Ferrari has confirmed a V12 engine for its first SUV, the Purosangue, which will see light of day in the coming months. The company recently posted a video online confirming a new V12 engine, and soon after Ferrari boss Benedetto Vigna confirmed that this engine will power the upcoming Purosangue SUV.
- Ferrari’s first SUV to be unveiled this year
- Will come with V12 engine
- Could feature plug-in hybrid tech
Ferrari V12 for Purosangue SUV
"We've tested several options. It was clear that the V12, for the performance and driving experience it could provide, was the right option for the market," Vigna told Reuters ahead of the Purosangue’s unveiling in the coming months.
His comments come after the sportscar maker posted a video online, confirming it was creating a new V12-powered Ferrari, prompting speculation about whether it referred to the Purosangue or the unnamed successor to the Ferrari 812 Superfast.
The firm referenced “our new thoroughbred’s bloodline”, which hinted that it will be the SUV because the car’s Italian name translates as thoroughbred, before the news was confirmed by Vigna. It remains to be seen if this will be the 6.5-litre unit deployed in the 812 Superfast.
Ferrari added: “The V12 has always been an intrinsic part of Ferrari DNA. It is a celebration of our heritage, and a symbol of our relentless quest for new heights of performance and pure driving emotion.”
All future Ferrari models will be built around two bespoke architectures, giving two distinct model lines – one for mid-engined supercars, such as the Ferrari 296 GTB, and the other for front-mid-engined GT-style cars, including the new SUV.
Both architectures are able to accommodate V6, V8 and V12 engines, with or without hybrid assistance and with a transaxle dual-clutch automatic gearbox; rear or four-wheel drive; and two-, 2+2- or four-seat cabins from variable-wheelbase lengths.
From these wide-ranging parameters, the SUV will take the form of a 4-seater with a length of around five metres, and its high ground clearance is likely to be achieved through height-adjustable suspension and an anti-roll system to allow for impressive on-road dynamics and some off-road ability.
The SUV’s design has been officially previewed in only a front-end shot that gave little away, but leaked images earlier this year provide a better look at the Purosangue’s overall design.
“I’m convinced on this car and the technical concept,” Ferrari’s then chief technical officer, Michael Leiters, told Autocar in 2019. “I think we’ve found a concept and a package which is on one side a real SUV and will convince SUV customers to buy it, but on the other side there’s a huge differentiation of concept to existing SUVs.”
That concept is based around Ferrari’s ability to mix a bespoke architecture (as opposed to one shared across a wider group, such as the Volkswagen Touareg and Audi Q7-derived MLB platform used by the Bentley Bentayga and Lamborghini Urus) that endows the car with not only Ferrari levels of performance and dynamic ability but also the space, comfort and user-friendly cabin required of an SUV.
“The challenge is to open a new segment for Ferrari,” said Leiters. “We always have very, very sharp positioning. It helps to develop cars in a certain, focused manner and easily decide certain trade-offs."
“The trade-off decision is totally different for us here. We will have totally new engineering challenges.”
Plug-in hybrid technology is also set to feature as pressure grows to cut emissions, with the powertrain to be derived from that of the new V6-powered Ferrari 296 GTB, though a version of the electrified V8 used by the SF90 is on the cards.
“SF90 is a new product with so many new innovations on the car. Then we find the elements to go onto other cars,” said Leiters, on the technology transfer from the SF90 Stradale to other models. “The challenge [with the SUV] is a totally different one. There are some innovations to go on, but our organisation has learned to do innovation,” he added, in reference to the likelihood of the Purosangue featuring innovations of its own.
All the Ferrari GT models, including the SUV, will get a completely new interior layout based around what the firm calls an ‘eyes on the road, hands on the wheel’ approach. Among the features will be a new steering wheel design, new infotainment, a head-up display, new instruments, new ways of operating the cabin controls, rear-seat entertainment and improved ingress and egress.
Ferrari Purosangue SUV: engineering challenges
Leiters also detailed some of the engineering challenges being faced while Ferrari develops its first SUV.
He said: “With space, how can we ensure that there is the right easy, ergonomic comfort on board? How to combine the sporty layout with a more comfort-orientated design? What to do with HMI [human machine interface]? Our HMI is driver-orientated, but how can it be more democratic? What are the comfort features? What is a Ferrari’s pure DNA on a car for comfort?"
“It’s a challenge, an opportunity and fun. I like it very much. Some concepts are close together, but with cars like 175 [the Purosangue], one thing we want to do is structure the product range and have something different.”
Leiters said the two new architectures provided much greater flexibility between future Ferrari models.
“We’ve not said there definitely will be V6s or V12s but we have foreseen it,” he said. “My job is to give the company an opportunity for models. Then they tell us what they need from a market point of view.
“In the function of different customer requirements, do we need space? Six or eight cylinders? A long wheelbase? So we can offer V6, V8, V12, front- or mid-engined, hybrid or not, two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, 2+0, 2+2 or four seats; vary the wheelbase a lot. We’re able to manage very easily and have a very low impact doing it.”
Head of design Flavio Manzoni said the designers have been working with engineering right from the start to ensure optimum proportions for what is set to be a controversial model for the brand.
“You start defining the design of the car in the first steps,” he said. “In that defining phase, we work with the engineers. We can determine the proportions and the dimensions to have a very good base to work from. That’s the case for the SUV as well. Many SUVs are derivatives of other cars. Designers have many constraints due to the technical base. In our case, it’s no compromise.
How excited are you about the V12 Purosangue SUV? Let us know in the comments.