ferrari purosangue review

Ferrari Purosangue: On the road with the marque’s first family-minded supercar

21 Jun 2023 | |By Rory FH Smith

Is it an SUV, or isn’t it? Ferrari says not. In which case, with its first four-door, four-seat, four-wheel-drive supercar, the Italian marque has created a market all of its own

“Simplicity is complexity resolved,” said the great sculptor and artist Constantin Brancusi. It’s a phrase that Flavio Manzoni, Ferrari’s design chief, kept referring back to during the development of the marque’s most radical and complex car to date: the Ferrari Purosangue.

For a long time before the covers came off the Purosangue in September 2022, speculation was rife that Ferrari was going to launch an SUV, following in the footsteps of its rivals Porsche, Lamborghini and Aston Martin, all of which had brought to market a super-spec 4×4. Only it wasn’t. The Purosangue turned out to be far more obscure, far more specialised, far more, well, Ferrari.

“Right from the word go, we really embraced this idea of a new type of Ferrari that had never been in the range,” said Manzoni at the car’s global launch in the Dolomites earlier this year. “Something with completely different architecture and challenging characteristics.” With no blueprint to work off, save for the 1980s Ferrari Pinin concept car that never made it to production, Manzoni and his team started to piece together what the marque’s first four-door, four-seat and four-wheel drive car might look like. The result was not your typical SUV.

ferrari purosangue review

Despite the raised ride height, the Purosangue is squat and compact, no small feat given what lies inside. With a mid-front-mounted naturally-aspirated V12 engine sitting behind the front axle, there’s still enough room inside to transport four adults in comfort and a boot large enough to swallow a light sprinkling of luggage. Smaller than the SUVs debuted by its rivals, the Purosangue is unique in its standing as a high-riding grand tourer with performance that matches up to Ferrari’s high sporting expectations.

“It was a very complex project and began with an activity that is extremely important at Ferrari, that of defining the architecture,” added Manzoni. Testament to how technical that challenge of creating a high-riding Ferrari was, Manzoni’s team took an entire year to define the bodywork, from which the rest of the project followed. Starting with the obvious and non-negotiable Ferrari principles, such as driving pleasure and performance, Manzoni’s team set out to create a car that had a “roomy interior” while working on the car’s versatility and accessibility.

ferrari purosangue review

Manzoni may have been working on an all-new platform, but he could at least call on Ferrari’s rich heritage in creating some of history’s greatest grand tourers. Also known as two-plus-two coupés, Ferrari has specialised in making sports cars with two smaller back seats and room for luggage since the early 1960s. Back then, cars like the 250 GT 2+2 were Enzo Ferrari’s favourite daily drivers, praised for their charming combination of practicality and performance.

“Everything has been worked out on the Purosange to maximise this concept,” said Pietro Virgolin, the project’s product manager. “You need to feel as if you’re driving a Ferrari, but at the same time you need to be able to drive it daily with the children or using it for travel.”

With that 6.5-litre V12 at its heart, the Purosangue is a family car that’s capable of outrunning most of the sports car market. The dash from standing to 62mph takes just 3.3 seconds thanks to 715 bhp; the Purosangue can hit a top speed of just under 200 mph. Out on the road, that makes for a lively driving experience when pushing hard on the hairpins, twists and turns, with the V12 providing a sensational soundtrack to match.

ferrari purosangue review

Skipping between the five drive modes, the car takes on different personalities depending on the mode selected. As expected, Sport mode brings the noise and theatre along with a firmer ride, while the slick four-wheel steering can overcome the Purosangue’s more-than-two-tonne mass, turning the motor into a spritely sports car when the moment calls. For tamer driving, Comfort mode is the choice for cruising around town, on the motorway or in traffic. Here, the exhaust note is kept to a minimum and the ride is softer. The Purosangue can act as a calm and composed city car when needed.

Aside from the impressive breadth of performance, the real focus of this Ferrari is the interior. As the marque’s first real family car, extra attention has been paid to the trim and feel inside. From the moment the rear doors swing open automatically, much like a Rolls-Royce, the Purosangue feels like a special car, with leather, carbon fibre and a new weave of Alcantara, made from recycled polymers lining the inside. From the outside, the squat proportions suggest the car might be cramped, but the Purosangue’s interior is surprisingly spacious and light, so long as the optional glass roof is specced over the standard carbon roof.

Available only as a four-seater, the rear occupants are treated to full-sized, supportive bucket seats, while the front seats feature in-built massagers – another first for Ferrari. Looking ahead, the novel dual digital display up front gives the driver all the traditional readouts, while a second ‘co-driver’ screen lets the front passenger control the music or view the driving data, including the speedometer and rev counter. While an unnecessary touch, it adds a sense of occasion to the Purosangue’s cabin and brings it in line with other cars in the Ferrari stable. Only the fiddly haptic touch buttons on the steering wheel take the shine off of what is a well-made, functional and comfortable interior.

With so much hype building up to what many believed would be Ferrari’s first SUV, the Purosangue was a pleasant surprise. A curious combination of sports car fused with a high-riding family four-wheel drive, the Purosangue is largely unmatched in the automotive marketplace. After watching its immediate rivals take the plunge into unknown SUV territory and – in many cases – create a compromised car, Ferrari’s approach feels more considered and complete, which is reassuring considering the base car costs more than £300,000. Expected to make up 20 per cent of Ferrari’s production in 2023, it’s clear that the Maranello marque is confident that price won’t deter those looking to own the first-ever family-minded Ferrari.

With nothing quite like it on the roads today, you wonder if the brand of the prancing horse has just created a new category of super-luxury sports car.

ferrari purosangue review

Ferrari Purosangue – The Stats

Engine: 6.5-litre V12
Max. power: 725 cv at 7750 rpm
Max. torque: 716 Nm at 6250 rpm
Max. revs: 8,250 rpm
0-62mph: 3.3 seconds
Max. speed: 193mph
Price: From £313,120


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