Codenamed 175, Ferrari’s forthcoming SUV, the first in the companies 72 year history, is set to be revealed before the end of the year, although it won’t be for sale for a further two years, more details have emerged following an interview with Ferrari’s chief technical officer, Michael Leiters giving us an insight as to what we can expect from what is seen as an important model for the Italian car maker.
“I’m convinced on this car and the technical concept,” Ferrari’s chief technical officer Michael Leiters revealed in an exclusive interview. “I think we’ve found a concept and a package which is on one side a real SUV and will convince SUV customers to buy it, but on the other side there’s a huge differentiation of concept to existing SUVs.”
Referring to the power unit in the Purosangue, Leiters explained “We’ve not said there definitely will be V-6s or V-12’s but we have foreseen it,” A variety of engines might sit under the Purosangue’s bonnet, the SUV is expected to feature a petrol-electric hybrid powertrain option like that of the upcoming SF90 Stradale, the hybrid Purosangue is likely to have three electric motors: two at the front with one at the rear , with an entry level version expected to be a V6 whilst the flagship model will be V12 powered.
“SF90 is a new product with so many new innovations on the car, then we find the elements to go onto other cars,” said Leiters, on the technology transfer from the SF90 Stradale to other models. “The challenge with the SUV is a totally different one. There are some innovations to go on, but our organisation has learned to do innovation,” he added, “My job is to give the company an opportunity for models. Then they tell us what they need from a market POV.”
A new segment for Ferrari, the company is listening to it’s customers to what they want from the an SUV, although it is believed the design has been signed off “The challenge is to open a new segment for Ferrari,” said Leiters. “We always have very, very sharp positioning. It helps to develop cars in a certain, focused manner and easily decide certain trade-offs.
“The trade-off decision is totally different for us here. We will have totally new engineering challenges.”
Ferrari’s SUV is expected to be more than just a ‘jacked up’ GTC4Lusso, with a whole new ethos on comfort and design, with what it calls ‘eyes on the road, hands on the street’ approach. New interior design means infotainment system, instruments, head up display, new steering wheel design as well as rear seat entertainment and comfort, bringing about it new challenges for Ferrari.
“It’s a challenge, an opportunity and fun. I like it very much. Some concepts are close together, but with cars like 175 one thing we want to do is structure the product range and have something different.”
“With space, how can we ensure that there is the right easy, ergonomic comfort on board? How to combine the sporty layout with a more comfort-orientated design? What to do with HMI [human machine interface]? Our HMI is driver-orientated, but how can it be more democratic? What are the comfort features? What is a Ferrari’s pure DNA on a car for comfort?
“In the function of different customer requirements, do we need space? Six or eight cylinders? A long wheelbase? So we can offer V6, V8, V12, front or mid-engined, hybrid or not, two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, 2+0, 2+2 or four seats; vary the wheelbase a lot. We’re able to manage very easily and have a very low impact doing it.”