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New Ferrari Purosangue SUV Spied Testing With Production-Spec Bodywork

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Ferrari is preparing to enter the performance SUV ring in 2022 – and prototypes have finally started testing with a standard body instead of a custom Maserati Levante shell.

The final design of the new Ferrari Purosangue remains primarily hidden by thick cladding and camouflage, but this test car clearly shows how different Ferrari’s SUV will be from the Maserati. The steeply sloping roofline hints at coupe-SUV positioning rather than a conventional straight-back silhouette that would identify the Purosangue as a direct competitor to the Porsche Cayenne Coupé.

Short overhangs and a long, low bonnet are among the Purosangue’s other distinguishing features, suggesting that the focus of Maranello’s first SUV remains on a big performance and sharp handling.

The low leading edge of the bonnet indicates an engine that has been pushed further back into the chassis for better weight distribution. The arrangement of the front mid-engines is reminiscent of the lowered Grand Tourer 812 Superfast.

The new Ferrari Purosangue, which is due to be launched in 2022 and is being developed under the codename Purosangue, which translates from Italian as “thoroughbred”, promises to be like no other performance or ultra-luxury SUV on the market, thanks to a different positioning to the Aston Martin DBX, Bentley Bentayga, Lamborghini Urus and Rolls-Royce Cullinan.

Zuto main image

The SUV, also known internally as the 175, is one of 15 new Ferraris announced last year and will be launched by 2023. They will be built based on two bespoke architectures, creating two distinct model lines: one for mid-engined supercars, such as the forthcoming F8 Tributo, and the other for front-mid-engined GT -style cars, of which the new SUV is one.

New Ferrari Purosangue SUV- Side Shot

“I am convinced of this car and the technical concept,” Michael Leiters, Ferrari’s technical director, told Autos Community. “I think we have found a concept and a package that is both a true SUV and will convince SUV customers to buy it, but also offers a huge differentiation of the concept from existing SUVs.”

This concept is based on Ferrari’s ability to combine a bespoke architecture (as opposed to one shared by a larger group, such as the Volkswagen Touareg and Audi Q7-derived MLB platform used by the Bentayga and Urus) that gives the car not only the Ferrari level of performance and dynamic capability but also the space, comfort and user-friendly cabin required for an SUV.

“The challenge is to open a new segment for Ferrari,” Leiters said. “We always have a very, very sharp positioning. That helps us to develop cars in a specific, focused way and to decide certain compromises easily.

“Deciding on compromises is completely different here. We will have completely new technical challenges.”

Ferrari is keeping mum on the details of the new Ferrari Purosangue but is happy to talk about the theory and challenges behind the brand’s most radical push in its 72-year history.

It is known that the design of the off-roader has been signed off and that the car will use Ferrari’s scalable front-mid-engine architecture, one of two highly flexible structures that will underpin Ferrari’s future offering.

Both architectures, the other of which supports a traditional mid-engine layout, can accommodate V6, V8 and V12 engines, with or without hybrid assistance and with a transaxle dual-clutch automatic transmission, rear- or all-wheel drive, two-, two-plus-two or four-seat variable wheelbase cabs.

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Of these diverse parameters, the new Ferrari Purosangue will have the shape of a four-seater with a length of about five metres. Its high ground clearance is likely achieved through a height-adjustable suspension and an anti-roll system to provide impressive on-road dynamics and some off-road capability. Plug-in hybrid technology will also be used as the pressure to reduce emissions grows. The powertrain will be derived from that of the new SF90 Stradale.

Ferrari’s first production hybrid, the new supercar, combines a 4.0-litre V8 with three electric motors, one at the rear between the engine and transmission and two at the front to provide all-wheel drive. A version of this system will also be used in the Purosangue. More likely, however, it will be coupled with Ferrari’s new V6 turbocharged engine in development. A top-of-the-range V12 version is also considered reasonable, as Ferrari continues to work on developing V12 engines.

“The SF90 is a new product with so many innovations that we can find the elements to transfer to other cars,” Leiters said of transferring technology from the SF90 Stradale to other models. “The challenge [with the SUV] is quite different. There are some innovations, but our organisation has learned to deal with innovation,” he added about the likelihood that the Purosangue will come up with innovations of its own.

All Ferrari GT models, including the SUV, will get an all-new interior layout based on the ‘eyes on the road, hands on the road’ approach. This includes a new steering wheel design, a new infotainment system, a head-up display, new instruments, new interior controls, a rear-seat entertainment system and improved entry and exit.

Leiters also explained some of the technical challenges Ferrari faces in developing its first SUV.

New Ferrari Purosangue SUV -Rear Shot

He said, “How can we make sure that the space offers the proper ergonomic comfort onboard? How can we combine the sporty layout with a more comfort-oriented design? What to do with the HMI [human-machine interface]? Our HMI is driver-oriented, but how can it become more democratic? What about comfort? What is Ferrari’s pure DNA in a car for convenience?

“It’s a challenge, an opportunity and fun. I like it very much. Some concepts are close, but with cars like the 175, we want to structure the range and offer something different.”

Leiters said the two new architectures offer much greater flexibility between future Ferrari models.

“We have not said there will be V6s or V12s, but we have foreseen it,” he said. “My job is to give the company a possibility for models. Then they tell us what they need from a market point of view.

“Depending on the different customer requirements, do we need more space? Six or eight cylinders? A long wheelbase? So we can offer V6, V8, V12, front or mid-engine, hybrid or not, two-wheel or four-wheel drive, 2+0, 2+2 or four seats, and vary the wheelbase a lot. We can handle that very easily with minimal impact.”

Design chief Flavio Manzoni said designers had worked with engineers from the outset to ensure optimum proportions for the brand’s controversial model.

“You start from the very first steps to define the design of the car,” he said. “In this definition phase, we work with the engineers. We can define the proportions and the dimensions to have a perfect base to work from. This is also the case with the SUV. Many SUVs are derivatives of other cars. The designers have many constraints because of the technical basis. In our case, it’s not a compromise.

“If we do not collaborate with the engineers and define the package with them, it’s a problem. I praise collaboration a lot when we start a new project.

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