There’s hardly anyone who does not like sportscars and supercars. But the sheer amount of money that’s required for research and development before one of these vehicles is put into production is mindboggling. And to raise that kind of money, automakers across the spectrum look to relatively mundane high-volume models such as SUVs and mid-size saloons. The phenomenal success of the Cayenne, which Porsche built two decades ago disregarding clamouring purists, led to many others including Aston Martin, Lamborghini and Maserati jumping on the SUV bandwagon and tasting similar success. Sensing the huge monetary potential in this segment, even uber-luxury marques like Bentley and Rolls-Royce have gone all out with their flagship SUVs. The latest supercar maker to latch onto this trend is Ferrari, which unveiled its Purosangue SUV this month.
Well, the Italian carmaker does not want you to call the Purosangue an SUV, insisting that it is a four-door, four-seater sportscar. Ferrari also points to the name, Purosangue – Italian for thoroughbred, to stress that it encapsulates the Prancing Horse’s DNA, combining performance with driving pleasure and comfort. It also wants you to focus on the 0-100kph time of 3.3 seconds, the 6.5-litre naturally aspirated V12 engine producing 715bhp and 716Nm of torque, and the top speed of 310kph. Those are indeed supercar credentials, which are bolstered by a bespoke chassis, four-wheel steering, the latest Ferrari Active Suspension Technology to reduce body roll in corners and a carbon fibre roof to keep the centre of gravity as low as possible. You can also see generous use of carbon fibre on the wheel arches, which feature ducts aimed at cutting drag.
While models with two rear seats have been part of Ferrari’s line-up previously, this is the first production model in the Maranello carmaker’s history to feature four doors. This should also make the Purosangue one of the most practical Ferrari models yet. The suicide doors at the rear are fully electric, opening up to 73 degrees, making ingress and egress a more graceful affair than in the brand’s supercars. There are also comfort-oriented goodies like front seats that promise relaxing, targeted massage of five different types and three levels of intensity.
The Purosangue can technically be seen as a rival to the Aston Martin DBX, the Lamborghini Urus or the Bentley Bentayga. But the whopping €390,000 price tag places it in a totally different league, even more exalted than the Rolls-Royce Cullinan with its base price of around €350,000. Whether you call it an SUV or not, as long as its sales proceeds will prompt the bean counters at Maranello to loosen their purse strings to build more supercars, it will make the world a better place for car enthusiasts.