Ferrari's Purosangue: A Brilliant Roaring Prancing Horse from Tip to Tail - But Not an SUV

Ferrari's Purosangue: A Brilliant Roaring Prancing Horse from Tip to Tail - But Not an SUV
Courtesy of Ferrari

When you add some ground clearance to a Ferrari, what do you get? A unique and unexpected experience.

The thing to remember about Ferrari is that it marches unfailingly and firmly to the beat of its own drummer. Anyone with a fashionable haircut will try to steer you back on course if you suggest otherwise. There is no such thing as a Ferrari vehicle that is influenced by anything so pedestrian as demand. Ferrari is utterly immune to what lesser brands are doing.

The Purosangue is its first SUV, so how can it explain it? The first thing you shouldn't call it is an SUV. Ferrari certainly won't, which at first glance appears like the company is refusing to concede it has been forced to produce a vehicle it considers aesthetically, philosophically, and perhaps even morally compromised.

In an automotive world that has suddenly gone fuzzy and weird, this is a welcome dose of exactitude. 

Courtesy of Ferrari

"SUV" used to mean something very specific - truck-based, body-on-frame - which the Purosangue is not. This 2+2 fastback is technically a crossover (although Ferrari isn't in a hurry to claim that term). With all its strange mutations, the modern automobile has evolved at an accelerated pace, resulting in this minor linguistic slip. 

In a world where cars, like tailoring and television, don't fit neatly into neat categories, who's to say we shouldn't want a Ferrari with four full-sized seats and some ride height? Especially if it comes with a naturally aspirated V-12 engine that produces 725 horsepower.

Courtesy of Ferrari

The car is ideal for Italian jaunt along the narrow, often cragged roads that slalom through the snow-capped Dolomites. It's heavier and bigger than your traditional grand tourer, but so are modern NBA point guards, and that's hardly a disadvantage when they keep their speed and agility. 

In addition, the Purosangue moves fast: from zero to 62 mph in 3.3 seconds, a top speed of 193 mph, independent four-wheel steering, and active suspension technology that smooths out the asphalt's creases while still letting you feel what's going on underneath the front tire.

Besides large paddle shifters, a redesigned intake manifold maximizes available torque while retaining maximum power is also featured, along with a transaxle layout that offers a finely balanced 49:51 weight distribution front-to-rear. Driver's stuff, you know.

It gallops through twisting mountain roads and snow-covered backwoods trails, eager to kick out its rear but easily reined in by countersteering.

Courtesy of Ferrari

Therefore, it moves and feels like a Ferrari, except for the steering. There is no longer the featherweight, telekinetic magic of Audi's low-slung two-seaters, instead you find a linear, precise system that's so blandly weighted and lifeless on center that you expect to see an Audi badge when you look down. 

Even with a dry weight of 4,482 pounds, some concessions to mass are expected; still, while you often forget you are driving a crossover, you also sometimes forget you are driving a Ferrari.

You only need to press your right foot to be reminded. Whacking the throttle unleashes such a furious, snarling roar that it's like unexpectedly waking a lion. Besides, this is nothing but a Ferrari from the outside. The Italian word 'purosangue' means 'thoroughbred,' and the lean, athletic body looks the part. 

In addition to floating like naughty origami above the aluminum spaceframe chassis, the sensually creased sheet metal boasts such sophisticated aerodynamics that a rear wiper is not necessary, as the back window is squeegeed clean with just the wind blowing in the right direction at speed.


Courtesy of Ferrari

The absence of other notables is also noteworthy. Inside the deceptively spacious cabin, you'll find plenty of headroom, but no center console: the undulating, leather-wrapped dashboard splits the cockpit into two with its own screen for each occupant. GPS is not available in either cockpit. 

There was a strong preference among clients to use their phones for navigation. Enjoy Ferrari's first massaging seats up front and the same gear selector, cleverly shaped like an old-school open-gate shifter, found in the Roma coupe. 

This Ferrari is the most surprising because of its allocation: Maranello says production will be capped at 20 percent of sales. That's a sharp shift from the status quo: Porsche, which started the speed-ute trend two decades ago with the Cayenne, proved the category to be a slam-dunk rainmaker—by 2016, seven out of every 10 Porsches sold were utility vehicles, attracting luxury and performance manufacturers alike. 


Courtesy of Ferrari

Given the car's $393,350 price tag and what's sure to be insatiable demand, are we to believe Ferrari alone isn't interested in a similar revenue stream?

This edict may only apply to the V-12 version. Perhaps a V-8 (or V-6) variant will emerge later. Ferrari may simply renege on the whole plan in a few years. In this case, Ferrari may be marching to the beat of its own drum. Rich Report’s opinion would not change after experiencing the brilliance of Purosangue.

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