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Marchionne has given the green light to the Ferrari SUV

Stuart Gallagher
16 Jan 2018
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CEO Marchionne confirms production of four-door SUV.


Ferrari CEO Sergio Marchionne has once again commented on the much-discussed Ferrari SUV. Speaking at the Detroit Auto Show, the head of the FCA Group responded to questioning about the forthcoming model by explaining that no matter the direction the company takes with the off-roader, it must, above all else, both look and drive like a Ferrari. Which, while stating the obvious suggests there are some within Ferrari that are still not 100 per cent comfortable with the idea of building a rival to vehicles such as Lamborghini’s new Urus.

> Click here for everything you need to know about the Lamborghini Urus

Having confirmed back in 2017 that Ferrari is to build an SUV (or FUV as Marchionne is intent on calling it), few specifics have been presented as to the car’s specification and positioning. All the CEO has previously offered is that the model will be have four-doors. We, on the other hand, expect it to be offered with both a turbocharged V8 and a V12 engine.

It’s understood that the Ferrari SUV model is less than three years from launch and will satisfy contentious calls for a more utilitarian Ferrari. The current explosion in the luxury SUV market shows now sign of being curtailed and Ferrari wants in. In a bid to double profits by 2018, the FUV (Ferrari Utilitarian Vehicle), a term coined by Marchionne, would probably have little trouble finding suitors – the burgeoning Chinese market has a particular penchant for SUVs from premium European brands and the Middle East will fall over themselves in the scramble to own such a Ferrari.

Sacrilege, blasphemy, call it want you want, but the famous factory gates in Maranello will be opening to allow the big cash cow out, for two clear reasons: The first is that Ferrari has customers who want such a car and the Italian company would rather their money came to them than went to a rival. Secondly, Marchionne needs FCA to be profitable and a £250,000+ SUV is a very good way to improve the P&L.

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The will they, won’t they debate has been a long running one, with Marchionne previously going on record to say “you have to shoot me first” if Ferrari comes up with something similar to SUVs made by BMWBentley and Porsche. “It will not be been done to compete with Porsche.” Marchionne has previously said that the company's board has not approved plans for an SUV, but with each passing financial quarter a little more detail or the tiniest confirmation of Ferrari’s SUV plans creep out suggesting the board is slowly coming round to the idea.

We must – begrudgingly – be thankful to SUVs and read between the lines: the Porsche Cayenne and Macan have lined Porsche’s pocket’s over the last decade, contributing funds to GT model programmes such as the Porsche 911 GT3, Porsche Cayman GT4 and 918 Spyder. The FUV could serve a similar purpose facilitating the production and development of Ferraris the enthusiast yearns for.

Ferrari: Under the Skin - bucks

Marchionne, who is set to retire in 2021, has already pushed Ferrari beyond its previous 7000-car limit, with an estimated 8400 deliveries in 2016.

While numbers alone haven’t been solely responsible for the company’s rising profits - ultra-exclusive and hugely expensive models like the LaFerrari Aperta and special models like the F12tdf have both contributed - Marchionne confirmed the company’s plans to climb beyond 10,000 vehicles in Ferrari’s first-quarter earnings call in May.

evo Comment

'Ferrari has said in the past that a finite number of vehicles is best for values and demand. That number was around 8000 units annually.

That said, a Ferrari SUV isn't the heresy it once was. It can work, but of all carmakers, Ferrari seems least in need of an SUV.' John Barker, editor Enzo magazine

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