Business over tradition. Money over identity. Greed over pride. Market share over heartbeat. This, beyond disbelief, has been my first instinctual reaction when I saw the shocking news of the new Ferrari SUV project. The most famous sports cars in the world, building the purest and most exciting machines on the planet, is making a four doors very fast family car. The car will be launched in 2022. Not Ferrari, please, not Ferrari! Not a two and a half ton of electronic junk, that accelerates from 0-100 km/h in less than 3 seconds, looks mean and with a prancing horse on its bonnet. I am lost.
The new Ferrari Purosangue will feature either a V6 or a V8 turbocharged and will surely be hybrid, as most of the modern high-end vehicles are. We don’t know if the chassis dimensions will be a sharing exercise with the sisters at Maserati (Levante) and Alfa Romeo (Stelvio). We are confident enough to think that the Purosangue will target a higher end of the segment, populated by the Cayenne, the Bentayga and surely the Lamborghini Urus. Furthermore, it will be interesting to understand if the front transmission will follow the original clever FF model concept which allows transferring the traction to the front, without letting a transmission shaft travel under the engine. The FF has actually two exits at the crankshaft level, and one of them, the fore one, is dedicated to transferring the power to the smaller front differential. This architecture allows to keep the engine as low as possible, so to benefit the driveability, the loss of power in moving elements and weight.
Of course, Ferrari claims it will be the fastest ever SUV, the most technological, the most advanced, the one with unprecedented features and the most beautiful, like everyone else says when tackling that segment and launching a new 400 thousand USD family car. “I abhor hearing SUV in the same sentence as Ferrari,” CEO Louis Camilleri said. “It just does not sit well with our brand and all that it represents. And that’s why this vehicle we will produce will be unique in so many ways and will redefine expectations. Unmistakably Ferrari, with features that have never been seen before.” Sorry, I don’t buy it. It surely will be mesmerizing, it will create a new benchmark for the hyper SUV, as the Lamborghini URUS has done recently, but come on!! It’s like Colin Chapman designing a school bus for Tata! It’s like Van Gogh deciding to print postcards to make some cash! Selling one’s soul to the devil has become natural, understandable, economical and even elegant. Not for me.
The rush to technology is a partner in crime to the incredible expansion of this segment of non-cars SUV. Electronics especially has made 700 Bhp on a two tons car an easy task to manage, at any levels of driving. You buy a hypercar, you sit in it, press the go pedal and feel great, protected, in peace and in command… while you are not. Your hidden chauffeur is egregiously doing the job for you. Transfer this technology to SUVs and you have all in one, from your snow car for winter to a track day animal, at the press of a setting button on the dashboard. Boring. Satisfaction? Zero
SUV Market is a gold mine, so attractive, so profitable that even the purest of the angels has decided to corrupt its own soul, to give up. To be specialized in something and make it better than anyone else doesn’t count anything anymore. The past is past, the market is calling. Everyone seems to be willing to make everything. Greed, greed and more greed. Apple makes watches, Valentino makes perfumes. It all makes sense from a Profit and Loss point of view but identity is lost.