Purosangue means pureblood, or, more colloquially, thoroughbred. No doubt Ferrari chose the name to tell the world that the Ferrari Purosangue SUV is a “real” Ferrari. Clearly, the name wasn’t enough.
If I was unkind I’d say Ferrari’s “Unlike Any Other” tagline is an unintentional admission that the Pursosange is unlike any other Ferrari – in a bad way. In fact, Maranello’s media mavens aim the proclamation at loyalists who need convincing that a four-door Ferrari-on-stilts isn’t a brand-defiling abomination.
At the same time, it’s a throw down to the Porsche Cayenne, Lamborghini Urus and Aston Martin DBX 707 – not to mention the BMW X5 M Competition, Audi RS Q8, Mercedes AMG GLE 63 S or Tesla Model Y. That’s one heck of a crowded field. B-b-b-but it’s a Ferrari! And boy is it late to the game.
Ferrari SUV – Better Never Than Late?
The then-controversial Porsche Cayenne hit the streets twenty years ago. The born-sprightly Lamborghini Urus made its debut four years ago. Aston Martin’s bad ass big mouth bass joined the club in 2020. What kept Ferrari on the SUV sidelines?
Luca Di Montezemolo (above right). Who can forget the aristocratic CEO’s sacred vow to stay the hell away from the genre? In his 2014 swan song press conference, Luca mic dropped this: “Marchionne wanted to build a truck. But I talked him out of it.” Well that escalated – elevated? – slowly.
And now Ferrari’s invited us to analyze how unlike the once-unlikely Purosangue is compared to the Cayenne, Urus and DBX (at the least). Enthusiasts tend to judge Ferraris based on speed, handling and beauty. So let’s do that.
Ferrari Purosangue vs. Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT, Lamborghini Urus and Aston Martin DBX-707 – Speed
In an automotive age where electrification is the torque of the town, outright speed is a less of a thing than it used to be. Every damn thing is fast – especially fast SUV’s. The Ferrari Purosangue is no exception, obviously.
Ferrari’s SUV blasts from 0 – 60mph in a once-incredible 3.3 seconds. As does the Aston Martin DBX-707. The Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT makes the journey in 3.1 seconds. The Urus splits the difference at 3.2 seconds. So much for that then.
Are we going to compare top end speed? We are not. All these uber-SUV’s are full-on license losers, full stop. And they all stop PDQ (at least in theory).
Ferrari Purosangue vs. Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT, Lamborghini Urus and Aston Martin DBX-707 – Handling
Is the front mid-engine-ish Ferrari Purosangue grippier and faster around corners than the Porker, Lambo and Aston? Is the steering and chassis feedback more satisfying? Are the gearshifts tastier and the power delivery more deliciously linear? Handling tests have yet to appear, but a Ferrari that doesn’t handle is . . . a 348.
At 3:56 in the video above, a silver Purosangue gives a tire-screeching tail wag when the driver puts the hammer down exiting the corner. Not in the corner. After. Does that mean you can drift the 725hp Purosangue through the bendy bits?
Tail wagging snap-backs aren’t something I’ve experienced – or tried to experience – in a Cayenne, Urus or Aston. Thanks to trick electronics and price-no-object components, all three mach schnell SUVs focus on not hitting solid objects at suicidal speeds. As for the Purosangue’s potential pavement pounding primacy, the jury is out.
Ferrari Purosangue vs. Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT, Lamborghini Urus and Aston Martin DBX-707 – Off-Road Handling
Other than a desert sheik, who cares how a superfast SUV handles off-road? Be that as it may, the Cayenne, Urus and DBX are all competent off-roaders. For some strange reason, the Ferrari Purosangue makes no claims in that department (or towing).
The lack of even a hint of off-road capability makes Ferrari’s decision to sell an SUV slightly curious. Other than making bank appealing to speed-crazed urban plutocrats seeking a soccer-Mom view of the traffic ahead, what’s the point of a four-seat on-road-only Ferrari SUV with limited lugaage space? Hang on. I just answered my own question.
Ferrari Purosangue vs. Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT, Lamborghini Urus and Aston Martin DBX-707 – Exterior
When comparing the Purosangue’s exterior to the competitions’, credit the Cayenne for completing a slow transition from ugly to bland. Pity the Aston for its thyroid problem. And admire the wedge-shaped angry eyes Lambo – even though it’s a bit meh from anything other than the straight ahead.
The Ferrari Purosangue is different. I reckon it looks like the Lexus version of the sneaker-shaped Ferrari FF. Is there a bit of the Mazda RX-8 to the bonnet bulges? There is!
The Purosangue is certainly the most “interesting” design – a free-flowing farrago of strakes, bulges, arches, vents, creases, flaps and indentations; complete with rear suicide doors and a flush, roof-mounted rear wing.
Flavio Manzoni was a busy guy! More importantly, the designer placed prancing horse badges on both flanks of his creation. Without those stinkin’ badges, Purosangue owners would be forced to answer endless enquiries from befuddled bystanders. WTF is that?
Ferrari Purosangue vs. Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT, Lamborghini Urus and Aston Martin DBX-707 – Interior
I’m so not feeling that dented dash. (From this angle, it looks like its squinting at me.) I understand why Ferrari did it: it gives the death seat passenger their own discreet Playstation. Not to be outdone, the Pursonague’s steering wheel affords an accelerating alpha more button-pushing options than a Playstation controller. Literally.
Props to Ferrari for the highly bolstered rear seats. The chairs may look a bit dental, but they’re perfectly designed to stop passengers from slip sliding away during “spirited” driving. I wonder how well the upholstery muffles screams . . .
The Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT’s helm does a better job integrating Senna-inspired giga-functionality; I prefer the all-business monochromatic mien. There’s a lot going on, but at least it doesn’t look like a lunar lander’s control panel. A fate the Lamborghini Urus fails to avoid.
As you’d expect, the Brits do the best job of keeping things simple, luxurious and elegant – with the exception of dopey carbon fiber accents (available in piano black). The DBX-707’s Royal Warrant workmanship and materials are second-to-none. I fully expect the Ferrari’s cabin’s quality to be on par.
Is the Ferrari Purosangue Unlike Any Others?
Speed? Tie. Handling? If the Purosangue doesn’t provide the best road-holding in the superfast class it would be an unpleasant surprise. Exterior beauty and Interior ambience? Unlike any others? Yes! Like? Not so much.
There’s one more factor that makes the Ferrari Purosangue unlike any other ‘bahn burning SUV: its naturally aspirated V12. The only one in its class. A Ferrari engine.
Enzo Ferrari is famous for declaring that he sold customers an engine and threw the body in for free. Luca Di Montezemolo spent his entire career trying to re-balance the engine – everything else equation (dodging brickbats when he trumpeted Ferrari’s ability to schlep a set of golf clubs).
But there’s no getting around it: the sound and fury of the Purosangue’s torque-monster V12 powerplant is what connects this Ferrari-branded beast to everything else Maranello makes, and separates it from the herd. I take it back. The tail wag tells the tale.