Before anybody cries “sacrilege” now that Ferrari has unveiled the 2023 Purosangue, allow me to point out that this can always be regarded as Maranello giving a larger audience access to a four-door. In the past, such creations used to be reserved for Enzo Ferrari himself or were commissioned by figures like the members of the Brunei royal family. Sure, the SUV aspect coming from the more generous ground clearance is new, but the Italians continue to deny it, telling us that the Purosangue is in a class of its own.
The Purosangue makes use of the Prancing Horse’s latest styling language, with its front end reminding us of the 296 GTB hybrid V6 supercar and the posterior packing Roma vibz (here’s a CGI Roma sedan for a wicked comparison). Oh, and those hips are the kind that made the Italian marque famous!
However, not unlike in the case of the smaller Porsche Macan, the designers were extremely clever, with the Fezza ready to trick you into believing it’s more of a plus-size hatchback than anything else. And if you’re looking for something that can give you a sense of scale, keep in mind that the front wheels are 22-inch units, with 23-inch rolling goodies being used in the back.
As with the FF and GTC4Lusso of the previous decade, the newcomer packs a pair of rear seats rather than a bench in the back, albeit offering more space. And, if the official presentation video provides any indication of the best use of this vehicle, you should invite another couple to enjoy those seats while you show them around your favorite vineyards on a gravel road.
Regardless of who gets to ride in the back, they’ll enjoy easy access thanks to a pair of power-operated suicide doors that open at a 79-degree angle. And that’s something the pair of 2+2 GTs mentioned above just didn’t have. However, please make sure to stay within certain limits when it comes to the luggage, as the trunk is limited to 16.7 cubic feet (472.9 liters).
Given the inextricable rivalry between the two Italian brands, the first competitor that comes to mind is the 657 hp Lamborghini Urus Performante. However, the VW Group platform dictates a more conventional SUV layout for the Raging Bull, whereas the Prancing Horse rides on a dedicated chassis. Still, the two are extremely close in terms of the wheelbase, with the Ferrari’s 118.8 inches being just 0.6 inches more generous than that of the Lamborghini.
And while the Fezza should be a little lighter, comparing the two is not possible right now: we have the Urus Performante’s curb weight (4,740 lbs or 2,150 kg), Ferrari only offers the dry weight for the Purosangue (4,482 lbs or 2,033 kg).
It’s a free-breathing V12 for now, but further power choices should come later on
Of course, the scale footprint also varies with the engine. But, at least for its debut, the Purosangue honors its name (“pure blood” in English) by offering the most traditional of Ferrari internal combustion engines. That would be a naturally aspirated 6.5L V12 with 715 hp and 528 lb-ft (715.8 Nm) of torque.
And the GT character of the vehicle is also revealed by the torque delivery, with 80% of that twist coming at 2,100 rpm, while extracting that max power means pressing on to 7,750 rpm. The redline? A glorious 8,250 rpm. And while this is no age in which carmakers can boast about the soundtrack of their machines online, I’m sure that the real-world voice of this V12 is nothing short of memorable.
Thanks to the said dry-sump V12 (lower positioning, better lubrication while cornering) being mated to an eight-speed dual-clutch transaxle sitting at the back, the 0 to 62 mph sprint can be covered in 3.3 seconds. Sure, EVs like the Tesla Model S Plaid and the Lucid Air Sapphire are quicker, but they can’t touch the Ferrari in terms of top speed, with the Purosangue being capable of over 192 mph (309 km/h).
The AWD system of the Purosangue brings a familiar take to those who have studied the GTC4Lusso, as the front axle is only active up to 125 mph (201 km/h) in fourth gear.
I didn’t expect anything less than a trick suspension for Ferrari’s new marvel. And this is what we get, as the newcomer features Canadian specialist Multimatic (Le Mans, anybody?) True Active Spool Valve (TASV) hardware. This does away with stabilizer bars, relying on uber-fast actuators to control wheel travel and ground clearance alike.
The interior of the Purosangue features such symmetry that you’d expect it to have been designed by artificial intelligence. That being said, Ferrari cabins have come a long way in the past few years and this shows, with technology being king here. Oh, and yes, you can fold the rear seats for when some serious hauling is in order.
The starting price of the 2023 Purosangue, which is always going to be a bit of a myth given how many options customers normally add to such cars, sits at EUR390,000 or approximately $390,000 at the current exchange rates.
Back in the day, I was fortunate enough to sample the Ferrari FF on two occasions. And while the driving experience of the V12 GT wasn’t quite as sharp as that of the contemporary F12berlinetta, it still made for a stratospheric adventure.
And, even with the higher ground clearance, the 30% extra torsional rigidity that the Purosange exhibits compared to the GTC4Lusso, which already outdid the FF, means I’m expecting the driving to back up Maranello’s claim of the Purosangue having no direct competition.