Once upon a time, Ferrari famously stated that they would never build an SUV. Years on, and after the wild financial successes of ‘super-SUVs’, it’s fair to say that the world of exotic car manufacturers has changed a bit.
So, after years of hush-hush development, we’ve finally gotten to see the new Ferrari Purosangue — the Maranello manufacturer’s first ever four-door model.
To anyone with a pair of functioning eyes, this definitely looks like an SUV, or a crossover at the very least. So why is Ferrrari calling their new beast a ‘sports car’? Let’s find out!
To be honest, my favourite thing about the Purosangue is its rip-roaring, no-holds-barred powertrain — a monstrous 6.5L, naturally aspirated V12. Just hear that thing sing!
Apart from bringing back front-hinged bonnets, the engine offers a salacious 725 PS and 528 lb ft of Prancing Horse power and torque on tap, all the way to 8,250 rpm. According to Ferrari, this means that the car tops out at a whopping 308 kmph — leaving its competitors in the dust.
The real deal, however, comes with the car’s handling architecture, which is brilliantly designed and eliminates many of the non-sporty ride characteristics of larger cars. You might guess that the V12 sits a bit further back in the chassis than your average top-end crossover, and you’d be right. Ferrari has mounted the engine right before the front axle in order to better manage weight distribution, a trait shared by the 8-speed gearbox, which is located over the rear wheels.
A near-perfect 49:51 weight distribution, in a car with four doors, a front-mounted engine, and Ferrari’s biggest-ever boot. Nice.
The next bit of design wizardry at play comes within the suspension system. Supported by a detailed network of sensors, Ferrari has forgone anti-roll bars in favour of four electric motors mated to each shock absorber, spinning up and counteracting the car’s natural body roll — which, given the two-ton plus weight figures, is no mean feat. They even have the ability to reel in the suspension during speed bumps and other road imperfections, providing stability in both sports and comfort conditions.
The minds at Maranello call it FAST — Ferrari Active Suspension Technology, and I’m absolutely here for it.
Within the cabin, things are a bit more predictable — starting with the dash and driver instruments, which seem reminiscent of the SF90 Stradale and recent 296 GTB. There’s a big rev counter, the usual array of touch interfaces, and perhaps the only clue that we’re seated in a (not) SUV, the new Manettino dial, which now has an ‘ICE’ setting and no race mode.
As a ‘practical Ferrari’, the Purosangue comes with a neat pop-out climate control dial which looks super-cool, rubberised wireless charging mats, and an incredible level of cabin detail when it comes to the leather, aluminium, and carbon fibre on display.
The interior layout is, of course, a bit less driver-centric than the average Ferrari. The passenger seat gets its own touch panel to view driving feedback and infotainment screens, all doors can automatically seal shut, and the rear seats get their own fancy climate control dial to play with, along with what looks like mounting points for optional screens.
It’s interesting to note that the Purosangue, even in its market placement, stands starkly apart from the DBXs, Cayennes, and Uruses of the world. These competitors, whether they’d like to admit it or not, have transformed the spreadsheets of the companies they come from — the lion’s share of their business coming from full-blown SUVs rather than sports cars.
Ferrari, however, has remarkably stuck to their guns and produced a truly desirable machine this time around without compromising on their ironclad reputation as the world’s most-loved sports car manufacturer — something that should have their rivals quaking in their boots as the Q2 2023 delivery dates draw closer.
The Ferrari Purosangue will cost $389,000 onwards and is expected to launch in India by the end of 2023.
Lead Image: Ferrari