Ferrari Purosangue SUV mule spied on icy winter test

Published: 24 February 2021

► First Ferrari Purosangue test mules spied
► F175: Ferrari's take on the SUV
► 4x4 to spawn electric crossover spin-offs 

The new Ferrari Purosangue SUV will launch in a little over a year's time, in early 2022 – and will form the basis for a range of more practical, crossover-flavoured models wearing the coveted prancing horse badge, CAR magazine can reveal.

We've caught the latest mules on winter test in the Arctic Circle, as engineers from Maranello decamp to a chilly Swedish test facility to test prototypes masquerading under cut 'n' shut Maserati SUV bodyshells.

Our latest scoop dossier reveals some key new facts about the high-performance SUV range:

  • The Purosangue is codenamed F175
  • Due for launch in early 2022
  • Based on Maranello's scalable front-engined matrix, shares a common centre section with mid-engined models
  • A low-slung four-seater with height-adjustable suspension
  • Powered by 800bhp V12, hybridised V8 to follow
  • All-electric spin-offs codenamed F244 and F245 to follow in 2024 and 2026

Ferrari Purosangue prototype mules on winter test

Purosangue itself will stick with hybridised petrol power, but the related projects – codenamed F244 and F245 – will usher in the era of full electrification at Ferrari. The SUV's hardware is electric-ready, and that flat skateboard floor means the prospect of five-seater Ferraris is now tantalisingly close.

Capable of packaging up to four e-motors with an initial output of 610bhp, along with a scalable fast-charging lithium-ion battery pack good for a base capacity of 80kWh, this exciting plug-in Ferrari may have what it takes to qualify as an Access All Areas showpiece for the environment-conscious jet set.

What will the Ferrari SUV look like?

Our latest artist's impression by Andrei Avarvarii (below) depicts how we think the Ferrari SUV could look when the covers slide off next year; the design has now been signed off and you can expect a raised-up shooting brake vibe, given a dramatic Maranello wardrobe without going full Lambo on our sensibilities. It's more Audi Allroad than Audi Q7, thank goodness.

Ferrari Purosangue: an earlier artist's impression for CAR magazine by Andrei Avarvarii

The Italians have now confirmed the Purosangue working name, meaning 'thoroughbred', and this is understood to be the production badge too. But there's been some legal rights wrangling over the new car's name which may yet change the moniker.

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Ferrari SUV: what we know so far

The Purosangue is Ferrari's first foray into the ultra-performance SUV market. Our sources at Maranello claim the four-door is even sportier than the Urus, Bentayga, DBX and Cullinan, and is more based on dynamics than rock-crawling (no surprise). The mould-breaking newcomer blends crossover advantages like a slightly taller seating position, plenty of cabin and boot space and a more rugged exterior design with sports car features like agile handling, riveting roadholding and strong performance.

In an interview with CAR magazine in 2018, then-new-but-now-departed Ferrari boss Louis Camilleri 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.’ This explains why executives prefer to call this an FUV, for Ferrari Utility Vehicle.

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

The renewal of investor confidence was the primary objective of Ferrari’s Capital Markets Day in 2019. Ferrari and FCA share prices wobbled in the wake of Marchionne’s passing in July 2018, 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. A whopping 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. A full electric Ferrari isn't on the cards just yet.

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. Our artist's impressions in the gallery build on that expectation.

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 F175, which will be built alongside the next-gen GTC4 shooting brake range (below).

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 back 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.'

Ferrari will stick with an aluminium architecture and all-wheel drive; Maranello has quietly developed a lot of 4wd knowledge since launching the FF 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 Purosangue: how much will it cost?

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 middle of this decade. Which explains why nearly every premium brand going has chosen to launch an SUV.

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By Georg Kacher

European editor, secrets uncoverer, futurist, first man behind any wheel