The new Ferrari Purosangue has shaken up the sports car market. A controversial late entry into the luxury SUV/crossover segment, the car marks a departure for the brand and a challenge for the man who led the team that designed it, Flavio Manzoni. And here are his words in an interview for Wallpaper magazine:
“When we started the project, we had many discussions of how to do a Ferrari with these characteristics. It was a positive challenge – a way to express our identity in a completely new typology of car…
First, we wanted to make a Ferrari, not an SUV. A Ferrari with practicality and space and a panoramic interior. Perhaps some team members were not completely convinced at the start – they thought it might break certain rules about our history. But I didn’t have any fear of making this car.”
– Flavio Manzoni – design director Ferrari
It is powered by a naturally aspirated V12 engine with 725 hp. And it’s worth it, because this prancing horse has a starting price of just 390,000 euros. In 2017, the name was first mentioned, more as a working document than an actual model name. Meanwhile, the Ferrari Purosangue has become a reality. Maranello’s first SUV (officially, the first “4-door 4-seater” Ferrari) will go into production sometime in 2023 and will cost around 390,000 euros. Remarkably, Ferrari is limiting the Purosangue to a maximum of 20% of the total annual production. This means about 2,400 units per year.
The bodywork of this SUV, although Ferrari has gone to great lengths to avoid using that term, looks very elegant and balanced for a car that weighs 2.2 tonnes. The Purosangue is also the first model in history to have five doors, with the rear doors being so-called ‘suicide doors’. The interior has four real seats. A load volume of 473 litres is hidden under the tailgate. And – mind you – the back of the rear seat can be folded down.
No central screen, the Ferrari Purosangue has separate multimedia modules. One for the driver and one for the passenger. The SUV does not have any connected services, as the Italian manufacturer assumes that most drivers rely on their smartphones for this.
Between the front wheels, in a central position, there is a naturally aspirated V12 with a displacement of 6.5 litres. Ferrari is talking about an all-new engine block that couples 725 hp with a maximum torque of 715 Nm. 80% of the engine torque is already available from 2100 rpm, while the power peaks at 7750 rpm. This power is transmitted to all four wheels via a 4×4 system said to be similar to that of the Ferrari FF of the time.
Above 200 km/h or from fifth gear, the FWD module is deactivated and the Purosangue becomes a pure rear-wheel drive. The transmission is handled by an eight-speed robotised gearbox with dual clutch. The eighth gear is an ‘overdrive’ which reduces engine speed and helps to reduce fuel consumption. The Ferrari Purosangue accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.3 seconds and reaches a top speed of 310 km/h.
Because this SUV has to drive like a real Ferrari, despite its large size and weight, Ferrari teamed up with Multimatic. The result is called TASV, short for True Active Spool Valve technology, where 48V actuators control the dampers and try to nip any body roll in the bud. When cornering, the active suspension, with stabiliser bars, lowers by up to 10 mm.
The weight distribution on both axles is a dynamic 49/51, which is the envy of many real sports cars. Is the Purosangue the thoroughbred Ferrari would have us believe? In every conceivable way, it has clearly tested the company to its limits, encouraged new ways of thinking and pushed its visual language in brave new directions. As full electrification approaches, the company will need more of these new paradigms with which to redefine its place in the world. Right now, the Purosangue is sitting pretty at the summit of desirability. Ferrari hopes very much it’ll stay that way.