Much has been written about the new Ferrari Pursangue SUV. It has a V-12 engine, seating for four, a real hatch, and even all-wheel drive. But how does it compare to other SUVs? Does it make sense as an SUV, or just a compact car?
What makes an SUV an SUV?
There are so many different vehicles that we call sport utility vehicles, and each one has a different purpose. The Jeep Wrangler is great for going off-road, but the Cadillac Escalade is great for taking eight people on a road trip in luxury, for example. But there are some things that every SUV should be able to do, and that’s to handle inclement weather or off-road situations well, carry people and their luggage, and sit high up for a commanding view of the road. Does the Ferrari get up?
The basics of the Ferrari Purosangue
The new 2023 Ferrari Purosangue is Ferrari’s first SUV, and to emphasize that it’s not an anomaly, its name translates to “pure blood.” Lamborghini, Aston Martin, Bentley and others have been making a lot of money selling performance vehicles that seat more people, and Ferrari finally decided it would too. But this one is powered by a new version of Ferrari’s V-12 that makes 712 horsepower. It seats four, has room for luggage, and looks just like a Ferrari.
The Ferrari Purosangue has all-wheel drive
The Ferrari Purosangue should be able to handle bad weather with ease. It has a sophisticated all-wheel drive system that uses accelerometers and position sensors to help its system grip the pavement. But, when it gets wet or snowy, the system should be able to tackle the tough stuff with aplomb. It also cleverly has four-wheel steering which can help this long (for a Ferrari) car to negotiate the fast, tight turns on the Swiss alpine roads.
However, this is not a Wrangler. While Ferrari hasn’t released ground clearance figures, he does say it has higher ground clearance. Taller than what, Ferrari won’t say, but it’s clearly not built for off-road work with its low overhangs.
The Ferrari Purosangue can carry some (but not much) luggage
According to motor trend the Purosangue can carry 16.7 cubic feet of cargo. That’s all a Mazda CX-3 can handle with the rear row of seats up. So it can haul more than a Ferrari California that’s only 12 cubic feet or the minuscule 3.3 cubic feet of the SF90 Stradale car.
The Purosangue seats four people, but Ferrari has yet to release details on legroom. The fact that the rear doors have to open from a rear hinge, “suicide” style, says a lot about the rear seats. Manufacturers use a rear-hinged door to make it easier to get in and out of tight spaces. But that certainly beats having to fold down the front seats.
Does it have the SUV feel?
One of the reasons SUVs are great is that the driver has a commanding view of the road. Everyone likes to sit up high and see everything. We don’t have waistline or sight figures for the Purosangue, but from videos and pictures, we can surmise that it’s likely the tallest Ferrari around. The driver will probably be able to see over other Ferraris, but that’s about it in this low-slung SUV.
It seems that the SUV is already a success and the Purosangue is sold out, even if it doesn’t really compare as an SUV. But then, that’s not really the point, is it?