Ferrari Purosangue 2022: First SUV is presenting ‘challenges’
Engineering chief reveals key details about the crossover’s design and specs
New details have emerged about Ferrari’s eagerly awaited Purosangue, a supercar-inspired SUV that will do battle with the Lamborghini Urus.
In an interview with Autocar, Ferrari’s technical chief, Michael Leiters, hinted that the company had settled on a design and production platform for the SUV – known internally as the “175”.
“I think we’ve found a concept and a package which is on one side a real SUV and will convince SUV customers to buy it,” he said, “but on the other side there’s a huge differentiation of concept to existing SUVs.”
Leiters notes that one of the greatest challenges Ferrari faces with the Purosangue is how it fits into its existing line-up.
“We always have very, very sharp positioning. It helps to develop cars in a certain, focused manner and easily decide certain trade-offs,” he told Autocar. “The trade-off decision is totally different for us here. We will have totally new engineering challenges.”
Ferrari’s stance towards the highly popular SUV market has been capricious in recent years.
It had always insisted that it would never build its own crossover, fearing that it may muddy its brand. But the firm’s former chief executive Sergio Marchionne had a change of heart in 2017, saying that an SUV “will probably happen but it will happen in Ferrari’s style”.
There’s still a long way to go until the car’s release, but there are plenty of reports and rumours to unpick in the meantime:
What does Purosangue mean?
The Italian word purosangue means “thoroughbred”, a nod to the prancing horse that adorns the marque’s badge.
When will it come out?
Ferrari has not yet confirmed a definite release date, though the car isn’t expected to arrive for several years.
According to Car magazine, the Purosangue will make its debut towards the end of 2021, before customer deliveries get under way in early 2022.
That time frame is considerably later than Ferrari initially planned.
Before his death in July 2018, Marchionne told Auto Express that the Purosangue would launch “probably by the end of 19” or “the beginning of 20”.
He added that he had “seen the car when I was in Europe eight days ago” and that Ferrari had created “mock up bodies” of the SUV, the magazine reports.
It’s believed Marchionne’s successor, Louis Camilleri, postponed the SUV’s launch shortly after taking over as Ferrari chief.
The Purosangue is still in the early stages of development, so it’s unlikely that fans will get a glimpse of the car’s final design for a couple of years.
What is known, however, is that the SUV will be based on the company’s “scalable front-mid-engined architecture”, one of two “highly flexible structures” that will lay the foundations for a range of future Ferrari models, according to Autocar.
The platform will also bring a new interior layout, including a new steering wheel, infotainment system and instruments, the magazine says. There will also be a heads-up display and “new ways of operating the cabin controls”.
In his interview with Autocar, Leiters outlined some of the engineering challenges that are presented with a car of the Purosangue’s size.
“With space, how can we ensure that there is the right easy, ergonomic comfort on board? How to combine the sporty layout with a more comfort-orientated design? What to do with HMI [human machine interface]?” he said. “Our HMI is driver-orientated, but how can it be more democratic? What are the comfort features? What is a Ferrari’s pure DNA on a car for comfort?”
Engines and performance
Given the flexibility of Ferrari’s new platform, the Purosangue could take all manner of engine configurations.
The architecture can accommodate V6, V8 and V12 engines, says Carscoops, all of which are available through the company itself or sister firm Alfa Romeo.
Crucially, the platform is able to support both hybrid and non-hybrid motors, the site claims, which gives Ferrari better flexibility when offering regular and performance-focused models.