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Ferrari reveals new Purosangue five-door SUV. Image by Ferrari.

Ferrari reveals new Purosangue five-door SUV
The Italian brand refuses to call the Purosangue an SUV, but we all know the truth.
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What's all this about?

This is Ferrari’s long-awaited SUV: the Purosangue. It has been in the works for quite a while, but it has finally been unveiled ahead of its official arrival next summer, when it will do battle with the Aston Martin DBX707 and Lamborghini Urus. Ferrari might be reluctant to admit that – the bigwigs in Maranello won’t even call it an SUV – but it’s certainly the brand’s first five-door four-seater, and it’s set to be a sales sensation.

So is it an SUV or not?

Yes, of course it is. It’s a five-door, high-riding hatchback with four seats, all-wheel drive and 185mm of ground clearance. Sounds pretty SUV-ish to us. But Ferrari says it isn’t because the Purosangue (which means Thoroughbred in Italian) was built to be a road-going sports car first, and a practical utility vehicle second. And whatever the likes of Lamborghini and Porsche may say, Ferrari claims it’s the only brand to have taken that approach.

Despite that, Ferrari admits this car is built to replace a Range Rover in customers’ collections. Apparently, the Prancing Horse’s customers often have multiple Ferrari sports cars, but use SUVs and estates to ferry the family around every day and in all weathers, mainly because Ferrari does not produce a car capable of doing that. So the engineers in Italy built one.

But it's still a performance car, right?

Definitely. Ferrari has fitted a 6.5-litre V12 just behind the front wheels, while the disgustingly complicated all-wheel-drive system comes from the GTC4Lusso. The cylinder heads are derived from the 812 Competizione, the gearbox uses ratios from the 296 GTB and Ferrari developed a bespoke exhaust system, all to help the engine produce 725hp.

What’s more, because this is an SUV weighing well over two tonnes, Ferrari has also tweaked the tuning so 80% of the 716Nm of torque is produced at just over 2,000rpm, making the car more responsive and more flexible. And if you like stats, you’ll love the Purosangue’s headline performance figures. The sprint from 0-62mph takes 3.3 seconds, and 7.3 seconds later the car will top 124mph. At maximum speed, it’ll be travelling at more than 190mph.

Presumably it’ll guzzle fuel, too. There are no turbochargers and no hybrid systems in sight, because Ferrari claims the naturally aspirated V12 is the right engine for the car. But it hasn’t yet produced economy figures…

Will it handle?

Ferrari says so, and until we’ve driven it, we’ve no idea whether that’s the case. We can, however, confirm that early signs are good. The engineers in Maranello said an air suspension system would be too sluggish to provide the body control needed from the Purosangue, so a more conventional steel spring was used with some electronic active damping. The system, dubbed FAST, or Ferrari Active Suspension Technology, is clearly intended to sound good, but it should also provide rapid responses to the conditions, offering plenty of body control and improved ride comfort.

That system works alongside eighth-generation Side Slip Angle Control (SSC) and ABS Evo technology to help keep the car in line, and there’s torque vectoring to send the power where it can be best utilised. Oh, there’s a four-wheel-steering system from the 812 Competizione, too, while Ferrari has worked hard to keep the centre of gravity as low as possible. And the company has fitted enormous brakes that can stop the car ridiculously quickly. So quickly, in fact, that the car can stop from 124mph in just 129 metres.

Great, but is this another example of a sports car manufacturer turning into an SUV brand?

Apparently not. Not only is Ferrari keen to distance the Purosangue from the other super-SUVs currently on the market, but it has also capped production to ensure the newcomer never takes over from the sports cars in its range. So while the Urus made up more than half of all Lamborghinis built last year, the Purosangue will never account for more than 20% of Ferrari production. And given the brand only delivered around 11,000 new cars last year, the Purosangue will certainly be exclusive.

But you’ll have to pay through the nose for that exclusivity. We’re talking silly money. Are you sitting down? If so, we can confirm that, in Italy, the starting price of the Purosangue will be €390,000 including taxes. Yep, that’s about £340,000, and that’s before options. Add a few goodies and we’re probably looking at £400,000 for UK customers.

Despite the shortage of build slots and the faintly ridiculous price tag, though, customers are not deterred. Ferrari is mildly astonished by its existing order bank, and the company has even threatened to stop taking orders “soon” if it carries on like this, simply because it can’t meet demand. Yes, you heard. That is a car company that’s happily denying itself an enormous profit…

James Fossdyke - 13 Sep 2022

2023 Ferrari Purosangue. Image by Ferrari.2023 Ferrari Purosangue. Image by Ferrari.2023 Ferrari Purosangue. Image by Ferrari.2023 Ferrari Purosangue. Image by Ferrari.2023 Ferrari Purosangue. Image by Ferrari.

2023 Ferrari Purosangue. Image by Ferrari.2023 Ferrari Purosangue. Image by Ferrari.2023 Ferrari Purosangue. Image by Ferrari.2023 Ferrari Purosangue. Image by Ferrari.2023 Ferrari Purosangue. Image by Ferrari.    - Ferrari road tests
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