The Ferrari Purosangue marks the Italian supercar brand’s opening foray into the world of SUVs. Here’s everything you need to know about the first ever four-door, four-seater Ferrari.

It had to happen, didn’t it? Purists might not like it, but Ferrari would’ve been mad not to cash in on the lucrative SUV market. The cars in this segment are often criticized as being jacks of all trades but masters of pretty much none, however that seems to have done nothing to impact their popularity amongst consumers.

For that reason, it was only ever a matter of time before a car like the Ferrari Purosangue hit dealer forecourts. So, let’s put the cynicism to a side for a moment and see what the car truly has to offer.

One of the most noteworthy traits is, naturally in a Ferrari, the engine. Whereas their mainline supercar, the 296 GTB, has had to downsize to a V6 hybrid recently, Ferrari appear to have simply embraced the 2180kg heft of the Purosangue and slapped a big old V12 into its engine bay.

Part of the power unit’s DNA can be traced back to the 812 Competizione, however it’s fair to say that a lot of work has gone into it to create a bespoke feel in the Purosangue. Maximum torque (528 lb/ft) is available from 6500rpm, though 80% of that comes into play as low down as 2100rpm. The peak power figure of 725cv (715hp) is achieved further up at 7750rpm, while the redline arrives 500rpm later. In practice, that translates to a 0-62mph time of 3.3 seconds, and a top speed of 193mph.

The engine, which is the most powerful one to ever be used in a luxury SUV, works in tandem with an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission. The gearbox makes use of short early ratios and a longer final gear, which Ferrari claims will help efficiency on long-distance drives. The downshifts, meanwhile, have been calibrated in such a way that “optimizes smooth shifting” and “emphasizes the sound of the V12”.

Ferrari Purosangue


So, on paper it appears to have the powertrain worthy of a Ferrari, but let’s be honest: that was the easy bit.

The biggest difficulty that SUV designers tend to come across is the handling. Put simply, when dealing with a car of this size, it’s a real battle against physics.

Ferrari has taken this seriously though. After all, a brand of their sporting stature could hardly settle for a Cullinan-esque barge. Instead, plenty of work has gone into making sure that the Purosangue drives as a Ferrari should.

To achieve this, Ferrari has teamed up with Multimatic to devise an innovative new suspension system. Known as ‘Ferrari Active Suspension Technology’ (or FAST – pun presumably intended), the Purosangue’s hydraulic shock absorbers are aided by an electric motor attached to the damping rod. It’s easy to get lost in the jargon, but effectively what it means is that the car’s suspension will react proactively to the driver’s inputs, rather than simply reacting to the road surface.

Theoretically, this should give the Purosangue more prowess through bends than arguably any other luxury SUV on the market, especially when combined with the 812 Competizione’s four-wheel steering, and the all-wheel drive system pinched from the SF90 Stradale.

Ferrari Purosangue

Ferrari have also shown a bit of a sense of humour by fitting the Purosangue with Hill Descent Control, just in case you fancy taking the Prancing Horse green laning…

And then there’s the name: Purosangue. In Italian, it means ‘thoroughbred’ which when put alongside the rest of the Ferrari range could perhaps be seen as a bit of a joke too. However, when you instead look at the Purosangue within the context of its specific market segment, that name becomes a little more justifiable. It’s certainly the most dynamically impressive SUV out there on paper, and as far as its looks go, it’s easily the sleekest of them all. Of course, the Purosangue’s dimensions are as large as the SUV moniker would suggest, but its short glasshouse gives off the visual illusion that its somehow more low-slung than its rivals.

That doesn’t appear to have impacted interior space too badly though. Ultimately, one of the biggest draws of an SUV is the practicality. Dissenters would say, “make an estate then!”, but nevertheless the notion still stands. After all, you can’t fit four adults into a 296 GTB, but you can in this, with plenty of room for luggage on top. So, if you want a taste of the high-performance Ferrari lifestyle but have too many responsibilities for a traditional supercar to make sense, it’s easy to see how the Purosangue might appeal.

That, really, is the key to getting your head around cars like the Ferrari Purosangue. No, it’s never going to endear itself to keen drivers as much as a regular 296 or 812, but it’s not meant to. The Purosangue, and every other SUV for that matter, is a car of compromise, built for a world that’s full of compromises. When reality sinks in, that’s really no bad thing.

Interested in buying one? Well, you better start saving up your pennies, as prices start at around £340,000.