It seems only months ago that Ferrari was swearing on Mother Teresa’s grave that it would never, ever build an SUV. Yet here, in all its four-door, four-seats-with-cupholders glory, is the Ferrari Purosangue, the Prancing Horse’s first sport-ute.
Of course, with a customary, oh-so-Italian shrug of the shoulders, the folks at Ferrari are dismissing the notion that the Purosangue could ever be an SUV. It’s a sports car, pure and simple, they say.
Yet this is the first Ferrari in Maranello’s 75-year history to offer this much utility and this many doors. And it comes with four-wheel drive (of sorts), seating for four in relative comfort, and a tailgate with space in the back for “stuff.”
But first a word about that name. You actually pronounce it—rather inelegantly— as Poor-oh-sang-way. I mistakenly thought it might have something to do with “pure” and “sangue,” as in pure blood. No, it seems Poor-oh-sang-way is Italian for “thoroughbred”.
See it in the metal though, and it is 100 percent thoroughbred. Second only perhaps to Aston Martin’s DBX, this could be the sexiest-looking SUV out there, with its mile-long clamshell hood, sensuous side curves, muscular haunches over its rear wheels, and a gorgeous, swooping roofline.
It’s also big. Nose to tail, it stretches more than 16 feet— with most of it seemingly made up of that front-hinged hood— and well over five feet wide. Yet it doesn’t look out of proportion, courtesy of 22-inch rims at the front, and 23s at the rear, the biggest ever fitted to a Ferrari.
Interestingly, Ferrari seems to have taken a leaf out of the Rolls-Royce style book by equipping the Purosangue with rear-hinged “suicide” back doors. Pull on a teeny, fin-like latch on the shoulderline and the rear doors power open with a near 90-degree swing.
In the back, there’s a pair of well-bolstered bucket seats. And no, there’s not a three-across, bench-seat option, or heaven-forbid, an available third row. Here is the successor to Ferrari’s outgoing GT4C Lusso four-seat “shooting brake,” but with back seats that people can actually sit in without having their knees up by their ears.
When it came to powering this newest Prancing Horse, Ferrari went old school.
Casually ignoring the current hybrid or all-electric trend, they gave the Purosangue a massive, naturally aspirated 6.5-liter V12 mated to an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic. Boasting the highest output of any Ferrari GT ever, it packs an impressive 715 horsepower and 528 lb-ft of torque.
Ferrari engineers rightly focused of giving the V12 lots of flexibility and low-end power delivery to suit that family-friendly SUV character; the engine produces 80 percent of its torque at just 2,100 rpm.
That said, the Purosangue should deliver astonishing performance. Ferrari claims standstill to 62 mph acceleration in 3.3 seconds, 0-to-124 mph in just 10.6 seconds, and a top speed of 193 mph. Those are proper supercar numbers.
Like the GTC4 Lusso, the Purosangue can send some drive to the front wheels, though it’s essentially a rear-wheel driver. Any gear above fourth, or at speeds over 125 mph, and the front-drive unit disengages.
While Ferrari does talk about some off-road capability, don’t plan any trips to the Rubicon Trail. There’s no off-road setting for the traction control and no height adjustment to the suspension. And forget about towing your ATV; a tow hitch isn’t even offered.
If all this is prompting you to pull-out your American Express Centurion Black card, the price tag of this new Purosangue is expected to start at more than $400,000. That’s almost twice the price of an Aston DBX, Lamborghini Urus, and Bentley Bentayga Speed.
But don’t expect your local Ferrari dealer to have Purosangues lined-up on the lot when production kicks off mid-2023; the car maker has already stated that it’ll cap sales at 20 percent of total output.
Like any Ferrari, it will always be super-rare, super-exclusive. Even if it is an SUV.