We’ve been feeling a need for speed since Top Gun: Maverick debuted earlier this year, bringing a culmination of growing 1980s nostalgia which begun with Stranger Things season four. The 80s are known for many great contributions to pop culture but for motor heads, its also remembered as the golden age of Ferrari. Iconified with models like the Mondial 8, 308 GTS Quattrovalvole and the Testarossa, it is perhaps historical poetry that once again, the Prancing Pony heralds a new golden age with the Ferrari Purosangue, the first ever four-door, four-seater car in the brand’s history.
For those of us with better halves, indulging in Maverick’s 200bhp Kawasaki Ninja H2, the genealogical successor to his original GPZ900R in 1986, is probably relationship ending. The Ferrari Roma, arguably an equally macho, speedy option, built to be a better daily driver has two small back seats which is also a relationship “milestone” prompting questions like, “you don’t plan to have kids?” Today, the Ferrari Purosangue is the supercar indulgence that indulges your aviator “Mach 2 with your hair on fire” fantasies with the distinguished stewardship of an everyday family man.
Italian for thoroughbred, the Purosangue is a culmination of 75 years of leading-edge research, resulting in a unique car and the encapsulation of the Prancing Horse’s DNA, one where performance, driving pleasure and comfort coexist in perfect harmony. If there was ever a question about whether an SUV could perform like a thoroughbred, Ferrari’s answer settles the issue with room to spare. That said, it’s not called an SUV and we agree, what Ferrari has wrought is a genre unto itself.
6.5-litre naturally aspirated V12 mounted behind the front axle and delivering 715bhp, it’s much like the outgoing GTC4 Lusso, a shooting brake four-seat that the Purosangue effectively replaces – very powerful, and very fast. The Ferrari Purosangue is the only car with similar proportions to sport a mid-front-mounted V12. The F140IA engine was designed to produced the highest amount of torque at the lowest revs possible without losing the sensation of linear power typical of Maranello’s iconic power plant. 80% of the maximum torque is on tap at 2100 rpm, peaking at 716 Nm at 6250 rpm. Maximum power of 725 cv is reached at 7750 rpm with a throttle response that you find in a real sports car – hence our contention that while many are quick to call it “Ferrari’s SUV”, an SUV it is not.
Intake, timing and exhaust systems have been completely redesigned as well, while the cylinder heads are derived from the 812 Competizione with mechanical and combustion efficiency employing Formula 1 inspired calibration concepts. The Purosangue defines its own category hitting 100kmh from rest in 3.3 seconds, scorch from 0-200kmh in just 10.6 seconds and top out at 310kmh.
Riding on 22-inch rims up front and 23-inch at the rear, while enjoying low-profile tyres with enveloping ceramic brakes, it handles like Maverick’s 5th generation fighters – impressively. The Purosangue’s aero development makes its bodywork, underbody and rear diffuser as efficient as possible. Synergy between the front bumper and wheel arch trim generates an air curtain that aerodynamically seals the front wheels preventing turbulent transverse air flows being generated.
Developing the ambitious drag reduction and increased usability, accessibility and cooling targets for the Ferrari Purosangue also meant hundreds of hours in the wind tunnel with thousands of Computational Fluid Dynamics simulations, the kind of testing and development reserved for the fastest sports cars.
Also debuting and contributing to that next generation supercar feel is Ferrari’s active suspension system which effectively controls body roll in corners as well as the tyre contact patch over high-frequency bumps. A world premier, this new suspension archetype offers numerous advantages. Starting with actuation: a hydraulic shock absorber combined with an electric motor ensures that the body and wheels can be controlled actively at higher frequencies than traditional active systems. The advantage of Ferrari’s system is the speed of the four 48 volt actuators which can apply force in the direction of the shock absorber’s stroke. What results is that the force transmitted via worm gear enjoys greatly reduced friction, inertia and clearances.
The Ferrari Purosangue also inherits innovations made to the control logic developed for the SF90 Stradale’s 4WD system, coupled with independent 4WS seen on the Competizione. Yaw management in cornering is optimised by a combination of Torque Vectoring on the front axle, distribution of torque to the rear tyres by the E-Diff and the generation of lateral force by the 4WS while the new electronic management system delivers precise control of the position of each single actuator, faster axle response time and improved precision. In short, it’s a fighter jet you can drive.
Next generation supercar with four doors
It is the only Ferrari currently to offer legitimate room for four passengers. Outfitted with a set of slick rear-hinged coach-style (aka “suicide”) rear doors which make it easier to access the back seat while preserving a two-door appearance. The cabin looks and feels like an extremely elegant and sporty lounge and while it is surprisingly generous, the front and rear seats are individual buckets, which means it is strictly a four seater with no room for an occasional fifth passenger since both rows have a centre console – the dual cockpit configuration and the 10.25” display allows everyone, not just the driver, to participate in the driving experience. Modern design languages harmoniously combine with Ferrari’s signature GT sports car aesthetic while being deliberately to compact to optimise space without compromising ergonomics. To wit, the rear seats can be adjusted and reclined independently and also fully raked forwards to increase the vehicle’s luggage capacity.
Whether you’re having a midlife crisis or simply being a family man who enjoys the occasional ‘need for speed’, the Ferrari Purosangue is the game changer with something for everyone.