Why Ferrari’s £250k mega-SUV could be here in just over a year
Now that Ferrari has officially confirmed what everyone already knew – that it’s finally going to make an SUV – talk has switched to when it will arrive.
Company boss Sergio Marchionne said recently that the car will be the fastest on the market.
And a report by Bloomberg said the superfast SUV will hit the streets in 2019 or 2020.
Whilst Ferrari won’t want to rush production and delivery of the new SUV, the pressure is on to get to market.
This is because Lamborghini’s £185k super-SUV, the Urus, is already on sale, and other competitors either already have superfast SUVs or are planning to sell them soon.
Several observers reckon the first SUV to wear the famous Prancing Horse badge will actually be for sale by summer 2019 or even earlier.
Which means you might see first showroom demo models in just over a year!
This would be quite a feat since Marchionne is believed to have only confirmed the existence in the model in a confidential phone briefing to major investors in August last year.
However, reports say the SUV project has been running for years inside Ferrari, (codenamed F16X, according to CAR magazine).
Price speculation for the new car ranges between £2000,000 and £300,000 depending on spec, with circa £250k thought to be the likely price of an average model.
Quizzed about the SUV last month, Marchionne dropped a very large hint it will be the fastest SUV on the market and added:
“It will look like whatever a Ferrari utility vehicle needs to look like, but it has to drive like a Ferrari.”
This seemingly confirmed reports the company won’t refer to it as a SUV but as an FUV (Ferrari Utility Vehicle).
Marchionne also said: “I’ve seen the car when I was in Europe eight days ago. So we are working on the vehicle but it’s not finished.
“They’re just mock-up bodies just now. But it looks good.”
So what would the new car, derided by some supercar fans as a “crossover”, look like, and what how would it be constructed?
For clues we can look at some of Ferrari’s existing models.
It will be front-engined for sure to properly accommodate rear passengers and luggage.
And it will need serious off-road ability or otherwise risk further “crossover” and “soft-roader” jibes which might dent Ferrari’s brand (although why you genuinely would want to expose a £265k car to the perils of off-road driving is beyond me).
For the latest design and technological inspiration, look at Ferrari’s latest all-new model, the Portofino (pictured).
It is a two-door 2+2 hard-top convertible Grand Tourer that can be specced to 0-62 mph in 3.5s and a top speed over 199. It contains the latest interior materials and Ferrari technology.
Also likely to offer inspiration is the Ferrari FF (pictured), standing for “Ferrari Four”, another GT which was proclaimed the world's fastest four-seat automobile at launch in 2011.
Its all-aluminium architecture and all-wheel drive means Ferrari has already accumulated far more four-wheel-drive knowledge and experience than most people realise.
Also in the inspiration class is the GTC4Lusso T, the first true four-seater in Ferrari loaded with turbo-charged V8 engine.
Like the FF, the GTC4Lusso (also pictured) was designed as an ‘everyday’ Ferrari, with the emphasis on elegance, comfort and sporting dynamics, delivered by a combination of rear-wheel-only drive, four-wheel steering, and increased weight bias towards the rear (46:54).
Ferrari knows way better than to simply jack up the GTC, FF or Portofino and plump it out as a SUV, unlike in some other sectors.
So it will be fascinating to see how they manage the competing dilemmas of sporting dynamics, occupant comfort and style.
One thing’s for sure, if Marchionne’s hint that it will be the fastest on the market is to ring true, it will need to be very fast: the Lamborghini Uris has a top speed of 189mph.
Belfast Telegraph Digital