The idea of a Ferrari SUV has been discussed for many year, especially since for Porsche the Cayenne has been hugely profitable. In the past the thought of an SUV was ruled out by the then boss of Ferrari, Luca di Montezemolo, and subsequently Ferrari launched the FF. The V12 FF has since been replaced by the V12 GTC4 Lusso and the V8 GTC4 Lusso T.
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In recent years however much has changed. Firstly, Ferrari now have an increased number of models to keep up with the increase in global demand for the cars (particularly Asia). Secondly, Ferrari is also a listed company with shares available through the NYSE. Finally, Porsche redefined the SUV segment with the launch of the Cayenne in 2003, with SUV models now coming from Maserati, Bentley and soon to release Lamborghini and Rolls Royce. It’s clearly an in-demand segment and will shareholders allow the management to hold back?
It’s probably why the new boss of Ferrari Sergio Marchionne recently said: “We’re dead serious about this.” However, before a decision is made, Ferrari must “learn how to master this whole new relationship between exclusivity and scarcity of product, then we’re going to balance this desire to grow with a widening of the product portfolio”.
This is not the first time he has referred to an SUV, having previously said Ferrari would “reinvent the concept of a vehicle that has some utilitarian features”. He also said: “I think that if we allow the Ferrari engineers to reinvent the concept of a vehicle that has some utilitarian features, I think the answer is: it will probably happen, but it will happen Ferrari-style. And Ferrari has been known historically for being able to redefine and define automotive segments. But I don’t want it to be a UV – I want it to be what Ferrari thinks is appropriate. But no decision has been made yet.”
Although Ferrari’s own Chief Technology Officer said at the Frankfurt Motor show that “We have many projects, many concepts, but there is no programme and nothing has been confirmed.” This seems to validate what Enrico Galliera the Senior VP for Commercial Marketing at Ferrari has said: “We are not producing an SUV, because an SUV is not a sports car – it can be fast, but it’s not a sports car. We are not producing a four-door because, while a four-door can be fast, it’s not a sports car.”
However analysts believe that Ferrari will build a 4 door SUV with hidden rear doors. They expect it to launch in 2021, retail for approximately £250,000, and sell about 2000-3000 cars per year. The opportunity from particularly the Asian market may be too much for even Ferrari to resist.
Watch this space!