As most of you probably know, SUVs are all the craze these days. Forget about sedans, hatchbacks, and wagons, because the modern-day SUV can do it all. In fact, the SUV market is so large there are over 20 different niche sub-segments within the segment itself: compact, luxury compact, mid-size, luxury mid-size, full-size, etc.
Most manufacturers who have traditionally shied away from these big, bulky vehicles had to resort to making one just to stay alive. If you don’t have an SUV offering in your fleet these days, you’re practically a nobody.
Take it from Bentley and Jaguar, two self-proclaimed British sports cars manufacturers which now make SUVs just to rake in the extra profit.
Even Lamborghini had to resort to making an SUV. I personally never thought I’d see the day Ferrari so much as hinted at making a Sport Utility Vehicle, but that day has officially arrived. Welcome to the Ferrari SUV of the future.
Before I get into the details discussing if this is a good idea, and subsequently explaining why it isn’t, let’s look at the matter objectively with all the facts we have.
Ferrari CEO Sergio Marchionne has indeed confirmed that Ferrari will build a ‘utility vehicle’, but he claims it will be in ‘Ferrari fashion’.
What that means is open to interpretation, but chances are we’ll be looking at something that’s not so traditionally a Ferrari, despite what Sergio claims.
Even those who haven’t put two and two together can conclude that Ferrari is mostly doing this to expand the business and, ultimately, bask in the profit that is the demand for the current SUV market.
The new SUV should double Ferrari’s profits by 2022, and judging by how rapid the popularity of Sport Utility Vehicles is increasing, I’m sure it will. The question is though, is this sacrilege? Does a Ferrari SUV indicate the end of an era? An era of sports cars, of internal combustion engines and of emotion?
Well yes and no. Yes because it’s downright upsetting that a company such as Ferrari, arguably the greatest car manufacturer to ever exist, has to resort to making an SUV to remain in business.
And no because with the profits from the SUV Ferrari can invest a lot more heavily in their sports cars as a positive consequence. Remember the little Cygnet Aston Martin built a couple of years ago? That was a Toyota iQ underneath, right down to the bolts. Aston built it to lower the exhaust emissions of its entire fleet, and something similar is happening with Ferrari and the SUV, except it’s a lot more dignified than taking a Toyota and slapping an Aston Martin badge on it.
As for the new SUV, I personally think it will share a lot of its parts with the Alfa Romeo Stelvio. Ferrari’s sister company has been borrowing engines from the manufacturer from Maranello for a long time, and it’s time they repaid the favor by providing the chassis.
Although I’m not fond of the SUV as a concept, I can maybe get behind a Ferrari SUV. With Ferrari’s expertise, just think of what a ‘tweaked’ Stelvio Quadrifoglio might be capable of.