MARANELLO, Italy — Surrendering your cellphone is difficult sufficient underneath any circumstance, not to mention if you’re about to put eyes on Ferrari’s long-awaited, first-ever SUV — which, by the way, Ferrari completely refuses to name an SUV. Welcome to the world of so-called black field previews, the place a journalist’s impressions are restricted by his or her firsthand powers of remark.
Within the curious case of the Ferrari Purosangue, we’re wanting again at 75 years of each flirting with, and resisting, potentialities that will finally turn into the model’s first-ever four-door, four-seat automobile. Although the prancing horse has lengthy been related to relentlessly centered race automobiles, supercars and hypercars, Ferrari has additionally straddled the road with a smaller number of extra GT-like 2+2s. Enzo himself loved driving a four-seater of his creation, and actually thought of a four-door idea by Pininfarina within the Eighties earlier than it was finally shelved.
Enter modern-day, and the Purosangue earlier than us marks a significant turning level for the Maranello model. Liberated from its crimson satin cowl, the brand new mannequin seems like nothing earlier than it, regardless of the vaguely 296 GTB-ish entrance finish and considerably Roma-like taillamps. It’s a handsomely styled automobile that Ferrari brass say was designed with a eager eye towards the wind tunnel, although the corporate doesn’t launch aerodynamic drag figures for his or her GT fashions. Regardless, Purosangue comes throughout as extra refined and distinctive than the spy shots might need led you to imagine, with flowing strains mixed with novel options like an aerobridge on the hood much like that of the F12Berlinetta. On this case, nevertheless, the characteristic is designed to scale back drag, not create downforce. Some might argue that it resembles the structure of the Ford Mustang Mach-E GT, with its lengthy, arching roofline, giant wheel wells, cinched rocker panels and tapered rear deck. However there’s rather more occurring right here design-wise, from the delicately tapered nostril to the intelligent “floating” wheel arches to the advanced curves of the rear haunches. The form seems deceptively compact, till you take into account these seemingly small wheels are literally 22- and 23-inch hoops tucked inside these fenders.
Inside quantity is maximized because of comparatively brief overhangs, as is ease of entry as a result of suicide-style rear doorways that open with an aperture of 79 levels, by way of a power-actuated mechanism. The simple entry is necessary, particularly since there’s not an entire lot of legroom for the 2 rear occupants: I’m 5’11”, and after getting comfy within the driver seat then switching to the rear perch, I discovered that there was some house, however not an entire lot, for me to straighten my legs. Nevertheless, there’s beneficiant headroom that helps make the inside really feel extra vertically ethereal and spacious.
The cabin is a mixture of well-appointed, high-tech and trendy, with particular person rear bucket seats that echo the shape issue of the entrance seats. Although the leather-based upholstery has an upscale really feel, there are additionally modern touches like a extra technical Alcantara carpet trim that additionally occurs to be bulletproof. Symmetry guidelines the inside design, with a mirror-like dashboard that sculpts its kind across the driver’s digital instrument cluster and a passenger display screen that’s bigger than what you’ll discover in Ferrari sports cars. Although the power-operated rear doorways really feel fancy (and minimalist, because of their frameless design), there’s additionally an impression of performance to the entire endeavor — however not too useful, because the sportiness of the seats is backed up by the comparatively compact 16.7 cubic-foot trunk. No less than the rear seats fold down for added storage. Discreetly tucked between the rear seats is a flip-up leather-based cowl for 2 cupholders; different uncommon touches embody a small multimedia management dial with grooved edges that raises or recesses on the contact of a button, and quite a few shallow storage compartments that taper alongside prolonged sections of the inside.
Reasonably than incorporate a hybrid or full-EV drivetrain, Purosangue includes a delightfully old-school propulsion system: a naturally aspirated 6.5-liter V12 producing 715 horsepower and 528 pound-feet of torque. Revised valvetrain, induction and exhaust techniques allow the powertrain to comprehend 80% of its torque from 2,100 rpm. A dry sump system permits it to sit down decrease to the bottom, and its front-mid-engine configuration and rear transaxle achieves a powerful entrance/rear weight distribution of 49/51. An all-new platform makes use of a stiffer, lighter construction that allows 30% extra torsional stiffness than the late, nice GTC4Lusso, yielding a dry weight of 4,482 kilos. Mated to an eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox, the engine drives all 4 wheels and will go like stink, with a claimed 0-62-mph time of three.3 seconds and a prime pace in extra of 192 mph. Just like the now defunct GTC4Lusso, an all-wheel-drive system works as much as fourth gear at 125 mph earlier than disengaging.
Subtly modern, curvaceous and delicately proportioned, the Ferrari Purosangue exceeds expectations within the flesh. In a approach it must, with a beginning sticker value of €390,000, or round $400,000. Extra necessary, this difficult-to-classify four-door breaks a brand new mould for Ferrari, one which we’re informed is the product of many buyer requests. Little question there shall be haters, in a lot the identical approach Porsche fanatics distrusted the Cayenne when it debuted. Because it seems, the oldsters in Zuffenhausen couldn’t have orchestrated a greater anchor for the enterprise, as sport utes now command over half of firm gross sales, a phenomenon that’s being encountered by numerous different ultraluxury carmakers.
Within the right here and now, the Purosangue presents a powerful case for itself because of its stringent design philosophy and adherence to model rules. It’s so centered on efficiency that it solely presents two rear seats, and patrons couldn’t get a tow hitch connected to the tail in the event that they wished one. Whereas it could be tempting to say that Enzo Ferrari wouldn’t approve of a Ferrari SUV or crossover, it’s onerous to argue with the Purosangue’s execution. If this high-waisted four-seater drives half in addition to we suspect it does, Ferrari ought to be onto a winner.