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FERRARI PUROSANGUE

MARANELLO’S THOROUGHBRED GT

After years of speculation by the international motoring fraternity, Ferrari has finally unwrapped its first-ever four-door, four-seater car, or SUV, if you will.

Since the marque’s earliest years, 2+2 cars have played a significant role in its strategy. Now, in the culmination of 75 years of leading-edge research, Ferrari has created a car that is unique in its stable, and pushes the boundaries of what a performance-focused SUV should be. Ferrari reckons the Purosangue “encapsulates the Prancing Horse’s iconic DNA. This is why the name Purosangue, Italian for ‘thoroughbred’, was chosen to represent their debut sport utility car.

WHAT’S IN A NAME?

Since rumours of a Ferrari-badged SUV began surfacing, Maranello’s spin doctors have steadfastly dismissed that such a car would ever roll off their assembly line. It was inevitable that they would have had to give the people what they wanted at some point. The question was never ‘if’ they would do it, but rather what it would look like and whether it would follow traditional Ferrari principles, specifically regarding engine positioning and layout. 

Ferrari never does anything by half measures and crafted a completely different layout with truly innovative proportions compared to other crossovers or “GT archetypes”, as Maranello would have it.

Where most other SUVs or crossovers have their engine mounted forwards in the car with the gearbox coupled directly to it, the Purosangue has a mid-front-mounted enginewith the gearbox at the rear to create a sporty transaxle layout. The Power Transfer Unit (PTU) is coupled in front of the engine to provide a unique 4×4 transmission. This delivers precisely the 49:51% weight distribution that Maranello’s engineers deem optimal for a mid-front-engined sports car.

PRANCING HORSES

The Purosangue’s engine (code-named F140IA) maintains the architecture that made the Prancing Horse’s most recent 12-cylinders so successful: a 65° angle between cylinder banks, a 6.5-litre capacity, dry sump, and high-pressure direct injection. It was designed to produce the highest amount of torque at low revs possible without losing the feeling of linear, never-ending power typical of Ferrari’s naturally-aspirated V12s. 80% of the maximum torque is on tap at just 2,100 rpm, and it peaks at 716 Nm at 6,250 rpm, while maximum power of 355 kW is reached at 7,750 rpm and throttle response is characteristic of a genuine sports car.

Intake, timing, and exhaust systems have been completely redesigned, while the cylinder heads are derived from the 812 Competizione. Ferrari also claims to have gone to great lengths to improve mechanical and combustion efficiency by using Formula 1-inspired calibration. The result is Ferrari’s most powerful engine ever developed for a four-seater and the most powerful engine in its class.

The Purosangue offers class-leading performance figures (from zero to 100 km/h in 3.3 seconds and from zero to 200 in 10.6 seconds), while the driving position and the heady, naturally-aspirated V12 soundtrack promise to deliver an entirely new and entirely Ferrari-like driving experience.  

DYNAMIC GAIT

The Purosangue’s chassis is entirely new and super-rigid, with the lower chassis structure made from high-strength aluminium alloy, drawing on Ferrari’s experience in the optimal use of these light alloys. Together with the structural elements of the upper body, it makes up a spaceframe chassis comprised of closed-section extrusions connected by castings into which load-bearing aluminium sheet metal elements are integrated.

Purosangue also boasts the latest vehicle dynamic control systems found on Ferrari’s most powerful sports cars, including independent four-wheel steering and ABS ‘evo’ with the six-way Chassis Dynamic Sensor (6w-CDS). Making its world debut is the new Ferrari active suspension system that controls body roll in corners and the tyre contact patch over high-frequency bumps, to deliver the same performance and handling response as in one of the marque’s sports cars.

The all-new chassis has a carbon-fibre roof to keep weight down and lower the centre of gravity, although buyers can specify an electrochromic glass roof as an option. 

CABIN COCOON

From official images and videos, the Purosangue’s cabin results from meticulous design and careful selection of the materials used inside the Ferrari four-seater. The cabin seems generously proportioned and elegantly sophisticated when all doors are open. Modern design blends with Ferrari’s signature GT sports car aesthetic. All of the forms are deliberately compact to optimise both the available space and the car’s ergonomics

For the first time in Ferrari history, the cabin has four separate and independently adjustable seats. The integration of comfort-focused components, the use of variable density foam, and the new suspension system translate into unprecedented occupant comfort, and a layout that exudes the sportiness and elegance typical of Ferrari design. The heated backseats are adjustable and can be reclined independently. 

The Burmester 3D High-End Surround Sound System also makes its debut in a Ferrari vehicle as standard equipment. This audio system delivers ultimate low to high-frequency performance, achieved through innovative technologies, including a new ribbon tweeter and subwoofer housed in its own closed cabinet for ultimate bass clarity, power, and speed. 

LAST WORD

Maranello’s Cayenne moment has arrived, and while Ferrari South Africa could not yet confirm pricing or a timeline for availability at the time of going to print, given the popularity of SUVs in this market, when the Purosangue does make landfall here, chances are that it may become the Prancing Horse’s most successful model here despite Ferrari’s pledge to sell no more than 2,500 units worldwide per year. 

Report by BERNIE HELLBERG JR | Images © FERRARI SOUTH AFRICA

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