By on August 2, 2017

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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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16 Comments on “Ferrari Makes No Bones About Its ‘Utility Vehicle’ Being About Anything Other Than Money...”

  • avatar

    “The official plan should be announced early next year and bare product fruit by 2022”

    Maybe you want to alter that to “bear product…”

    Unless of course the ladies from the Fiat 500 commercials will be baring their fruit.

  • avatar

    It is sad that they have to lie about never making an SUV to make more money and shut people up. Now they feel the world is ready enough for an SUV. Either way, I don’t care if they make an SUV, I care if they don’t make any manual cars, but more so any affordable cars. Mustang GT350 is looking like the new Ferrari to me.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    The end of Ferrari as we know it.

    Once they go public, they have to answer to private equity, hedge funds, mutual funds and investors who dont care about the core business just profit at all cost.

    Once Morgan makes an SUV I will cease considering myself a ‘car guy’ as it will be evident i do not belong in that club anymore.

  • avatar

    If Lamborghinis going to call it’s glorified VW “Ur-anus”, I’m terrified to think what Ferrari will call it’s glorified Fiat competitor.

  • avatar

    “a lot of our customers who will be more than willing to drive a Ferrari-branded vehicle”

    Just like lots of people are more than willing to waste good money on Ferrari branded watches, Ferrari branded jackets and Ferrari branded kiddies toys.

    A Ferrari BRANDED vehicle does not make it a Ferrari.

  • avatar

    With wide enough tires, high enough horsepower, and brilliant enough sorcery SUVs can be fun to drive. I think Ferrari will be able to translate its driving experience to the SUV format.

  • avatar

    I once attended an M Power Tour event for BMW. They had the head of M cars USA there, and we were able to ask questions…so I asked why the ///M X5, which was legit over the top, but why ? He was a very nice person, and answered that they (BMW) saw many of their best customers buy the same sort of vehicle from another Company (Cayenne), and saw “no reason why they should be buying a competitors’ vehicle”. He also pointed out the M X5 had to hit the numbers of the M3, which explained the massive V8 and the garbage can sized discs.

    We also had a fascinating discussion about the “Performance Briefs” for different customers….I understand why BMW is the way it is now, and that’s OK, except for the guy who screwed up the steering feel.

    Nothing is “what it used to be”. Get over it.

  • avatar
    Shortest Circuit

    Somewhere Christian Koenigsegg and Horatio Pagani are opening a champagne…

  • avatar

    I’m not concerned that Ferrari won’t be able to produce an SUV with sports car performance and good looks, what I’m concerned about is whether they can make a SUV that maintains the Ferrari tradition of $5,000 annual servicing charges, need for complete engine and/or gearbox rebuild by 50,000 miles, and the ability to spontaneously combust.

  • avatar

    Coming soon…the F-U V! (read either way you want…Ferrari Utility Vehicle, or, well…you know).

  • avatar

    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.

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