Ferrari Makes No Bones About Its 'Utility Vehicle' Being About Anything Other Than Money
Ferrari will likely add a comparatively spacious four-seat “utility vehicle” to its lineup in the hopes of bolstering volume and doubling its profits by 2022. The strategy certainly has worked for Porsche. So well, in fact, that Lamborghini has made plans to introduce the Urus SUV for 2019 — using Volkswagen Group’s MLB platform. The spiritual successor to the wild LM002 is expected to outperform Bentley’s ludicrous Bentayga and would likely be Ferrari’s chief rival in the super sport utility segment.
The concept of a Ferrari-built SUV has drifted around the automaker’s Maranello and Amsterdam offices for a few years, but now inside sources claim a comprehensive strategy for the vehicle should be unveiled by 2018. However, enacting it would fundamentally change the brand.
As a low-volume automaker, Ferrari is not subject to the same rigid emissions regulations imposed on other car companies. But CEO and sweater aficionado Sergio Marchionne has been pressing the company to increase volume ever since taking the company’s helm in 2014, consequences be damned.
“There is a risk that an SUV could dilute the Ferrari brand,” Richard Hilgert, an analyst at Morningstar, told Bloomberg. “If Ferrari made a vehicle that has more space for occupants, looks like a Ferrari, sounds like a Ferrari, and drives like Ferrari, well — it’d be a Ferrari,” but the company would have to get it right, he said.
Marchionne has already raised volume by a slight amount and offset the exclusivity losses with ultra-expensive models like the LaFerrari Aperta. But it’s not as if the 488 GTB was affordable or the GTC4Lusso was developed to be a family-friendly runabout. These models remain playthings for the wealthy and nobody expects supreme practicality from the forthcoming SUV — just more than you might get from a 812 Superfast.
“It will probably happen but it will happen in Ferrari’s style,” Marchionne said of the planned utility vehicle during conference call after the company’s quarterly earnings report. “That [segment] is too big and too inviting and we have a lot of our customers who will be more than willing to drive a Ferrari-branded vehicle that has that kind of utilitarian objective.”
He also said someone would have to shoot him if Ferrari were to develop something similar to Bentley, BMW, or Porsche. “It has not been done to compete with Porsche,” the CEO claimed.
In addition to the hypothetical SUV, Ferrari’s five-year plan also intends to expand its usage of hybridized powertrains in future vehicles. This is most likely being done to adhere to the stiffer regulatory guidelines as volume increases past 10,000 deliveries per year. However, there are performance benefits to be enjoyed with electrification as well. Doubtful? Consider Porsche’s 918 Sypder, McLaren’s P1, or Ferrari’s own LaFerrari.
The official plan should be announced early next year and bear product fruit by 2022 — at which point Sergio will be retired, watching Ferrari approach a doubled profit margin. Still, things aren’t progressing too badly now. The company reported a 24-percent increase in second-quarter profit on Wednesday, resulting in an adjusted earnings increase of 270 million euros ($320 million).
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- Tim Healey Lol it's simply that VWVortex is fertile ground for interesting used cars!
- Jalop1991 I say, install gun racks.Let the games begin!
- EBFlex For those keeping track, Ford is up to 24 recalls this year and is still leading the industry. But hey, they just build some Super Dutys that are error free. Ford even sent out a self congratulatory press release saying they built Super Duty’s with zero defects. What an accomplishment!
- Norman Stansfield This is what you get when you run races to keep the cars bunched together for more excitement. F1 doesn't seem to have this problem after the first few laps.
- SCE to AUX Too many cars = more wrecks. With today's speeds on essentially the same old track, starting with half the cars could reduce the congestion at the end. Or maybe it would increase the problem because the herd wouldn't thin early on.I say no overtime - finish at 500 miles and no more.
Coming soon...the F-U V! (read either way you want...Ferrari Utility Vehicle, or, well...you know).
I get that they may want to do this, but the only sane thing for them is to label it a Maserati and call it a day. Putting a Ferrari badge on an SUV (or even a Macan-sized CUV) is an abomination.