The SUV Ferrari Promised Not to Build Might Bear an Odd Name

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
the suv ferrari promised not to build might bear an odd name

Two years before his untimely death, former Fiat Chrysler and Ferrari CEO Sergio Marchionne promised not to build a sport-utility vehicle with the prancing horse badge stuck to it. To do so would be sacrilege, he implied. Alas, the passage of time revealed the folly in that plan, especially for an automaker trying to stand on its own two feet after being spun off by its parent.

At the time, luxury automakers like FCA’s Maserati and its competitors had come to the realization that a stable devoid of high-riding vehicles was not what consumers — or forward-looking investors — wanted to see. Fast-forward to the present day, and even Rolls-Royce has an SUV. Lotus, maker of tiny sports cars, has one in development. Ferrari would be the odd man out without one, and thus more vulnerable to changing consumer preferences.

On Tuesday, Ferrari told investors what they can expect from the company, as well as its upcoming SUV.

According to Bloomberg, Ferrari CEO Louis Camilleri dialed back the company’s expected earnings at the end of its five-year plan, estimating earnings before interest, tax, etc. at 1.8 to 2 billion euros ($2.1-2.3 billion) by 2022. Marchionne had placed a bullseye over the 2 billion euros figure. Still, expect average transaction prices to soar, Camilleri said.

On the product front, Camilleri promised 15 new models by 2022, though that number includes numerous variants of existing or future models. One of those products is the SUV, to which Ferrari has bestowed the name “Purosangue” (Thoroughbred in Italian). It isn’t known if this name is merely a placeholder until the production model appears.

About that production date: don’t expect it to arrive in 2020, as Marchionne once said. In order to “get it perfect,” Camirelli claims he’s pushed back SUV production two years, to the end of the five-year window.

Also revealed at the meeting were details about the layout of the vehicle. As described by Motor1, Ferrari’s SUV is of a front mid-engined design, with the powerplant placed directly behind the front wheels. The dual-clutch automatic transmission sets up shop in the rear. Given that Ferrari expects 70 percent of its output to be hybrids by 2022, there’ll be a gas-electric version of the Purosangue, with the electric motor channeling torque to the rear wheels. The model’s new platform can also handle all-wheel drive.

Don’t worry, squares — there will be a side door for both front- and rear-seat passengers, in addition to the rear liftgate, if you want to refer to it as that. There’s actually two firsts happening here: Ferrari’s first SUV and first five-door bodystyle.

“I abhor hearing SUV in the same sentence as Ferrari,” Camilleri told the investors. “As a die-hard Ferrarista, I was a little skeptical when the concept was first voiced at the board. Having now seen the wonderful design and the extraordinary features, I am a hugely enthusiastic supporter.”

He’s seen the light, folks. Take his word for it. Other tidbits revealed during the meeting included the automaker’s plan to introduce V6 engines into the lineup, probably without the name Dino attached. For those who get nauseous at the thought of six-cylinders, hybrids, and SUVs, Camilleri announced the creation of the limited-edition, 812-based Monza SP1 and SP2 — one- and two-seat V12-powered speedsters that couldn’t care less about your kids or the environment. On tap is 798 horsepower and 530 lb-ft of torque, ushering the carbon fiber body to 62 miles per hour in 2.9 seconds.

It isn’t known if we’ll see these rare beasts on this side of the Atlantic. Regardless, the aim of Ferrari’s Capital Markets Day presentation was to satisfy global investors by showing it had the imagination to meet all demands of it.

Join the conversation
2 of 19 comments
  • RHD RHD on Sep 19, 2018

    If this were manufactured by VW, they would name it after some sort of wind. The SUVs would be marketed as the Porsche Pordhut and the Volkswagen Ballonnements.

  • Iamwho2k Iamwho2k on Sep 19, 2018

    As it's said with Porsche, if selling SUVs allows Ferrari to continue to produce 488s, 812s and the occasional LaFerrari, then so be it. However, I read somewhere that Ferrari is already the world's most profitable automaker in terms of per unit sold, so... And, would it be any different than Enzo deciding to make road cars just to support his racing habit? He reportedly didn't give a sh*t about the road cars.

  • The Oracle The Spyder and Ryker platforms are great for folks who want an open air experience but may not want it on 2 wheels. I’ve had a Spyder RS-S since new in 2012 and it’s a fun machine with the manual transmission. When ridden hard, fuel economy goes well below 36mpg, but 2-up riding is great and the frunk is great for running errands.
  • The Oracle These pricing pressures have been around for decades and the traditional ICE supply base is about to be upended.
  • Druni Thanks. Great.
  • NaMiNo Thanks for the recap, Tim! It's always interesting to get a glimpse of what's happening at auto shows. The focus on EVs aligns with the industry's growing shift towards electrification. And optimism about the future, along with more vehicle debuts, is a good sign for the automotive world. I always go to site here for more writting ideas for my blog. Your photos tell the story beautifully, even with auto-show lighting challenges.
  • Ajla I wanted one of these a lot back when they were new.