Maranello’s first SUV will be offered with a 12-cylinder engine to rival top-rung Bentley Bentayga.
Ferrari will unwrap its long-awaited debut SUV, the Purosangue, on 13 September – and the first version to break cover will be powered by Ferrari’s “most iconic engine”: a V12.
“From my and our test drives in the hills around Maranello I can tell you that it’s a true sports car, and unlike any other,” CEO Benedetto Vigna told reporters about the Aston Martin DBX rival.
It will be “100 per cent Ferrari”, he added, and pledged that “it will meet and exceed all the demands of performance, innovation and design that you would expect from us”.
On the subject of the engine choice, Vigna said previously: “We’ve tested several options. It was clear that the V12, for the performance and driving experience it could provide, was the right option for the market.”
His comments came after the sports car maker posted a video online, confirming it was creating a new V12-powered Ferrari, prompting speculation about whether it referred to the Purosangue or the unnamed successor to the Ferrari 812 Superfast.
The firm referenced “our new thoroughbred’s bloodline”, which hinted that it will be the SUV because the car’s Italian name translates as thoroughbred, before the news was confirmed by Vigna. It remains to be seen whether this will be the 6.5-litre unit deployed in the 812 Superfast.
Ferrari added: “The V12 has always been an intrinsic part of Ferrari DNA. It is a celebration of our heritage, and a symbol of our relentless quest for new heights of performance and pure driving emotion.”
All future Ferrari models will be built around two bespoke architectures, giving two distinct model lines: one for mid-engined supercars, such as the Ferrari 296 GTB, and the other for front-mid-engined GT-style cars, including the new SUV.
Both architectures are able to accommodate V6, V8 and V12 engines, with or without hybrid assistance and with a transaxle dual-clutch automatic gearbox; rear or four-wheel drive; and two-, 2+2- or four-seat cabins from variable-wheelbase lengths.
From these wide-ranging parameters, the SUV will take the form of a four-seater with a length of around five metres, and its high ground clearance is likely to be achieved through height-adjustable suspension and an anti-roll system to allow for impressive on-road dynamics and some off-road ability.
The car’s design has been officially previewed in only a front-end shot that gave little away, but leaked images earlier this year provide a better look at the Purosangue’s overall design.
“I’m convinced on this car and the technical concept,” Ferrari’s then chief technical officer, Michael Leiters (now McLaren CEO), said 2019. “I think we’ve found a concept and a package which is on one side a real SUV and will convince SUV customers to buy it, but on the other side there’s a huge differentiation of concept to existing SUVs.”
That concept is based around Ferrari’s ability to mix a bespoke architecture (as opposed to one shared across a wider group, such as the Volkswagen Touareg and Audi Q7-derived MLB platform used by the Bentley Bentayga and Lamborghini Urus) that endows the car with not only Ferrari levels of performance and dynamic ability but also the space, comfort and user-friendly cabin required of an SUV.
“The challenge is to open a new segment for Ferrari,” said Leiters. “We always have very, very sharp positioning. It helps to develop cars in a certain, focused manner and easily decide certain trade-offs.
“The trade-off decision is totally different for us here. We will have totally new engineering challenges.”
Automotive Daily via Autocar