under the 488 replacement and, eventually, a new LaFerrari, will also incorporate a lot of hybrid tech. Ferrari is eyeing up hybrid power as a way of sidestepping future emissions legislation, and there’s a good chance that the replacements for the 488 and the Portofino front-engined convertible could end up using a hybridised version of a new V6 turbo engine, currently being developed for both Ferrari and future Alfa Romeos. Alfa has already confirmed that it’s working on a hybrid V6 sports car, with a 700hp power output, so it would make sense to dovetail the projects.

While all this might seem somewhat shocking to traditional Ferrari fans (hybrid? V6? SUV? - the horror!), Maranello is slipping in some sugar to make the SUV medicine go down easier. That sugar comes in the form of the Monza SP1 and SP2 sports cars, developed as part of Ferrari’s ‘Icona’ series, aimed at collectors and the Ferrari faithful.

Available in either single-seat or two-seat layouts, the Monza gets an all-carbon-fibre body, a6.5-litre V12 engine with 810hp (0-100km/h in just 2.9secs…) and no windscreen. Ferrari says that it’s directing high-pressure air around and way away from the cockpit, but that even so: “The result is the feeling of blistering speed normally only experienced by Formula 1 drivers, which derives from the concept of a cockpit carved from the car’s very volume that wraps around the driver.”

The Monza twins are also, almost without question, the most classically beautiful cars to come from Ferrari in quite some time, and a sign that the company is moving away from the highly-technical styling of recent years (think back to the awkward-looking Enzo) and will instead be embracing rather more beautiful design.

Will that be enough to convince fans that making an SUV doesn’t mean Ferrari is selling its soul?