It may seem like an oxymoron, but the fact is that a Ferrari SUV is on the horizon. Named Purosangue, this thoroughbred is poised to shatter SUV norms.
An appropriate headlining vehicle for a story titled “The Decimation of Sports Cars” would be a Ferrari SUV. Sports car purists would be up in arms, nouveau riche would be ecstatic, and the final straw in the ceaseless domination of SUVs would break. But this is real life, not work of fiction, and the Ferrari SUV (or is it FUV?) is coming soon.
It shall be anointed the Purosangue, which literally translates from Italian to “pure blood”, but is more generally accepted as “thoroughbred”. In either case, the Prancing Horse brand is all in on the SUV bandwagon. And why not? Porsche set the precedent with their unthinkable Cayenne 20 years ago. Considered a besmirching of the Stuttgart sports car crest, that SUV has gone on to wild sales success and even spawned a “Mini Me” in the Macan.
Since then, virtually every other supercar and ultra-luxury focused automaker has joined the SUV chorus. Lamborghini, the “Macho Man Randy Savage” foil to Ferrari’s Exquisite Oligarch client persona, unleashed the V10-powered Urus a few years back, Maserati touts its Ferrari lineage with their Levante trucklet, and even super staid Rolls-Royce has the Cullinan barge offered for the price of a starter home. Ferrari is merely keeping up with the billionaire Joneses.
Now, about that name. Back in 1875, Italian royals bred the Purosangue Orientale to be the purest of pure Italian stallions. Nearly 150 years later, Ferrari fought the Purosangue Foundation, a charity devoted to helping disadvantaged athletes, for control of the name. Winning the trademark rights in a court battle, the good people in Maranello put on a clinic for “How to Be Tone Deaf”. They also ensured Purosangue will join the ranks of atrocious car names. In fact, their Ferrari LaFerrari, or Ferrari The Ferrari as it translates in English, has already been included on just such a list. Thus far, there has been no fuss from Bugatti, who prefers the French spelling “Pur Sang”.
Ferrari has been characteristically tight-lipped on details of the Purosangue, but based on testing mule spy photos, it appears the SUV will be more of a replacement FF/GTC4Lusso than Chevy Tahoe. Initially looking like a chopped-up Levante, more recent photos show a long hood, steeply raked windshield, and fastback rear end. The camo game is strong on these test beds, but Ferrari has indicated they will be fully pulling the curtain back sometime in 2022.
Quad tail pipes are also evident in spy photos, lending hope the idea of a V12-powered Purosangue. Their 812 Superfast sports a 789 hp naturally aspirated V12, which seems like a reasonable amount of power for an SUV-meets-station-wagon. It would also trounce power ratings for all the hot rod SUVs out there, including the mighty 707-horse Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk on this list. Granted, in our current planet-friendly climate, it is possible the power plant will be mildly hybridized, which would be in line with certain modern Ferraris.
It is also likely the Ferrari SUV will be fitted with all-wheel-drive. It is an SUV after all and a spiritual successor to the FF station wagon coupe. However, those spy shots reveal the presence of four doors meaning it truly will be in the SUV realm. Old man Enzo would have never approved such blasphemy, but times have changed since he went toe-to-toe with Ford back in the day. That sentiment prevailed until just a few years ago when the phrase, “You’d have to shoot me first”, was uttered by late Ferrari boss Sergio Marchionne, in response to questions on making a FUV.
The fact is, these big family friendly utes are much bigger cash cows for companies like Ferrari than their sports cars lineup. They keep clientele coming back because when one already owns a Ferrari Portofino, F8 Spider, and 812 GTS, one needs a Ferrari SUV to ferry about the family. Plus, with the taller stack of SUV profit comes a deeper stream of revenue for developing ever-more impressive hypercars. The Ferrari Circle of Life you might call it.
As seen here, the list of best Ferraris ever created includes such legends as the F40 and Enzo. So far, the lack of details makes it hard to say if the Purosangue will be worthy of such status. But in all likelihood, it will be equally at home around town or the proving ground, cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, and be ripping fast. I, for one, am excited to see what Ferrari comes up with.