Ferrari Purosangue: Maranello suing charity over SUV name

Published: 03 February 2020

► F16X: Ferrari's take on the SUV
► Name confirmed: Purosangue
► But Ferrar is suing a charity for it

Ferrari's new SUV is coming, and we'll see it towards the end of 2021. Named Purosangue, meaning 'thoroughbred', the FUV will arrive at the tail end of 2021 – but there's been some controversy over the new car's name. 

According to a Financial Times report, Ferrari has begun legal proceedings against a anti-doping, non-profit charity for the Purosangue name – and that's despite the Purosangue Foundation trademarking the word in 2013.

It's a good name for a charity with anti-doping in mind, but Ferrari claims the charity 'has not made sufficient commercial use of the name to warrant exclusivity', and that the 'registration should be removed because of lack of use over the past five years'. 

The charity will be challenging Ferrari's lawsuit on March 5th.

Ferrari SUV: everything else

New Ferrari boss Louis Camilleri has told us: ‘I abhor hearing the word SUV in the same sentence as the Ferrari. It does not sit well with our brand. This vehicle will be unique in so many ways, and it will redefine expectations.’  

Confidence like that is meant to breed effortless success. But confidence is in short supply in Maranello right now, as its Formula 1 team continues to squander the fastest car on the grid and the storied carmaker reels from the sudden loss of CEO and chairman Sergio Marchionne.  

The renewal of investor confidence was the primary objective of Ferrari’s September 18 Capital Markets Day. Ferrari and FCA share prices wobbled in the wake of Marchionne’s passing (on July 25), not helped by comments Camilleri that the plan he inherited was both ‘aspirational’ and faced ‘risks’.

How to build confidence in the 70-year-old maker of iconic road and race cars? With the unveiling of an SUV? Too divisive, and too soon – Camilleri asked for ‘breathing time, to meet our ambitions for what will be an extraordinary vehicle’. While investors are keen, heartened by the popularity of comparable products from Lamborghini and Bentley, the Ferrari faithful are waiting on the SUV’s arrival as a patient waits for the dentist’s drill; with reluctant consent.

Camilleri nevertheless confirmed that the ‘revolutionary’ hybrid ‘FUV’ is in development, with its costs but not its revenues present in the new period plan. 60% of Ferrari’s cars will be hybrid by 2022, with technology officer Michael Hugo Leiters describing hybridisation as a zero-lag enabler of, rather than a replacement for, turbocharging.

Speaking at the Detroit motor show in January 2018, late Ferrari boss Sergio Marchionne hinted that the new Perosangue would be the fastest SUV on the market, meaning it’ll have to beat the Urus’s physics-bending performance. Lamborghini’s SUV has a top speed of 189 mph, so the new Ferrari will need to be seriously quick.

The Ferrari off-roader’s styling remains shrouded in mystery, but our sources suggest it’ll retain hints of Ferrari’s front-engined models, albeit on a taller, larger chassis.

Despite years of denying it would build an SUV, CAR magazine can confirmed in early 2017 that it's now an active project in Maranello. It's codenamed F16X, which will be built alongside the next-gen GTC4 shooting brake range.

Ferrari SUV: why it can't ignore the SUV trend

'It will probably happen but it will happen in Ferrari's style,' Marchionne told analysts in 2017, as he announced a 24% jump in second-quarter profits. 'That space is too big and too inviting and we have a lot of customers who will be more than willing to drive a Ferrari-branded vehicle that has that king of utilitarian objective.'

A scoop dossier in the July 2017 issue of CAR magazine reveals the full story on what Ferrari insiders swear isn't an SUV. Instead they call it an FUV, or Ferrari Utility Vehicle.

That means it'll stick with an aluminium architecture and all-wheel drive (significant that; Ferrari has quietly developed a lot of 4wd knowledge since launching the FF, above, in 2011).

It'll be taller than its next-gen GTC relation and we hear it'll have suicide back doors, allowing for a huge doorway and no B-pillars for unimpeded access to the rear seats.

Ferrari SUV: engines and specs

The F16X crossover will eschew the V12 power available in the GTC4 Lusso, instead offering a hybrid powertrain.

That's right: the Ferrari soft-roader will be the brand's first petrol-electric car since the LaFerrari.

Ferrari SUV: price

How much will the Ferrari crossover cost? In excess of €300,000 (£265,000), according to our insiders.

It's good business, alright. Adding a tougher, rougher Ferrari could help double sales of the prancing horse to around 16,000 a year by the early part of the next decade. Which makes it easier to understand the late CEO Marchionne's apparent U-turn in deciding to chase the 4x4 dollar, albeit in a very Ferrari-friendly fashion.

By CAR's road test team

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