Whether you’re an SUV yay- or nay-sayer, there’s no denying the Ferrari Purosangue is a momentous occasion – it’s not only the first SUV ever produced by the Prancing Horse, but also the brand’s first ever production four-door four-seater (yes yes, excluding the saloon and estate versions of the Ferrari 456 built for the Brunei royal family).
Ferrari has pulled out all the stops to make sure that its Purosangue doesn’t blend in with all other SUVs on the roads today – it has suicide doors dubbed ‘welcome doors’ by the carmaker. The rear door’s handle is also hidden, allowing the car to retain the look of a two-door coupe with the doors closed.
Don’t for a minute think that the Purosangue is any old SUV with a Ferrari body stuck on top, though. Ferrari says it worked hard to achieve ambitious goals with the project that would make the SUV worthy of a place in its line-up – in fact Ferrari doesn’t want you to consider it an SUV at all.
Unlike any other car of these proportions, it uses a 6.5-litre V12 engine promising the sort of soundtrack expected of a Ferrari and is capable of 715bhp and 528lb ft of torque. The V12 is paired to an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission. The Purosangue’s powerplant sits behind the front axle for a 49:51% weight distribution worthy of a high-performance sports car, and power goes through Ferrari’s Power Transfer Unit (PTU) to all four wheels. Ferrari says it’ll do 0-62mph in just 3.3 seconds – matching the Aston Martin DBX707 and three-tenths quicker than the Lamborghini Urus.
For added agility, the Ferrari Purosangue will also be fitted with independent four-wheel steering and, for the first time, a new Ferrari active suspension system. This promises to control body roll through the corners and maximise the car’s tyre contact patch over bumps.
Fair play to Ferrari, because they’re managed to do a good job of making an SUV look cool. The styling successfully demonstrates the Purosangue’s relationship to other Ferrari models – its headlights are reminiscent of the Ferrari Roma with the rear lights evoking the 296, and the air ducts through the bonnet and out just ahead of the A-pillar (known as the ‘aerobridge’) remind us of the F12 Berlinetta.
The Purosangue has no rear windscreen wiper, but Ferrari says one of the roles of its carefully crafted aerodynamic design was to clear the rear windscreen through the flow of air against the glass in its absence. All Purosangues get a carbon-fibre roof which helps lower the car’s centre of gravity, but this can be swapped out for a panoramic glass roof with an innovative electro-sensitive film that can make it turn opaque at the touch of a button.
The interior is a 2+2 layout and all four heated electric seats are independent of each other, just like in a conventional two-seater. They’re trimmed in luxurious leather, as you’d expect, but the rear seats can fold forward to increase the boot’s 473-litre load space even further (the biggest boot in the Prancing Horse’s history, we might add) – you know, for if you need to do a dump run or IKEA trip in your mid-engined V12 Ferrari…
We’re not entirely convinced about the dashboard. Ferrari calls it a ‘dual cockpit’ design intended to ‘embrace’ the occupants in their own unique space – the front passenger has what appears to be their own digital gauge cluster or infotainment screen in front of them, but the whole thing looks a little awkward and ugly in our opinion. We’ll assume it’s not for the driver’s use at all, given it sits on the opposite side of the car, and that navigation and the like is displayed through the driver’s gauge cluster.