Ferrari Purosangue family SUV unveiled

This four-door four-seater is a huge event in the 75-year-old Italian brand’s history.

Thrilling sports cars and potent GTs, always with two doors, are what Ferrari is famed for. It has built nothing else, until now.

The Purosangue isn’t exactly everyone’s idea of an SUV, but it is longer, higher and heavier than anything else in the company’s current line-up.

Even so, it will be Ferrari-fast. Under the long bonnet is a high-revving 6.5-litre V12 engine. It has a quick-shifting eight-speed double-clutch transmission and all-wheel-drive.

There was a time, not so long ago, when Ferrari bosses swore the company would never produce anything that could be called an SUV or crossover.

That was what Sergio Marchionne said in 2015 during his term as CEO. Not long afterwards he admitted it was a possibility and in 2018, the same year the executive suddenly died, Ferrari confirmed it had begun work on a new SUV-like model.

The name was chosen to reassure Ferrari fans the newcomer is worthy of the brand’s famous prancing horse badge. Though “Purosangue” literally means “pureblood”, “thoroughbred” is the accepted English translation.

Though the Purosangue is carthorse large, its lines are racehorse elegant. And there are some style surprises, too.

Design chief Flavio Manzoni says Ferrari has patented the Purosangue’s wheel-arch extensions. The connection between the vehicle’s bodywork and the carbon-fibre crescents framing its very large – 22-inch front, 23-inch rear – wheels is concealed.

The aluminium bodywork appears to float above the wheel arches.

The rear-hinged doors are power-operated and can be opened or closed independent of the car’s front doors. The rear doors are opened using a small switch paddle near the point where they meet the front doors. Without rear doorhandles the Purosangue, from a distance, could almost be mistaken for a two-door.

The Purosangue’s interior is the most spacious and luxurious ever seen in a Ferrari.

Its rear seats are as comfortable, supportive and pretty much as roomy as those in

the front. They’re electrically adjustable and can be flipped forward to increase the size of the luggage compartment. Its 473-litre capacity is more than any Ferrari ever made.

Despite the practicality, the Purosangue’s steering wheel features Ferrari’s F1-inspired manettino driving-mode selector and tachometer-centric instrument layout.

Ferrari knew the kind of customers its big four-door aimed to attract would want deluxe-standard comfort. The Purosangue introduces a new fully active suspension system developed with Canadian company Multimatic. The electrically powered shock absorbers will give the Ferrari a magic-carpet ride, it is promised.

Purosangue deliveries begin early next year in the left-hand drive markets of Europe,

later in the year in Australia. Local pricing hasn’t been announced, but in Italy the car will be more expensive than the company’s other V12-engined models. This points to it being priced at about $750,000, or more, when it finally arrives here.

Ferrari says it will never become dependent on SUV sales. This is a dig at Porsche or Lamborghini; both sell more SUVs than sports cars.

Maybe the Purosangue’s high price is a strategy to restrict demand.

It’s expected the Purosangue will account for about 20 per cent of Ferrari sales.

Originally published as Ferrari unveils new Purosangue family SUV

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