Is the Earth revolving backwards, or has Ferrari bowed to the inevitable? In a sign of the latter, not the former, Ferrari introduced the 2023 Purosangue Tuesday, its first 4-door crossover utility vehicle.
Never mind the thumping, Enzo is rolling over in his grave — although it’s not the first time.
For a company whose sports and GT cars have always been popular, the attempts at appealing to the automotive mainstream seem puzzling. Yes, its hybrid V-6 powertrain is a bow to government regulators. And an all-wheel-drive station wagon seemed puzzling enough. But a 4-seat, 4-door crossover? It’s the Queen Mother of all Queen Mother Ferraris, even if it seems inevitable in a world that has embraced function over fashion.
That “embrace” is often profitable in these improbable circumstances. Early returns at Ferrari show the new model is so popular, the Italian automaker has already cut off orders as it tries to determine what its next move is.
A practical prancing horse
As if to market the illusion this car is merely an extension of its current line-up, rather than the aberration it appears to be, this ultra-luxury crossover’s name translates to thoroughbred, as if there was ever a cause to doubt it.
And you’d be excused if you did, for this is a crossover SUV, not a Formula 1 car. And if company executives prefer you don’t call it an SUV, then they shouldn’t have built it. Any Ferrari with a press release boasting of having the biggest boot ever on a Ferrari before discussing its powertrain seems to bode ill.
Of course, Porsche passed this point of no return some time ago with little long-term ill will. Ditto Bentley, and Lamborghini, and other fabled brands for which the thought of something so utilitarian goes against their brand’s DNA — or so many thought. But in a world where now the unthinkable has become reality, one suspects the 2023 Purosangue will become a one-percenter status symbol.
A fast steed indeed
Powering this steed is a mid-front-mounted, naturally-aspirated 715-horsepower 6.5-liter V-12. With 528 pound-feet of torque and an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, Ferrari states the Purosangue accelerates to 62 mph in 3.3 seconds on the way to a top speed of 193 mph.
The automaker says that 80% of the V-12’s torque is on tap at a low 2,100 rpm. Yet the company also says horsepower peaks at 7,750 rpm while torque tops out at 6,250 rpm, so it’s a peaky beast. The company says the gearbox’s ratios are the same as on the SF90 Stradale and 296 GTB.
The car incorporates Ferrari’s first active suspension system, which incorporates electric motors and hydraulic dampers, was co-developed by Ferrari to minimize size while maximizing power. Power is delivered through a combination of torque vectoring on the front axle, and torque sent to the rear axle via an e-differential.
It’s fitted with driver assistance systems, including adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency brake system, auto high beam, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, blind spot detection, rear cross traffic alert, traffic sign recognition, driver drowsiness alert and a rear-view parking camera.
It’s wrapped in an all-new aluminum-alloy chassis that’s 30% stiffer in torsional rigidity than previous four-seat Ferrari’s and uses a sleek shell that uses aluminum, carbon-fiber, and high-strength steel. Its shape is meant to convey elegance, while also expressing its capability. Uniquely, it has rear hinged rear doors, although there’s still a B-Pillar present.
The inside story
If you’ve been in other contemporary Ferraris, you’ll recognize some of the components, such as the 10.2-inch digital instrument cluster and the steering wheel with drive mode selctor. The dual cockpit instrument panel design influenced the design direction of the cabin, which attempts to have four distinct seating areas, much like a sports car would be, if a sports car had four seats.
Ferrari is proud of the sustainability of the car’s interior materials, which include a roof-lining made of recycled polyester, carpet manufactured from recycled fishing nets and newly formulated Alcantara, also derived from recycled polyester.
A glass electrochromic roof is optional; a carbon fiber roof is standard.
If the car’s exhaust isn’t music for your ears, the Burmeister audio system might do the trick. Uniquely, the car’s infotainment screen is placed on the passenger’s side of the instrument panel, and includes Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. And, of course, there are any number of options, including massaging front seats.
Purosangue sales will not account for more than 20% of the automaker’s overall sales during the model’s lifetime in order to retain exclusivity, according to Ferrari. Look for the vehicle to reach America late next year starting at $390,195.