A high-riding Ferrari may not have been officially confirmed as yet, but engineers at Maranello are already working on prototypes. Here’s a preview of the first crossover with a Prancing Horse on the bonnet.
For a long time, the talk of a high-riding Ferrari has been a hot topic – and one that’s sparked endless debate. But, the truth is that no carmaker today can afford to remain unaffected by the thriving prospects and promise afforded by an SUV or crossover. Of course, Ferrari is denying these rumours at present, but it seems that going down this path is inevitable. This may sound like heresy, or blasphemy for purists, but this is simply the reality of the age that we live in.
In the beginning of August, Ferrari head honcho, Sergio Marchionne, hinted at a utility vehicle. He went on to say that it would have all the traits that makes a Ferrari unique. This sentiment was echoed by those close to the brand. As for the repeated statements made by the former boss, Luca di Montezemolo, of a Ferrari SUV never happening – well, this now seems to be a thing of past and from a different era altogether. Since he left Maranello in 2016, several things have changed at Ferrari. Of course, times change and opinions adapt, but so far the management has ruled out the possibility of a Ferrari SUV. “We will never design an SUV like the Porsche Cayenne or Maserati Levante,” states Enrico Galliera, Ferrari’s Sales & Marketing Director. What’s the future scenario then?
“If we’re going to manufacture a utility vehicle, it will look like nothing else on the market – like nothing ever seen or imagined before,” said Marchionne. Can we assume, then, that it’ll be a crossover with room for four passengers with a capability range that’s more expansive than the GTC4Lusso?
A new platform
We’ve taken the liberty of trying to imagine what the forthcoming Ferrari crossover will look like. You could say that we’ve been quite bold in doing so. You could also say that we’ve created quite a ‘bold’ rendering, but considering the originality of the design team led by Flávio Manzoni it’s going to be one radical looking thing – we can assure you of that. As for its underpinnings, there was a rumour that it would be based on the same architecture as that of the Alfa Romeo Giulia and Stelvio. There’s a catch here however. You see, despite the fact that the Giorgio platform can be used for performance-based SUVs, Ferrari may not be willing to adopt it simply owing to the fact that it’s not sporty enough by Maranello’s standards. “The architecture of Stelvio is sporty, but it’s mainly focused on comfort. It’s meant to fulfil needs and expectations that are totally in contrast to the ones that are typically associated with a Ferrari,” says the management. It’s highly likely, then, that Ferrari has developed an entirely new platform in-house for its future SUV.
A Hybrid Future
Among the couple of powertrains that Ferrari cars currently use, the turbo V8 of the GTC4Lusso is virtually confirmed for the forthcoming crossover. Odds of seeing a large V12 under the bonnet of the new model are slim – for both practical as well as strategic reasons. Space under the bonnet will be limited and there won’t be enough room for the V12. Plus, Ferrari is expected to achieve annual sales of 10,000 units per year once the crossover arrives. As a result, a hybrid powertrain seems like a more feasible option given the strict emission laws. And since it’ll only be out sometime in 2020, a hybrid will certainly be required in most major markets by then.
1. Ferrari Crossover
This as-yet-unnamed model by Ferrari will be more versatile than the GTC4Lusso, but it won’t aim to replace it. All-wheel drive, slightly higher ground clearance, four comfortable seats, and a good load carrying capacity – these will be the main highlights of Ferrari’s first crossover. Assuming a length similar to GTC4Lusso – a little less than five metres – the cabin will be pushed ahead and the bonnet shortened. This would mean that there won’t be enough room for a V12 engine, and so it’ll most likely be powered by a V8. A hybrid powertrain that will add one or more electric motors will also likely be introduced by the time Ferrari launches this new crossover – expected by 2020.
2. ALFA ROMEO’s big SUV
“It’s not possible to develop a seven-seater that can set lap-times around the Nurburgring.” This is how the head of Alfa Romeo, Reid Bigland, explained the upcoming Alfa SUV, which will rival the BMW X5. By his own admission, it won’t have a full seven-seat layout. However, the big new Alfa is most probably going to adopt a 5+2 seating architecture – ensuring a balance of practicality and sportiness.
APPROVAL FOR A NEW DINO?
Quattroruote was the first magazine to talk about the possibility of a new Dino in 2005, and then again in 2006 (below is the rendering our partners made at the time). They were confident that the Ferrari design team was studying the prospects of bringing back a model that would apply the same philosophy (and perhaps also bring back the name) of the iconic Dino from the 60s. The project was then shelved, or put on stand-by. In the last couple of years, though, there was talk about it again. And, at the Frankfurt Motor Show, Ferrari’s top brass confirmed that “the discussion (about this car) is still on-going. The idea is to create not just an entry-level model in terms of price – we’re not interested in making a Ferrari that costs less than 150,000 Euros – but a model that can bring drivers with less experience closer to the brand,” said Nicola Boari, Ferrari’s product marketing director. The future Dino will be compact, light, and enjoyable – and it’ll be a hybrid. Don’t worry we’ll talk about it again soon – once we have more information…
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