Ferrari wants upcoming SUV to stand out in increasingly crowded segment

Ferrari stresses the model will be a real SUV

Whether you like it or not, Ferrari's highly controversial SUV is well on its way to production. The Purosangue won't be the firm's first four-seater; its family tree is full of luscious 2+2s. But it will be the first high-riding model with the Prancing Horse emblem on its nose. Conquering this territory is presenting the brand with unique engineering challenges.

Independent from Fiat since 2016, Ferrari isn't exempt from the need to save money through economies of scale, so it will build the Purosangue on a modular platform shared with other upcoming front-engined cars. The SUV will offer a height-adjustable suspension, and an available plug-in hybrid powertrain, according to British magazine Autocar. The publication added the gasoline-electric setup will be built around a new, twin-turbocharged V6, but a flagship model with V12 power will likely slot at the very top of the range. Mid-range model might use a V8.

The design brief Ferrari gave engineers and designers was relatively simple: The Purosangue needs to stand out from the other luxurious SUVs on the market. It can't be a copy of the Lamborghini Urus, the Bentley Bentayga, the Rolls-Royce Cullinan, or whatever Maybach is cooking up. Michael Leiters, the company's chief technical officer, thinks his team has nailed it.

"I think we've found a concept and a package which is on one side a real SUV, and will convince SUV customers to buy it, but on the other side there's a huge differentiation of concept to existing SUVs," he enigmatically told Autocar. He stopped short of providing more concrete details, including his definition of a real SUV. We're not expecting the Purosangue to follow a Jeep Wrangler down the Rubicon Trail, or to outpace a WRC car on a rally stage, but it should be capable of light off-roading. 

The Ferrari Purosangue is tentatively scheduled to make its debut in 2022, meaning it might arrive for the 2023 model year, and pricing will almost certainly start north of $300,000. It's one of 15 new models the firm plans to release by 2023 in a bid to fatten its profit margins without diluting its image

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